The old stigma of the Limousin breed is that they are crazy. Some ranchers won’t buy genetics with Limousin in them because way back in the day his grandpa had a Limousin cow that put him over the fence. Docility in the breed has dramatically changed. The association and the breeders have done an amazing job at correcting those genetics and producing quality cattle that have great disposition. I have seen no better example of this then when I visited Beckman Livestock and Farming in the heart of potato country in Idaho.
Located in the Snake River Valley of southeast Idaho, Wade and Vicki Beckman, along with their son, Sedar and his wife, Dana, work hard to raise Lim-Flex cattle and farm alfalfa and malt barley. The Beckman’s got their start in Limousin when they used a percentage Limi bull in 1979 on a group of commercial cows they had at the time. They liked how that first set of calves produced and decided to go to Denver for the National Western Stock Show to scope things out and determine if this was the right course of action for their operation. It only took a few days before they were sold on the Limousin breed.
Wade works full time for a fertilizer company in the area that keep his very busy. Their son, Sedar, does the day-to-day work (feeding, fencing, irrigating, doctoring, etc.), while Vicki is the eyes of the operation related to their 80 Lim-Flex and 20 Angus cows. This is why docility is of such value for them. When talking with us, Vicki stated she is “usually the only one working with the cattle day to day. They have to be calm enough for me to move by myself, especially when we are AI’ing and I am bringing them into the barn so Wade can breed them.” The running joke on the ranch and in the community is that these animals have been Beckmanized. I was able to experience this firsthand while walking through the pastures with Vicki and Dana. The calves actually wanted to come up to you so you could pet them.
One of the main reasons Wade loves the Limousin influenced cattle is their ability to withstand some pretty harsh environments. Most of their pastureland and the farmland around the community is irrigated land. Without irrigation, it is in fact a desert. Wade took me to one of their non-irrigated pastures and it was pretty bare. While we were walking around, he grins and chuckles saying, “pretty impressive these girls can make it on their own out here, huh?” That it was! I have seen bare country in southern Colorado, and this most definitely beat it. In order to make it on the Beckman ranch, the cows need to have some guts and capacity to them with good feet or else they just won’t make it in those dry conditions.
Along with having to battle the land they graze; Beckman’s cattle also have to battle the stigma that they aren’t Angus. Wade won’t give up on the Limousin influence because he feels it gives his cows and calves and extra edge even if others refuse to see it. In order to stay relevant deep in the heart of Angus country, the Beckman’s have tried to make a “pure” Lim-Flex cow by breeding the F1 Lim-Flex crosses together. He likes this because it keeps them able to handle the environment well and gives growthy calves, but also keeps the marbling in them. This is necessary for him to be able to compete with the Angus breed.
Wade and family pair up with two other Angus breeders, Rim Rock Angus and Adams Angus Acres, to make Snake River Valley Genetics. They each offer bulls for sale in March and they are going on their 9th year. Beckman will offer 20 to 25 Lim-Flex bulls and 4 or 5 Angus bulls in the sale. This past October, the coop offered their first female sale. Wade would love to be able to have a sale of his own, but they don’t have the numbers to justify it and teaming up with some Angus breeders helps market his cattle.
It was a true joy getting to know this family and see this operation. When asked about why he stays in the Limousin breed when he could probably make more money running Angus cows, he smiled and said, “I love what these cattle offer, and I love the people that stay dedicated to them.”
Limousin cattle deliver to your bottom line. With superior genetics, a simple crossbreeding plan and state-of-the-art selection tools, the Limousin breed will serve profit-minded cow/calf producers. In today’s competitive markets, taking advantage of all available opportunities is key. The Limousin breed offers a variety of options from Fullblood to Purebred to the Lim-Flex® hybrid (Limousin x Angus cross) to match your program’s needs and market goals. Crossbreeding for the right blend of muscle, maternal ability and profit is easy with Limousin seedstock.