ALDIE, Va. — It’s not easy getting genetics from the long-deceased Leachmann Saugahatchee 3000C, said Dr. M.B. Rad, a first-time bidder at the Oct. 19 Whitestone Farm Fall Production Sale. And he paid $18,500 to take a Saugahatchee daughter, SH Blossom 0152, home to his Hidden Acres Angus in Amherst, N.Y.
Rad, who bid on the animals by phone from his farm, said he valued Blossom most for her sire, “dead for a long time now and his semen is extremely hard to come by. If I can find a Saugahatchee, I buy it,” he said.
The sale included 87 lots, which sold for a total of $562,400, an average price of $6,465 per lot.
Saugahatchee, born in 1986, is the Angus breed’s only 10-time All-American Premier sire.
As a plus, SH Blossom 0152 is due to deliver an SAV First Class 0207 calf next March.
A flush sister to SH Blossom 0152 was reserve junior heifer calf at the 2010 American Royal and supreme champion all breeds at the 2011 Michigan Winter Classic.
Rad got things off to a brisk start with the winning bid of $20,000 for the first cow in the ring, Whitestone Kem Y275, a 3-year-old daughter of SAV Final Answer 0035 and KEM 119 of Woodlawn. The top selling animal has already delivered two natural calves and is expecting a January calf by Whitestone Casanova Z037.
Rad said he liked the structure, pedigree and past performance of the Kem cow.
“She will enhance what I already have at the farm,” Rad said.
Casanova, Lot 1 in the 2011 spring bull sale at Whitestone, has been confirmed as a carrier of the developmental duplication recessive gene. His calf has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene.
Whitestone staff, led by manager Mark Duffell — celebrating his 25th year on the job — got test results the Friday night before the sale but never received them for 13 listed in the catalogue. An update sheet informed bidders that the 13 in question would be sold with the knowledge that they might carry the gene. All sales, buyers were told, would be final.
Rad purchased 16 lots in all, three of them from the DD pending list. Duffell said he discussed the purchases with Rad and told him that if he didn’t want to take possession of any of the three animals — two heifers and a 5-year-old cow — Whitestone would keep them.
Rad, who emigrated from Iran with his wife and son in 1972 and is a doctor of both medicine and dentistry, switched his highly successful Boer goat operation to cattle in 2010. Hidden Acres, on the banks of the Mohawk River, is now home to 300 brood cows and about 100 recipient cows. He will consign to several sales next year and said he hopes to host a Hidden Acres sale in 2015.
Rad’s purchases included two yearling bulls, both by Whitestone Black Arrow Z101, who topped the 2011 spring sale with a $150,000 bid by a partnership including Genex/CRI AI Stud.
Double R Bar Ranch in Plymouth, Ind., put up $18,000 for the third cow in the ring, Coleman Donna 022, sired by OCC Juneau 807J, a Pathfinder sire, who descends from DHD Traveler 6807. Donna is due to calve in February to SAV Thunderbird 9061.
Willard Bailey of Spotsylvania County took home seven bred cows, two expecting calves from Whitestone Black Arrow Z101, and all ranging in price from $3,000 to $3,800.
Another seven lots from the auction will be headed to Tanner Farms in Mississippi.
Dixie Noffsinger purchased five bred cows and one fancy heifer for her Kentwood Farm in nearby western Loudoun County. The heifer, Whitestone Everelda C167, sired by Connealy Consensus 7229 out of Sitz Everelda Entense 2665 — who brings in genetics from the world-record selling $300,000 Sitz Everelda Entense 023 and the legendary DHD Traveler 6807 — might steer Kentwood in a new direction.
“The genetics drew me to the bred ones,” Noffsinger said. “Also, their past production. Genetics also drew me to the heifer, you can see some of those genetics in other people’s show cattle. I don’t intend to show, but I wouldn’t be upset if one day that cow, when she’s bred, produced a show heifer that I could sell for bigger dollars.”
Paul Gragg and his son, Chris, went back to their Boone, N.C., farm with just one purchase, 4-year-old Whitestone Lady W81, due to deliver an SAV Record Harvest 2186 calf in January. The Graggs have been moving their herd to genetics that will thrive on grass and the cow’s genetics — including EXT and DHD Traveler 6807 — will fit right in with that plan.
The American Angus Association in the past few months has identified the recessive gene that causes Developmental Duplication, where calves are born with an extra leg, and has approved a test that identifies the gene. Angus breeders worldwide have rushed to get their herds tested.
The recessive gene must be present in both parents for the defect to appear in a calf. Statistically, if both parents carry the gene, 25 percent of the offspring will be completely normal, 25 percent will exhibit the defect and 50 percent will appear normal, but carry the gene.
If only one parent carries the gene, half of the offspring will be normal and not carry the gene, while the other half will appear normal but carry the gene.