TTU ag professor offers tips to beef bull sellers

Tennessee Tech University agriculture professor Sam Winfree, who’s studied beef bull buying trends across the state for more than 13 years, can offer some advice to sellers as well as buyers.

“Beef seedstock producers should be concerned about their reputations and about customer satisfaction,” he said. “Therefore, several pieces of information and guarantees should be expected when buyers are paying premium prices for premium quality breeding stock.”

• All purebred bulls are required to bear some form of permanent identification, such as a skin brand or permanent tattoo.

• Sellers should provide no less than the minimum guarantee provided by the breed association rules for fertility and reproductive soundness in that particular breed.

• Bulls should be guaranteed free from all applicable genetic defects as specified by the breed association.

• Bulls sold as pure black and pure polled should never sire red calves or calves with horns.

• Sellers should provide current scrotal measurements, frame size and fat thickness measurements, as well as a complete and current EPD profile.

• Bulls should be guaranteed free from brucellosis (Bangs disease) and Johnes disease and should be current on all routine vaccinations and recently de-wormed. A valid health certificate is always recommended, Winfree said.

• Information should be provided if a bull has been “foot trimmed,” and if so, how severely the feet were overgrown before trimming.

“Bull buyers not receiving a satisfactory amount of this information and a satisfactory ‘money back’ or ‘fair exchange’ guarantee should consider purchasing their seedstock elsewhere,” Winfree said.

“Sellers should appreciate discriminating, well informed buyers and should compete vigorously for potential customers. High quality bulls sold with adequate records and ethical intentions will produce nothing but customer satisfaction and repeat sales,” he concluded.

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