Success Builds Success -
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Wild Oak's Marketing Strategies
Cherryl, who has served on the Board of Directors for Central
State Beefmasters Breeders Association, Arkansas Beefmasters
Breeders Association and on various BBU Committees, said her
background in marketing gives her a strategic edge in the highly
competitive beef industry. One of the biggest challenges she faces
is effectively marketing her seedstock and commercial animals
since they have different channels of distribution. Their website,
has brought sales from across the nation.
Cattlemen in the Southeast like black cattle, and the Fortes are
developing a black Beefmaster herd without sacrificing quality or
breed traits. "This process has been slow because we do not want to
sacrifice any quality for color," Cherryl said.
is Johne’s free”, Cherryl said. They recently participated in
the state-funded Johne’s testing program. She also said that the key
to good, healthy cattle are mineral supplements. They practice
regular de-worming, vaccinations and use a combination of minerals,
permethrin and ear tags to control flies. "We are also very
fortunate to have two outstanding local veterinarians who work with
us," Cherryl said.
the most effective feeding practices the Fortes use is keeping cows
with similar needs together. “A first calf heifer won’t get in
there and fight at the feed trough with the other cows,” Cherryl
explained. Wild Oaks Farm also groups the cows according to
lactation cycle, and feed range cubes and creep when needed. While
building their seedstock operation, they have started contracting
the hay and grazing their hay land.
Toby said they have been using embryo transfers (ET)
seriously for the last two years, using their Beefmaster females for
recips. He said that although the price of an ET calf adds
$500 to the cost of a conventional calf, the profit potential far
outweighs the cost. “By using AI and ET we are able to breed for
selected traits and jump ahead two to four generations yearly,” he
Their embryologist is Dale Whitaker, of Geiger AL, whom Cheryl said
is “the best in the business”. Their success rate supports their
claim with an 83 percent pregnancy rate on their best flush and an
overall average of 65 percent to 68 percent.
month Wild Oaks Farm will start carcass ultrasound testing in their
breeding stock. The data will be a breeding development tool
since it provides an actual IMF (intramuscular fat) and rib eye
score, unlike EPDs based on predictability. Toby and Cherryl
travel across the nation to buy the best donor females they can
find. “We are developing one of the strongest Beefmaster herds
in the nation. Our main focus is to increase farm profitability by
developing those traits in our commercial and purebred cattle,"
Cherryl said. They also have access to one of the best bulls in the
US. Their herd bull, Crown Prince 920, was the
2006 National Beefmaster Bull Grand Champion.
Toby and Cherryl make every
effort to learn from other producers. When they tour
operations around the country, they always ask “what are the best
and worst things that have been done?”
"Success builds on success," Cherryl said.
Please note that these are not the cow photos originally published
in the article.
3rd Production Sale,
A Rip-Roaring Success!
Trent Cromer and
Harold Pinkerton entertain
royally at the
with the Bluegrass
Wild Oaks Farms,
76/0 King Cotton x