Our Journey as Producers of Fleckvieh Simmental Cattle.

Our 2021 Red Deer County Bull Sale Report

Denzel and Daytona, our two high sellers on the day.

Our 2021 Red Deer County Bull Sale Report

March 13th was another great edition of the Red Deer County Bull Sale at the Innisfail Auction Mart, in Innisfail, Alberta.  It was a gorgeous spring day, with unseasonably mild temperatures in Central Alberta which, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, led to a robust crowd enjoying comfortable weather to inspect bulls in their large outside pens. Customers had the opportunity to have a hot lunch and preview a diverse group of bulls presented by a number of great consignors, before watching them strut their stuff in the sales ring.

The three lead bulls in the ring were all from the Keato Meadows program / Jonathan and Ebony Kittlitz of Ft. Sask.  Despite being regular consignors at this sale for more than a decade, this was their first time being selected to lead the sale!   Their headliner status did not disappoint, as their lot 34 bull ‘Keato Pld Ben Hur 951G’, both led off the sale and ended the day as the overall high seller, for $18,500 to Lakeview Simmentals at Meacham, Sk.   One of the cool features of the Red Deer Bull Sale is that, over the years, numerous breeders have been given the spotlight in the lead-off spot, so it was great to see Jonathan and Ebony’s program showcased and recognized with the high selling bull! 

Over the past few years, the Red Deer bull sale has evolved from one devoted exclusively to Simmentals, to one now involving both Angus and Herefords.  It has been great to meet and get to know these up and coming breeders, who also bring different perspectives and a whole lot of enthusiasm to the sale.  In this regard, we would specifically like to recognize the Bricker’s from Chestermere Stock Farm – their Hereford string was very impressive, averaging a very strong $8,228 across their nine lots.

In all, nine bulls ended up topping the $10,000 threshold at this years’ event, with the high-sellers split fairly evenly across all breeds, including both fullblood and purebred Simmentals.  Overall, 62 lots sold for an average of $6,630.

The highlight of the day for Applecross Cattle was the selection of two lots by Arthur Smith of Smith Simmental Ranch from Ft. Sask.  Arthur has been a long time supporter of the Lone Stone Farms Simmental program at Westlock, where he had acquired several ‘APLX Envoy’ daughters over the years.  This year they turned their attention to our curve-bending lead bull, APLX Daytona 55G, who they acquired for $11,250.  Later on in the afternoon, they were also successful in acquiring our heifer bull candidate, APLX Cairo 14H, for $6,500.  We hope these two youngsters perform just as well for their program as their ‘Envoy’ daughters have.

It was also great to see the return of two of our previous clients.  Frank Deur of Crossfield selected ‘Diego’ at last years’ Red Deer Bull Sale, so it was awesome to connect and have him select our homo-polled youngster, APLX Watson 29H.  We were also super excited to see Linda Bingeman / Conestoga Farms successful in acquiring APLX Dalton 50G.  Linda had been to Red Deer in 2013 to select ‘Ajax’ from our program, so it was nice to see her back looking for another APLX bull.  Repeat buyers are the foundation of any successful bull sale!

APLX Denzel 9H is Ontario bound, after being selected by Brian and Lynn Vail, of Clarksburg.  Vailview Farms have been long time customers of my parents operation (Dora Lee Genetics), so with Dora Lee winding down, it is pretty cool to see the Vail’s decide to connect with the Alberta based Smalls! It is not a surprise that Denzel goes back to one of our founding Dora Lee females, DLD Lady Western 48R.

Our final bull, APLX Dillon 57G, stayed right here in Red Deer County, after he was selected by Ryan Layden of Layden Farms, just east of Innisfail.  It is always neat to send bulls long distances, but having our prefix on bulls in the ‘neighbourhood’, is also a great experience.  

Overall it was a tremendous day for Applecross Cattle at auction.  Our 6 bulls all found great homes, and it was fun to meet new people and visit with old friends on a gorgeous afternoon in Innisfail!

Once again we need to recognize the team at Transcon for doing a tremendous job working the phones and managing the sale.  Jay Good and his team are always a quality, sales management group – constantly on the phone while inspecting cattle for prospective buyers.  Bull sale season is a tough gig – there is a different sale every 48 hours, across three provinces, so it can be easy to lose focus – but we always admire their professional approach.  We look forward to working with them again later in the year to market our females at Fleckvieh Equation!

We also want to give a big shout out to the Innisfail Auction Mart.  It is simply a great venue for marketing bulls.  The Daines and their team are awesome hosts, provide first class service, and are great people that showcase a strong desire to host successful agricultural events.  We are super supportive of the sales’ decision to relocate to Innisfail!

With both the bull sale and calving now behind us, our thoughts move directly to breeding season.  We have a couple of (new to us) high profile options for AI and a brand new walking bull to test out.  It is an exciting time for Applecross Cattle to continue in our quest to provide new, better, and different genetics to share with the industry.

Until next time,

Dennis

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