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WSU/Washington Cattlemen’s Association Bull-Testing Program Underway

PROSSER, Wash. – Nearly 180 bulls from throughout the state are gathered here at the Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center for the annual bull test sponsored by WSU and the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. Sale date is March 26, 2008.

“The WCA/WSU bull test is a tradition that started 15 years ago,” said Robert G. Stevens, IAREC interim director and interim test manager for the project. “It is rooted in the industry’s desire to ensure the finest quality in cattle breeding stock.”

Rod Wesselman, a cattle industry leader who sits on the WCA board of directors, concurred, adding that the sale insures that “the best quality genetics get out there to better the entire cattle industry.”

Bull owners pay a fee per bull to enter the all-breed test where animals are tested on a high-forage diet, which is designed to permit bulls to express their genetic potential while ensuring they will be sound and ready to go to work for their buyers. A team of WSU and industry experts evaluate the animals for breeding soundness and performance.

Sale manager Gary Kendall of Kendall Cattle in Potlatch, Idaho, said the annual test and sale attract livestock breeders and buyers from all over the Pacific Northwest because “it’s convenient to have one spot for feeding, testing and the sale. And with the university’s backing, we know the testing is neutral.”

That process will be even easier this year, thanks to WCA members and county cattlemen’s associations who raised enough money to purchase a Gallagher electronic scale. Gallagher donated the electronic ear tags as well as matching visual tags for the bulls. A Powder River chute was donated by Powder River of Utah and Big R Stores of Spokane and Moses Lake.

“The generosity of the donors and the WCA is what has made this partnership so effective,” Stevens said.

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