The DeLozier family strives to breed the best cattle possible
ADAIR, OKLA. – Devin DeLozier is a fourth-generation rancher and an agriculture teacher at Adair (Okla.) High School. Devin started his love of farming and ranching at a young age when he helped his father Dennis DeLozier on the family ranch, which is made up of 1,400-acres near Adair, Okla. Devin and his wife Becky currently run about 100 head of cattle, and Dennis owns and additional 200 head. Devin, Becky and their sons, Dax, Dacen and Dade, are the primary operators of the ranch.
The herd is mainly registered and commercial Angus and Herefords. The most recent addition to the operation has been Red Angus. Devin said the breeds produce the highest quality cattle, which is what he seeks in his operation at DeLozier Livestock. Cattle at the DeLozier operation boost pedigrees from top bulls in both breeds. The bulls come from prodigious breeders from as far away as Kentucky and Tennessee.
Devin grew up raising Herefords, adding the black Angus 25 years ago.
“Black Angus are strong and raise a high price,” Devin said. “Herefords remind me of my family growing up, and the Red Angus started because of a friend, and they look great in shows”
While there are different breeds on the farm, there is no crossbreeding.
The main focus of the ranch is the production of high-quality bulls.
Bulls from the DeLozier ranch are marketed at 22 months of age, and fertility is guaranteed. For many years, the family has offered Angus bulls, have recently began marketing their Red Angus bulls and genetics. They also market several heifers annually. About 36 bulls are marketed each year from the Delozier breeding programs.
Animals not meeting the family’s criteria go into the meat market.
The DeLoziers work closely with their veterinarian, following a vaccination protocol recommended by the vet, which includes cattle being vaccinated against a battery of disease viruses, including pink eye and IBR. Calves are immunized at birth, and the full herd is vaccinated twice a year.
Females are bred in the spring and the fall, utilizing top-of-the-line bulls from the DeLozier bull battery and are carefully selected for each breeding group. Breeding is primarily through natural cover, as the family’s busy schedule doesn’t always allow the use of AI. Females approaching calving during harsh winter months are brought into a calving barn to give the calves the best chance of survival.
In addition to cattle, the ranch also produces its own hay, which is a prairie hay with a mix of Bermudagrass. Cattle are moved to fresh pastures as needed through the ranch’s rotational grazing system. Devin has worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service through a conservation stewardship program to spray fields and pastures to eliminate ragweed and other nuisance plants. His most recent battle has been against armyworms, which have caused significant damage to pastures and hayfields.
Cattle are primarily on grass, but in the winter months they do receive some grain, with lactating cows receiving 2 to 3 pounds per day, per cow. Cattle are also offered a medicated mineral and free choice salt blocks.
As the cattle industry has changed, Devin said he has continued to follow those changes in his herd, including offering high-quality grasses and hay, as well as selected minerals.
In addition to the cattle operation, the family has also raised show pigs for the DeLozier boys, especially oldest son Dax, to show. Devin has assisted many students over the years with their swine projects as well.
In his role as an ag educator, Devin also assists students with dairy cattle, goat and/or sheep projects, in addition to in-class lessons. Many of Devin’s students have won awards in the show ring with their projects. Devin has always aspired to have perfection on his ranch and instills those core values into his students and own children.
The outlook for the future of ranching with the rise in technology and shift in the generations concerns Devin, including issues on the national level such as the impact of a methane immersions tax, drought and calf prices. He added that fewer young people are rushing out to work all day in the fields. Luckily, Devin’s sons are interested in becoming the fifth generation to continue the legacy, and son Dax aspires of becoming a veterinarian.
Devin DeLozier is very passionate about agriculture, with his strong core values and outlook, he will continue and keep teaching anyone that will listen and you can expect the DeLozier family ranch will continue for many more generations to come.
“The only way to achieve success is to work hard,” Devin said.