The North American Limousin Foundation has three award programs to recognize individuals or companies who promote the Limousin breed. These awards are Seedstock Producer of the Year, Commercial Producer of the Year, and Limousin Promoter of the Year. The awards are presented annually at the NALF membership banquet held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show.
This year, three great programs were recognized for their efforts to further advance the Limousin breed through their individual endeavors. Gates Limousin, Roscoe, Mont., received the Seedstock Producer of the Year award. Timber Stream Cattle Co., LLC, McClelland, Iowa, was named Commercial Producer of the Year. And receiving the Limousin Promoter of the Year was MC Marketing Management, Dakota Dunes, S.D. These awards were presented on Monday, January 9, 2017 at the annual Limousin convention.
Seedstock Producer of the Year
The Seedstock Producer of the Year award is also known as the Limousin Commercial Marketing Booster of the Year. The award is open to anyone who has produced Limousin seedstock and has maintained an active NALF membership for at least three years.
Gates Limousin is a family owned and operated ranch located in the shadows of the Beartooth Mountains in southern Montana. The Gates family has run a commercial cow-calf operation in Stillwater and Sweetgrass Counties of Montana for more than 50 years. The ranch has used Limousin bulls since 1975.
The seedstock operation began in 2002 when Mary Gates bought her first registered female. Since that time they have put together a performance based Limousin and Lim-Flex registered herd to complement the commercial females. With a focus to add genetics that look as good on paper as they do in the pasture, the Gates Limousin registered herd has experienced modest but guided growth.
Gates Limousin is a LIMS member and utilizes genomic testing. They focus on producing performance bulls that work for commercial cattlemen. Bulls and select females are marketed by private treaty sales.
The Gates Limousin philosophy is, “If the bulls we raise aren’t good enough for use on our own commercial herd, we wouldn’t think about selling them to our customers.”
Today the ranch is operated by Mary, her son Gary and his wife Brandi. Gary and Brandi’s daughters Avery and Destiney, plus son-in-law Levi Phingsten are also active in the ranch. Mary’s husband Bill was very active and had a passion for their Limousin cattle until his death in August of 2015, five weeks before celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
Commercial Producer of the Year
Timber Stream Cattle Co., LLC is owned by the Guttau Family and managed by Joshua Guttau. While Joshua’s father and grandfather both had cow-calf operations, it was Joshua who brought the Guttau family ‘knee deep’ back into the cow-calf operation in 1990. It started as a 4-H breeding heifer project purchased from Joshua’s uncle’s cow herd located on the original family homestead. The herd grew to 75 head, which Joshua managed with his brother-in-law who farmed and took care of the day to day activities. This arrangement lasted for 20 years, allowing Joshua to earn his education and help advance the families banking operation.
The operation is now located in two places, 20 miles apart. Both locations, at one time, were originally owned and settled by Joshua’s ancestors. It is a diversified farming operation consisting of row crops, timber, corn silage, and pasture. The cow herd consists of 500 commercial Angus, Lim-Flex, and Hereford black baldies. Bulls are Limousin and Lim-Flex purchased from Vorthmann Limousin and at the Iowa Beef Expo.
The bulls selected must meet strict EPD criteria. Weaning and yearling weight EPDs must be in at least the top 30 percent of the breed, preferably the top 15 percent. Calving ease and birth weight are balanced with growth numbers – something the Guttaus feel comfortable doing only because of the easy calving of the Limousin breed. Also, they select bulls that have a $MTI in the top 20 percent of the breed or better. Visual appraisal including phenotype and preferences towards homozygous black are also considered.
The top 25 percent of the heifers are retained. Calves are backgrounded to 550 to 750 pounds before sending to feedlots for finishing or marketing through Dunlap Livestock Auction.
Limousin Promoter of the Year
MC Marketing Management has emerged as the premier Limousin consulting and marketing firm in the United States. It is owned by Kiley McKinna.
MC Marketing manages and consults for many sales across North America. While Kiley’s main emphasis is selling cattle, he is committed to honestly represent what he is selling and marketing, making sure it fits the buyers’ expectations. Kiley works closely with Limousin breeders to enhance their programs. He truly cares about both the buyer and the seller interests.
Prior to establishing MC Marketing Management, Kiley had a successful career as a representative for Limousin World magazine. He saw the need to aid in the marketing of Limousin cattle, leading him to start his own marketing firm.
Kiley is known for his ability to meet, greet, and make people feel good about themselves, always showing positive attitude. Kiley has a passion and energy for the breed and for marketing Limousin and Lim-Flex cattle. Honesty, integrity, pleasant personality, and sincere care and concern for everyone he has contact with are a few of the adjectives to describe Kiley. He handles his business in a professional manner.
In addition, since the inception of MC Marketing Management, Kiley has been a major contributor to both junior and adult benefit fundraisers for the Limousin breed.
In his letter of recommendation for the nomination, Mark Smith of Grassroots Genetics and Consulting writes, “Kiley has continued to show enthusiasm and devotion to the Limousin breed for many years, and has constant devotion to the business and its breeders is enjoyable to watch. Not only has he established a business devoted to merchandising Limousin cattle, he continues to work within the breed to make it better and to spread the word.”
1- Gates Limousin, Roscoe, Mont., received the 2017 Seedstock Producer of the Year award. Picture is the Gates family: Gary, Avery, Destiney, and Brandi.
2- Joshua Guttau from Timber Stream Cattle Co., LLC was awarded the 2017 Commercial Producer of the Year, presented by Joe Epperly, NALF assistant executive director.
3- The 2017 Limousin Promoter of the Year is Kiley McKinna with MC Marketing Management (right). The award was presented by Roger Vorthmann (center) and they are pictured with Joe Epperly.