Yesterday as I watched online the Rocky Mountain High sale that averaged a strong $9776, this year hosted by Rocky Mountain Holsteins and I found myself missing being there very much. Not because there were some great cattle selling, which there was, and not because there were some great buys to be had, which there were, but rather because of the showmanship and the western hospitality.
I can still remember when my brother first went to work for Alta Genetics and had the amazing opportunity to work with Dr. David Chalack and the AltaGen program. One of the key responsibilities he had was working on the annual sale to be held each summer in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede, which has now morphed into the Rocky Mountain High sales series.
It was there that I learned there is nothing really like western hospitality, or the show that Dr. David and the team put on. From the line dancers dancing to the John Michael Montgomery song “sold” that opened the sale to the shootout in the middle of the sale to make sure that everyone is still alert, they really made things memorable.
It was also at that sale that we really started getting into purchasing top index cattle. My mother and I had been given a budget of $10,000 to purchase that would be the foundation of our breeding program. After much homework and careful consideration we purchased Summershade Icemarti, a Ricecrest Marty (thanks Ron) from the then #1 LPI cow Summershade Icebreak Luke for the ripe sum of $11,000.
Then the whole western hospitality combined with auction fever hit and we kept purchasing more. We purchased AltaGen Mattie Jenni, Altagen Marty Shari and 2 other animals. And it was a good thing we did. Icemarti, did not score VG as a 2yr old, a kiss of death at that time, and she was not a prolific flusher. So the ROI on her was not very good. However, Mattie Jennie did score VG as a 2yr old and that combined with a show heifer we purchased at the sale from Willswick did at least manage to salvage the trip. It was also there that we learned that you either go big or go home, and lead to us purchasing Rietben Con Carmel, a Convincer out of the now EX Rudolph sister to Freelance and Goodluck at the Royal Sale of Stars that year, who would become a top index and foundation cow for our breeding program.
For many breeders a trip to the Rocky Mountain High series sales is a highlight of their summer. They get to see great cattle, a great show and have a great time. With Dr. David’s strong involvement in the Calgary stampede you can bank on having a great time.
The Rocky Mountain Holsteins team, and more recently with the Morsan involvement, the RMH series of sales, has proven to have some of the best cattle in the world to offer. It has become a mainstay on the top list of sales each year, and is always presented with no expense spared.
I almost shed a tear watching how things are changing. My brother is now moving to The Netherlands to be closer to the corporate executive team, my “farm” is in Vaughan Ontario and I ask myself if I will be able to make future sales. My answer is, “Hell yes!” The west will continue to win my heart with the great cattle sale and hold it with the rodeo, races and hospitality!
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