Lane Cattle discovers that progressive bull ownership provides quality genetics for their Shorthorn herd

Will and Tamara Lane use their farm in Jay, Okla. to teach their children many life lessons. They have a family-owned farm and run a show cattle operation on 62 acres supported by another 90 leased acres. A sign in their barn reads, “Purple banners do not make a champion: hard work does,” reflecting the underlying premise behind Lane Cattle.
Lane Cattle is comprised of 50 registered Shorthorn mommas with an additional 10 mommas that are either registered Angus or Club Calf mommas.
The Lanes have five bulls, all registered Shorthorns. The ownership and rights to semen demonstrate a flexibility and resourcefulness that is another earmark of the Lane operation. They own three bulls outright but share semen interest with larger breeders in order to promote the market for their semen. Another bull is owned on halves because Will wanted to buy the bull for high-quality genetic variety but the owner would only sell on halves, which means Will has the bull for the fall breeding season and the Nebraska owner gets him for the spring season. The last bull is also owned on halves but is one that Will raised and believes has outstanding performance potential. In order to keep access to those genetics, he agreed to sell the bull but only on halves.
The Lanes created a specialized market based upon heritage Shorthorn mothers with a good milk supply and nurturing nature in addition to a gentle temperament. Will had the opportunity to purchase females from a registered Shorthorn herd that had been closed for many, many years when the estate came up for sale and then used Shorthorns as the basis for his genetics in employing a figure eight breeding pattern to maintain viability and vigor. The result is added pounds at weaning, a much desired quality for perspective calf owners. In addition, Will has saved semen from two deceased bulls that produced highly successful progeny. Most of Will’s Shorthorn mommas are daughters and granddaughters of those bulls so the saved semen will not be used until later generations.
Shorthorn heifers are the biggest profit generator. The Lanes sell five to 10 heifers a year as show heifers and the rest as replacement heifers. Will said, “We haven’t sold at a sale barn in six years and can’t keep up with the requests we receive.” In addition the Lanes show some of the bull calves and sell others to Shorthorn and commercial breeders through the use of their own very good bulls.
The Club Calf and Angus operations are handled differently. Club Calf mommas are bred to his Shorthorn bulls or to Maine-Anjou through AI. The registered Angus mommas are bred by AI, usually from the registered Angus bulls, Northern Improvement or Brilliance. The Lanes sell both show heifers and bull calves from these mommas.
The Lane children, Ryan, who is 12 and Lexi, who is 8, have been around cattle all their lives. When Will was chasing cows while Ryan was 2 and in his car seat, Will suddenly heard giggling. He turned around and found a very docile cow named PH Red Rosie sticking her head through the open window while Ryan was shaking his Apple juice on her tongue. Rosie was happily lapping it up. Last year Lexi showed and won her division at the National Junior Shorthorn Show and Champion Shorthorn at the Arkansas State Fair with a blue roan heifer named Cookie. The pair was a striking contrast. The heifer was so tall that Lexi couldn’t reach high enough to push her head up but nonetheless had absolute control.
Will said, “This is the life we want for our kids as well as for ourselves. Our children will grow up living our motto and hopefully practice the concept throughout their lives.”


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