Birmingham, Ala. The Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA) recently named the 2012 Commercial Producer of the Year during their Annual Meeting and Awards Program held in conjunction with the 70th Annual Alabama Cattlemen's Association Convention in Birmingham.

Rosen's XL Farm of Tuscaloosa, owned by Gordon and Ann Rosen and managed by Miguel Ruiz, was honored as the Alabama BCIA 2012 Commercial Producer of the Year. Gordon Rosen graduated from high school in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and while in Fort Sumner, a father of a friend of Mr. Rosen was the manager of the XL ranch. While on the XL Ranch in the 1930s, a love of ranching and cattle handling was instilled in Gordon Rosen. He adopted the XL brand for his own cattle operation in Tuscaloosa, in which he uses today. Gordon Rosen began raising cattle in a modest way in 1968 and acquired more cattle after expanding his acreage by acquiring larger farms. He joined the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association (AL BCIA) in the late 1990's. The AL BCIA program provided the basics for record keeping and the knowledge to improve the performance and productivity of his cowherd. XL Ranch consists of 90 Simmental and Angus cross cows grazing 340 acres of pasture consisting of bermuda, bahia and tall fescue grasses and seasonal grazing with planted ryegrass, crimson clover and annual crabgrass. Throughout the year, limit, rotational and strip grazing and also stockpiling are all utilized to maximize forage resources.

A fall calving season, to capture market advantage for feeder cattle, begins in late September and goes through early December. In the fall of 2012, 82 percent of the cows calved in the first thirty days. Artificial insemination (AI) has allowed this higher percentage of the calf crop to be born early in the calving season. This herd's success was achieved through careful selection of both culling and replacements, extensive use of AI, utilization of a forage based program and, of course, meticulous record keeping. Rosen's XL Farm has been honored by Alabama BCIA with earning numerous BCIA Gold Star Cow Awards. Rosen's XL Farm will also be nominated by the Alabama BCIA for the national Beef Improvement Federation's 2013 Outstanding Commercial Producer of the Year Award.

The Alabama BCIA is a non-profit organization seeking to promote, educate and facilitate the use of performance data, record keeping and marketing opportunities to improve the Alabama cattle industry. Formed in 1964, BCIA currently cooperates with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System of Auburn University under a formal agreement.

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