Miss., April 19, 2006 — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored Harlan and Dorotheann Rogers with the Pioneer Award during the organization's 38th annual meeting April 18-21 in Choctaw, Miss. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle.
Harlan Rogers is the founder of Rogers Bar HR, which is located 100 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in Collins, Miss. He and his wife, Dorotheann, began a lifelong partnership more than 50 years ago. Both have been recognized on local, state and national levels for their contributions to the improvement of cattle.
In 1959 Harlan completed dental school, and he and Dorotheann moved back to Collins. Harlan started ranching with 27 acres of inherited land, four half-breed Charolais cows and one young bull. In 1961 he began performance testing his herd and has diligently worked to improve the Charolais breed since then.
Harlan and Dorotheann live on their 2,500-plus-acre ranch in Covington County where they manage about 500 registered Charolais cattle. Their four sons also live and are involved in various businesses in Covington County. Oby studied law and now has a practice in Collins; Bernie manages his own backgrounding operation; Doug, a West Point graduate, has become the managing partner of Rogers Bar HR; and Joey has assumed his father's dental practice. All four are still involved in the cattle business.
The family hosts two sales annually, one in March and one in May. Their air-conditioned sale barn, built in 1975, has hosted 60 sales to date. Dorotheann handles all advertisements for the ranch and is the sale manager.
Harlan has been performance-testing his Charolais herd since 1961. Pedigrees in the Rogers Bar HR herd are stacked with accurate trait leaders. They have 156 females in the top one percent of the breed for Total Maternal and 117 females in the top one percent of the breed for Milk.
Rogers Bar HR bulls have won central bull tests in South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Montana and Alabama (forage and grain). The ability to gain rapidly is important because it is closely related to feed efficiency — the most important trait in the feedlot.
Rogers Bar HR DNA-types herd sires for tenderness and marbling markers. They are now in the process of testing their top cows and have plans to test all of their cattle in the near future.
The Rogerses currently oversee a stocker operation through which they background more than 10,000 head a year and develop several hundred commercial Brangus replacement heifers. Adding diversity, their commercial operation has also kept them in tune to the needs of commercial cattlemen and feedlots where they feed several thousand head. They have worked to increase rate of gain, feed efficiency, marbling and calving ease in their Charolais herd. It has always been their belief that the purpose of the seedstock breeder is to produce a product that is beneficial and helpful to the commercial cattlemen.
Harlan has been president of many organizations, including the Covington County Cattlemen, Mississippi Charolais Breeders, Mississippi Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA), Southeast Charolais Breeders Association and American-International Charolais Association (AICA). He has served as a director of the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association; Forrest County Cooperative; Mississippi Federated Cooperative; and SF Services, a large regional cooperative in Little Rock, Ark.
He was named the 1985 Mississippi Cattleman of the Year, and in 2003 received the Mississippi Network Louis N. Wise Award for Mississippi Cattle Farmer of the Year. In 2005 he was selected as the AICA Seedstock Producer of the Year and was awarded the Mississippi Livestock Environmental Stewardship Award.
Says Harlan, “There is no higher form of art, nor a more pleasing task, than that which deals with the genetic manipulation of an animal's genes in a way that molds the resulting offspring into a creature that is pleasing aesthetically and performs to the expectations of the person who, with God's help, created it.”
BIF was formed as a means to standardize programs and methodology and to create greater awareness, acceptance and usage of beef cattle performance concepts. More information can be found on the organization's Web site, www.beefimprovement.org.