Tom Lynch of Heartland Cattle Company, New Hampton, Iowa, has been named as Iowa's Seedstock Producer of the Year. The coveted award, sponsored annually by the Iowa Beef Breeds Council, is being awarded to Tom Lynch on Monday, February 12, 2007 at the Expo Kick-Off Program; which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the cattle barn foyer at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. All friends of Tom Lynch and the Iowa Beef Expo are invited to attend.
The Seedstock Producer of the Year is a coveted award among Iowa's Purebred breeders. The purpose of the award is to honor outstanding cattle producers in the seedstock industry. Each Purebred Breed Association is given the opportunity to nominate one candidate for the award. Applications are reviewed by a Seedstock Committee, which gives careful consideration to producers programs in their entirety, including record keeping, industry participation and leadership, merchandising programs, selection criteria and herd improvement over time.
Tom and Cora Lynch own Heartland Cattle Company near New Hampton, Iowa. They have a cow herd of primarily Simmental cows with a few Angus and Charolais. The Lynches started their business in 1979 and have kept performance records for 25 years. They have expanded their business since their son, Kirk, joined the operation after he graduated from Iowa State University in 2002.
The Lynches work closely with their customers who are interested in age and source verification for feeder or fed cattle premiums. The Lynches have also started a buy-back program for calves produced by their bulls in which they furnish carcass data to the calves' owners.
The Lynches marketing program for the bulls they sell each year includes the ICA bull test program, private treaty sales, and consignment sales. They are founding members of the Hawkeye Simmental Sale group, which holds annual sales. For the first time, the Lynches recently held their own female production sale in early November 2006, selling bred heifers and cows and show heifer prospects.
The Lynches are active in many cattle and breed associations and within their community. They have influenced dozens of young cattlemen and women by serving on the Iowa Junior Simmental Association as advisors and on the Chickasaw County 4-H Youth Committee while their four children were growing up. Tom has served on the Chickasaw County Fair 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction as superintendent for 22 years. Cora has served on their local school board and chaired school fund-raisers for many years.
In their own words here is a brief historical review of their seedstock operation:
Our cattle and farm operation, has always involved family. Our first registered cattle were purchased to raise calves for 4-H projects for our oldest two children. The herd developed into raising and selling a few steers and heifers for other youth projects. As our children became older and shared more responsibility, our registered herd grew. First started testing our bulls with IBIA when Jim Glenn was manager, and have tested bulls with IBIA and ICA ever since. Our youngest son Kirk is now very involved in our cattle operation.
Being able to interact with my customers is one reason that I love this business. The cattle are very important, but this is a people business. Our customers and their profitability are important to us. Some of our goals are to become more involved with our customers operations. In the short term, offering EID tags to our customers that would like to use them to age/source verify their calves for feeder or fed cattle premiums. We have also started to offer a buy-back program for calves produced by our bulls and then furnish carcass data back to the producer on those calves. Presently we finish and collect data on all raised heifers and steers that are not used as breeding animals. Plans are to increase our use of embryo transplant program. Our first Production Female Sale will be November 5th in Waverly. One key to our growth and success is customer services.