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  • Miranda Reiman, Angus Media

California Ranching, Cattle That Feed and Grade, and Hosting a Sale in the Shadow of 9/11

Dan and Ty Byrd join The Angus Conversation Dan and Ty Byrd join The Angus Conversation.

Byrd Cattle Company, Red Bluff, Calif., could be called a “show project gone right.”  

What started out as a small operation for Dan and Chris Byrd, with the kids involved in the National Junior Angus Association, has turned into a ranch that now supports two families and raises bulls primarily for commercial customers in the Western region. Son Ty Byrd is now back on the ranch with his family, and says he pairs his livestock judging experience with careful study of all the EPDs (expected progeny differences).    

There’s people that full-fledge believe in the data and believe in the numbers, and there’s people that would very much like to just throw all that out the window and look at the cattle,” says Ty Byrd, who manages the day-to-day herd management and breeding decisions. “To us, where those cattle become very, very, very valuable is if you can combine the two.” 

They also host a female sale and create embryos for Angus customers.  

The Byrds look at carcass data from their customers and feed efficiency measures they’ve collected for a long time.  

“It is hard,” Ty says. “It is expensive, but it is earth –shattering, the progression you can make and not just from a feedyard standpoint. But when you think about the fact that you can run more cattle on the same amount of ground and they’re still going to gain the same amount of weight — [it’s] very, very vital information.” 

The father-son duo say the best grazing land in the United States comes with its own set of challenges. From the state’s political climate to other land uses threatening to shrink their customer base, they know providing good genetics is only half of the strategy to getting repeat customers. They also help them get their calf crop sold, or walk them through verification programs. 

We help them through their marketing. If they have got the programs, we’re adding 20 and 30 cents to these cattle through Western Video Market sales,” Dan says. “You talk 30 cents on an eight-weight, that adds up in a hurry. So that really sets us apart.” 

Although he couldn’t have predicted where the show ring-focused program would take him, Dan says he just can’t help but feel grateful.  

"God has been good to us,” he says. “We have a wonderful family, two great kids, four great grandkids, unbelievable life — couldn’t be much better.” 

To hear everything from their stories on hosting a bull sale directly after 9/11 to which Byrd has aspirations of buying a jet, listen to, “A Show Project Gone Right: Byrds on California Ranching, Cattle That Feed and Grade, and Hosting a Sale in the Shadow of 9/11.” Search for The Angus Conversation in your favorite podcast platform, or follow this direct link.  


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