Next Step Cattle Company was recently established by a group by of 10 progressive Sim-Angus, Simmental and Angus breeders with over 150 years experience breeding superior cattle for beef producers in the Southeastern section of the United States. The goals of Next Step Cattle Company is to produce bulls that sire calves which will calve easy, wean heavy, demand top prices, and make top replacement females. These calves will also have the genetic ability to be profitable in the feedyard, produce a top quality carcass and provide the consumer with an enjoyable eating experience. Recently the bulls produced by these breeders were developed and marketed through the Sunshine Farms Bull Development Program.

The leadership team that will guide the Next Step Cattle Company has over 100 years of experience in education, research, breeding and marketing superior Simmental and Angus cattle for cattlemen in the Southeast. The team includes President; Jimmy Holliman from Marion Junction, Ala., who recently retired after 38 years at the Black Belt Research and Extension Center where he conducted Beef Cattle research with a large herd of Sim-Angus cows. Jimmy has been breeding Black Simmental cattle since 1982 and is presently serving as President of the Alabama Cattleman's Association, Treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Simmental Association. He previously served as President of the Beef Improvement Federation.

John Harrell from Opelika, Ala., is the manager of the Bull Development Center located near Auburn, Ala. John is a second generation Angus breeder and has 41 year experience breeding and marketing Angus cattle. He is presently serving as Director of the American Angus Association, Manager and Sale Chairman of the Firm Foundations Angus Female Sale. John and his partner, Mitch Lazenby, breed and market Angus cattle at the Highlander Ranch which has produced many high performing and top selling bulls in Alabama BCIA test.

Tommy Brown from Clanton, Ala., rounds out the team as Marketing and Genetic Director. Tommy spent 32 years with the Alabama Co-operative Extension Service as County Agent and Regional Livestock Agent where he developed and promoted many successful performance testing and marketing programs for beef cattle producers. After retiring from ACES, he has served as President of the Beef Improvement Federation, served two terms as Trustee of the American Simmental Association and recently as Marketing and Genetic Director for Sunshine Farms.

The bulls developed and marketed by Next Step Cattle Company will carry the boot brand which will assure their customers that these bulls will assist them in taking the next step in reaching their goals of producing profitable cattle. These bulls are selected from the production of over 500 cows which represent generations of selection based on a complete data base of records which include birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, ultrasound, frame score and calving intervals.

These breeders use the EPDs and Indexes from the American Simmental Association and the American Angus Associations to develop genetic lines that will simplify the selection process for their commercial customers. The genetic lines are:

NSSC H Plus Bulls (H+) - All Purpose and Heifer bulls

(H+) bulls are for customers with small cow herds which use a single bull to breed mature cows and replacement heifers. H+ bulls are also recommended for to use on virgin heifers. The H+ Bulls are selected for negative BW EPDs, calving ease, average growth and milk and a high ASA-API index.

NSSC C Plus Bulls (C+) – Power Bulls for mature cows

(C+) bulls are for customers with cow herds of 30 head and higher. These customers market top quality feeder steers in organized feeder calf and special marketing programs or custom feed their steers to market in premium carcass grids. They retain their replacement heifers and also market heifers for premiums as replacement females. The C+ bulls have average BW EPDs and above average growth and milk EPDs. C+ bulls will have above average ASA-API index and AA-Weaned Calf Value ($W).

NSSC T Plus Bulls (T+) –Terminal Bulls

(T +) bulls are for our customers that have large number of cows and sell or custom feed all their calves and buy their replacement females. The T+ bulls have above average BW EPDs with growth EPDs that are in the top 10 percent of the breed. They are also in the top 20 percent of the breed for Terminal Index (TI) or Beef Value ($B). These bulls are ideal for the Brahman influenced cowherds located throughout the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions.

The H+, C+, and T+ bulls all come with the convenience traits of being Black and Polled and have different % of Simmental and Angus genetics and frame size to fit the variations in our customers cowherds. Some bulls will have the EPDs and data to fit in one or more of the genetic lines. These bulls also have the following traits bred in to increase value of their progeny: Carcass Merit, Feed Efficiency, and Tenderness. The data used for selection of these traits are from the ASA Carcass Merit Program and the Angus Sire Alliance.

Next Step Cattle Company bulls will be developed and sold at the new bull development facility located 10 miles off I-85 near Auburn, Ala. Mark December 7, 2013 on your calendar for the annual Next Step Cattle Company Bull Sale at which 100 head of Sim-Angus, Simmental, and Angus will be offered. This is a superior genetic set of bulls that had the following performance averages at the start of the development program: Adj. BW 73 BWR 100 Adj 205 day WWt 659 WWR 103 Frame score 6.5. The bulls were weaned in June and are being developed on a ration of free-choice soyhull pellets and hay and are projected to gain 3.0 pounds per day. They are sorted in groups of 20-30 bulls and are running on 10-15 acre bahaigrass pastures.

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