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Bull Sale this weekend
  by LEE JUILLERAT | Herald and News 2/6/14

followed by Bull sale brings new genes to Klamath herds

  H&N file photo by David Martinez

Just like “Romance,” the Superbowl commercial about a bull that tickled the nation’s funny-bones, more than 120 bulls will be searching for new homes at the 54th annual Klamath Bull Sale.

   Once again, buyers and sellers are converging at the Klamath County Fairgrounds for the sale, which steps into high gear today and runs through Sunday.

   Organizers say 36 bull consignors from throughout Oregon and California, along with one from Washington, will have 122 bulls up for bid at the sale. Handling the sale will be auctioneers Eric Duarte and Trent Stewart.

   Duarte, who went to auctioneering school in 1980 — “I’m revealing my age,” he laughs — is a familiar figure around the Klamath Basin and the West. As an auctioneer he’s worked livestock sales over a broad region and has finished in the top 10 in national and international competitions.

   “Everybody’s got their own personal chant,” he says of the fast-paced chatter he and other auctioners use. “It keeps the momentum up, the pace up … You want to clip right along, to keep everybody involved.”

   Along with being the bull sale’s auctioneer, Duarte will be in the arena for Sunday’s Klamath Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo. He and two Sprague River area friends, Victor Madrigal and Troy Brooks, will compete as members   of the Sprague River Ranches team.

   “My team, we’ve been together for a while,” Duarte says. “We just work together a lot, trade labor, help each other.”

   Different members of the trio will trade the lead in some events, including bronc riding and calf roping, and work as a team for the cattle counting, sorting, ranch doctoring and show horse events.        “It’s all stuff that’s done on a ranch,” Duarte explains.

   Ranch rodeos are similar to rodeos most people see at the Klamath County Fairgrounds, Lake County Round-Up and traditional rodeos, but with a difference. Ranch rodeo participants however, use the same equipment and tack used on the ranch, while traditional rodeos use specialized tack and riggings. The goal of ranch rodeos is to offer events and skills used in everyday cattle ranching operations.

   Duarte’s team competed at a ranch rodeo in Red Bluff, Calif., two weeks ago, one of several events they participate in during the season.

   On Sunday, the Sprague River Ranches team will be one of 26. While most teams are from the Klamath Basin, others are coming in from around Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada and,   possibly, Washington.

   The focus of the extended weekend is Saturday’s Bull Sale, which begins at noon in the fairgrounds Bull Barn.

   “We’re going to have a lot of bulls,” said bull sale chairman Jason Chapman, a third generation Klamath Basin rancher.

   But Chapman and Glenda Stilwell, president of the Klamath Cattlemen’s Association, believe the wide variety of activities — including cow dog trials, a western trade show, horse auction, barbecues, kids goat branding, open team branding, silent auction, big loop contest and, of course, the ranch rodeo — should entice families and others with or without ranching or agriculture backgrounds.

   “We’ve got a great crew, a great group of volunteers who pull off the sale,” Stilwell said of people from ranch-related families who   will make the extended weekend more than just a bull sale.

   Like the Duartes, Stilwell and her husband, Lee, will participate in more than one activity. The Stilwells will have bulls in the auction and participate in the replacement heifer sale, which will be after Saturday’s Bull Sale and Water for Life Sale.

   While the Stilwells enjoy being part of the group that makes the bull sale happen, they also appreciate the sale as a chance to promote their own products.

   “We like it (the bull sale) as a way to get our genetics and program in front of a larger audience,” Stilwell said of being a seller. “We appreciate having the sale close to home.”

   For more about the Klamath Bull Sale, visit the group’s website at  klamathbullsale.com  .




Bull sale brings new genes to Klamath herds

  At a recent sale, Bianchi said he spent $18,000 on one bull
  by SAMANTHA TIPLER, Herald and News 2/6/14 
     The United States has about the same number of cattle as it did in the 1960s, but it’s producing more beef with that cattle. How? By bringing in new genetics.

   That’s what Robert Bianchi is bringing to cow and calf ranchers in the Klamath area at the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale this week. The Gilroy, Calif., man brought four bulls to sell, purebred Charolais and Herefords.

   “The fastest way to change genetics is with bulls,” said Jason Chapman, a Klamath Cattleman’s Association member and bull sale chairman.  

   Klamath bull sale

   This year there will be 122 bulls up for bid at the Klamath bull sale. There are 36 consignors from Oregon, California and Washington here to sell.

   Bianchi said Wednesday he hopes to get $2,000 to $3,000 per bull. He has invested about $1,800 in each, depending on their age. The older bulls have cost more to keep. Bianchi owns the mothers and fathers of all four bulls, testifying to their genetics.

   Bianchi said he brings bulls from different parts of the country   to the buyers in Klamath.

   When he’s buying or selling, Bianchi looks at a bull’s legs and feet first.

   “The feet and legs to see if they can travel in the hills and rocky country,” he said.

   Then he looks at muscle, which equates to meat. Lastly he looks at disposition, both with people and other cattle.

   Preparation for sale starts as soon as the bull calf is weaned, Bianchi said, from the age of 9 months to 16 or 24 months, when they're ready to sell. He puts the bulls on the right feed, then grooms them to get them ready for the event.

   Two of Bianchi’s bulls are halter bulls, which means they will be washed and groomed again before they’re sold. The   range cows are sold as-is. He estimated he’ll spend 90 percent of his time this week prepping the halter bulls and 10 percent prepping the range bulls.

   Different bulls

   Chapman said there is a large difference in the bulls he may buy for his cow-calf herd, at $2,000 to $4,000, to the bulls Bianchi would buy. At a recent sale in Denver, Bianchi said he spent $18,000 on one bull. That bull brings new genetics and will likely breed to 70 cows per year. It also will produce semen for sale.

   The bulls that bull produces are the ones Bianchi brings to sell at places like Klamath.

   “I can’t afford to have $18,000 worth of genetics for   my 300 cows,” Chapman said.

   Bianchi has been in the purebred cattle business for 25 years and attending the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale for the last decade. He admitted he comes to the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale to make money. He called it one of the top sales in the area, second only to Red Bluff, which took place at the end of January.

   At the Klamath sale, he meets with buyers he has worked with for years, but also meets new people for business opportunities. By showing the four bulls he brought, buyers may contact him in the future for other bulls.

   “I like coming here to sell bulls and meet new buyers,” Bianchi said.
  H&N photos by Samantha Tipler

   Robert Bianchi brought four bulls to the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale this week, including this charolais bull and hereford bull.




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