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Heifer sellsfor $15,000

By Heather Thorstensen

hthorstensen@agrinews.com

CHATFIELD — Gabe Chase of Chatfield doesn’t remember much of what it was like in the sale ring at his first ever auction — the Cowtown Classic during the Fort Worth Stock Show on Jan. 30 in Texas.

Bids were coming for his bred Simmental heifer so quickly, he didn’t have time to register them in his head.

The bids climbed all the way to $15,000, making his heifer, EKHCC Red Jewel 760T, one of the second-highest selling lots of the 71 sold.

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Pine Ridge Simmentals of Valdosta, Ga., and Rew Ranch of Lenexa, Ky., partnered to purchase Red Jewel. They will use her as a donor cow, meaning they’ll harvest her eggs to impregnate other cows.

Sale manager Doug Parke of Kentucky said Chase, 21, was worried about coming into the event as a young producer from Minnesota, but Parke assured him the sale would be determined on the heifer’s qualities.

The heifer was born April 25, 2007. She weighs 1,530 pounds and is due to calve April 15.

He purchased her from Nate and Ted Kaehler, who raise cattle at their father’s place, Ed Kaehler’s Homedale Cattle Company in Eyota. Red Jewel was Grand Champion Heifer in the open Simmental show at Wisconsin’s World Beef Expo last September and took the Reserve Champion Simmental Heifer title at Minnesota Beef Expo in October.

Chas wanted to attend because the sale was held in conjunction with the 2009 National Simmental Show, making it a perfect networking opportunity for the young producer.

Chase is in his second year of farming. He completed a year of college at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus but he missed being away from the farm, so he left to start his own operation.

He’s always wanted to farm, and knows that it wouldn’t be possible without a lot of help from family, friends and a banker who didn’t turn him down when, at age 19, he asked for a sizable loan.

Last week, he bought 50 cattle, doubling his herd from 50 to 100 head. He bought his first 50 head from his maternal grandparents, Bob and Rose Heim of Chatfield. They keep Chase’s herd on their farm and lend equipment and Bob helps with chores. Chase rents land from his paternal grandparents, Dick and Dorothy Chase of Chatfield, who are retired from farming. They live in town, so Chase plans to move into their farmhouse. He’s also enrolled in the Farm Business Management program through Riverland Community College in Austin.

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Chase has 200 acres of pasture, but hopes to find more in the future and add a few cows every year.

He’ll use the money from Red Jewel to keep farming. His Grandpa Heim has been at it for more than 50 years now, he said, and he hopes to be farming just as long.

Agri News is a weekly agricultural newspaper published by the Post-Bulletin Company, LLC.

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