The hills of West Virginia are ascetically beautiful but they present many unique challenges to ranching and farming not often found anywhere else in the country. Although West Virginia is known for producing quality cattle there is a reason why our state does not have large numbers of cattle. We manage our cattle under commercial cattle conditions in steep hilly terrain where summers are hot and humid, winters are damp and bone chilling cold, springs are neck deep in mud and falls are Almost Heaven. In spite of all the challenges and hillbilly jokes, West Virginia is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
In 1996 we began using a Red Angus bull in a crossbreeding program on Seneford and Black Senegus cattle. The Red Angus calves performed exceptionally well and since that time our herd has expanded to include over 200 head of registered 1A Red Angus.
Our Red Angus program is built around what we call an ISPCQ ((I)ntegrity, (S)afety, (P)roductivity, (C)ost and (Q)uality) philosophy, with our goal being to set the standard for functional, trouble free, user friendly beef cattle. Our breeding program places emphasis on maintaining large, correctly sorted contemporary groups to assure the data we collect accurately reflects the performance and functionality of each individual within our herd. We guarantee every animal we sell and our focus is on the commercial cattleman.
Since 1998 we have been plan mating each Red Angus female to high accuracy sires or bulls sired by multiple-generation high accuracy sires to minimize genetic risk. From the very beginning we have utilized an intensive AI program. Each breeding season we average over 98% of our females being AI bred prior to being exposed to natural service bulls.
We place great emphasis on multiple trait selection rather than chasing any one particular fad or trait. We have collected and utilized carcass ultrasound data on all calves since 1997. We place selection pressure on our herd for low maintenance energy and we cull for undesirable structural conditions, fertility and disposition. In our environment the steep hills and fescue forage will quickly weed out hard doing and structurally unsound cattle. While we do show a few cattle it is only for the purposes of supporting Chelsea’s 4H and FFA participation and to expose others to the functionality of our Red Angus cattle.
At Cedar Hill Farm we utilize embryo transfer to proliferate only the very best females in our herd. Our E.T. program is made up of a select group of exceptional females. Each donor must demonstrate her ability to consistently replicate extraordinary progeny before she is considered for our E.T. program.
Our planned mating system emphasizes as much attention to detail for natural service sire selection as it does in AI sire selection. Each female in our herd is exposed to the natural service bull that most closely hits the target desired for that particular offspring. Natural service sires that have been used at Cedar Hill include Cheyenne, LJC Javelin M08 and Celebration; all three of which are marketed through major bull studs. We also own semen interest in the AI stud bulls Destination, Commitment, Norseman King and Packer.
Cedar Hill Farm has been a cooperator with RA Brown Ranch in Throckmorton, TX since 1991 and many of our top performing bull calves sell in their annual bull sale the second Wednesday of October. A significant number of our Red Angus cattle descend from an original group of 28 head of females we selected from RA Brown Ranch. Many of our herd sires have also come from RA Brown Ranch because we believe in the integrity of the Brown breeding program.