Mehlhoff 5L Red Angus


Dear Friends, 

We are honored to welcome you to 5L Ranch for our annual “Right for the Times” Spring Bull Sale. 
5L Red Angus is a seedstock operation that is the size of a relatively large commercial herd. Again this spring, we’ll breed nearly 2000 females, and then pair those cattle out to grass that spreads some 300 miles from West Yellowstone to Great Falls. As our operation has grown, we’ve had to become more adaptable, more efficient, and ultimately more like the large commercial ranching operations we serve. Hopefully, the miles we’ve walked in our customers’ shoes make us a better seedstock supplier. 
We continually strive to improve our genetic infrastructure with cattle that are more efficient, problem free, profitable and Adapt-a-Bull. For example, we take 1000+ cows in November-December to a winter pasture unit 70 miles SW of the ranch where they do their own “feeding” with only protein supplementation. That’s the way we make feeding “fun”. We believe cows with that WideBody shape can consume enough low quality forage. They are the engine that drives profitability at 5L – just as they are for our customers. Visiting ranchers that drive around that winter range “get” the 5L program. Doing more with less is a requirement at 5L. 
We also breed a lot of heifers – over 500 annually. Over the years we figured out we’re much “smarter” cattlemen when we select females after they’ve bred, calved unassisted, rebred on time and weaned a calf. This also improves the validity of our data by removing selection bias from important traits such as Heifer Pregnancy, Maternal Calving Ease, and Stayability. 
We believe simultaneously testing our cowherd against the environment while making them compete against a full strength regiment of our most advanced genetics ultimately results in supplying our customers with the genetics that give them the best opportunity for cowherd profitability. While much of our selection has focused on eliminating costly failures in the cowherd, we have an annually increasing R&D budget aimed at building reputation feeder cattle through post-weaning genetic merit and improved predictability. Annually, we feed loads of our own cattle – leveraging the knowledge and experience of our cattle feeding partners and the harvest data we collect to identify genetics that indicate improved gain, conversion, quality grade and yield. Retained ownership dovetails into our long-standing commitment to ultrasound data on both yearling bulls and replacement heifers so that almost every animal born at 5L makes some contribution to our improved knowledge of the genetics of feedlot performance and carcass value. The price of this R&D is scary! But it is responsible for some of the truly unique carcass and cowherd outliers wearing a 5L prefix. 5L Defender 560-30Z is one of the results of this dedicated pursuit of improvement through selection pressure and knowledge. 10 years ago, one couldn’t find bulls that are thick, deep, easy fleshing and had top of the breed carcass qualities. No longer does IMF and REA have to be antagonistic. The paradigm has been broken. 
You will notice the presentation of information in our catalog has changed. We have grouped traits according the the segment of production they impact. Specifically post-weaning traits are pulled aside, and ADG is presented as an EPD. Our industry has long used yearling weight EPD as an selection tool for post weaning growth, but of course that strategy is confounded by the inclusion of weaning weight as part of yearling weight. Yearling weight is also a somewhat arbitrary point in time where calf feds haven’t crossed a scale since weaning and yearlings are often way beyond 365 days before a relevant weight is taken. But gain is always relevant – whether steers on feed in Nebraska, yearling on wheat in the Texas Panhandle or replacements getting ready to breed off of grass in Virginia. Thus in an effort to present the information that truly impacted rancher profits, we pulled the Post-weaning gain component out of yearling weight, and present it as Average Daily Gain (ADG) – terminology we all understand. 
And, we’re not taking our foot off the R&D pedal!. Also new for 2015, every bull and female going through our sale – as well as our own replacements – will have enhanced accuracy EPDs due to our utilization of genomic data. (Some may not make it in time for the catalog, but we’ve been assured it will be available prior to sale day). This doesn't make individual bull’s EPDs better, in fact for every EPD that improves another bull’s will most likely decline. But we do this because the science is available and we are committed to giving our customers the most meaningful information – so they can make the best informed selection decisions.

We thank you for your confidence in our program and we understand that your support allows us to continue our endeavor of constructing genetic solutions for your ranching challenges. We also wish to thank our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ for His everlasting, unfailing and sacrificial love and the daily provisions of nourishment, strength, courage & wisdom to carry on the mission He has afforded us, along with His faithful guiding of our steps on the path of life’s journey. Please come early, look at the bulls and be with us for supper on Thursday evening. Dr. Wade Shafer, CEO of American Simmental Association will be on hand for an evening of good food, fellowship and the opportunity to better understand the genetics of profitable beef production. 

The very best to you and yours, 

The Larry Mehlhoff family

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