It would have been easy for Jared Wareham to seek a career outside of agriculture. Raised in west-central Missouri by parents who were part of the baby-boom generation that migrated away from the farm, Wareham didn’t have the advantage of a traditional farm background. Still, he developed an affection for agriculture, and by the age of 15, the seeds of his goals for a career in agriculture were firmly planted. That’s when he purchased his first cows as part of an FFA project. By the time he reached his early 20s, Wareham’s career dreams were focused on the cattle business, and he began to establish his own operation in west-central Missouri.
Starting from scratch in agriculture takes a lot of determination and often demands a willingness to consider some unconventional concepts. Some of those nontraditional concepts are clearly visible to neighbors driving by Wareham’s grazing paddocks near Lowry City and Montrose, Mo. But most of his ideas and philosophies for building a successful cattle operation are less obvious, yet just as important.
Early each morning Wareham and his wife Jill can be found moving electric fence in his grazing paddocks, giving his herds fresh strips of forage to graze over the next 12 to 24 hours. One herd composed of 65 dry cows and aging bulls receives a fresh half-acre of fescue and clover daily. This aggressive approach to intensive grazing is commonly referred to as mob grazing, and it fits perfectly with Wareham’s management style.
A herd of 65 cows and yearling bulls can change the appearance of a half-acre paddock in a hurry. But that many animals also deposit a significant amount of manure in the pasture, and their hoof action disturbs those manure piles, disrupting fly life-cycles and speeding the return of nutrients back into the soil. Once the paddocks have been grazed, they will receive 90 to 120 days’ rest, depending on rainfall and other weather conditions.
Gaining maximum performance from forage also fits nicely with Wareham’s nontraditional objectives for his cattle. Because he recognized it could take decades to build a herd of purebred cattle with a solid reputation, Wareham joined Flying H Genetics as a cooperator herd and is now the Missouri regional affiliate. Flying H Genetics, owned by Dick and Bonnie Helms, Arapahoe, Neb., produces Gelbvieh, Balancer and Angus seedstock, as well as recently added SimAngus, Simmental and Red Angus genetics.
“Becoming a manager and cooperator with Flying H Genetics gave me resources and a plan on how to treat and service customers and market cattle,” Wareham says. “It also provided me with the opportunity to raise cattle for a highly reputable program that would have taken me years to do on my own.”
While Flying H Genetics has been selling bulls in southwestern Nebraska for many years, the first Missouri production sale was held last March at Joplin Regional Stockyards where 50 bulls were offered. Another 50 bulls will be offered for sale Oct. 25 in Kingsville, Mo. Both sales are advertised as “grown on grass” and “quality guaranteed.”
“We don’t raise bulls in a feedlot,” Wareham says. “Our ‘grown on grass’ program is designed to build athletes. It requires our bulls to be developed in fescue paddocks with a feed supplement that is specifically designed for a growing bull. They will appear hard, are not fat, can survive our tough summers, will live longer and work harder.”
Wareham says the Flying H bulls gain about 2.5 pounds per day on pasture and receive 8 to 10 pounds of supplement daily. The cattle are what he describes as “5.5- to 6-frame, with good growth and deep bodies and good fleshing ability.”
Flying H Genetics publishes EPDs and DNA, from tests conducted by Bovigen and Igenity, to describe the bulls in their sale catalog. Wareham says they also produce a DVD with 15 seconds of video on each bull so that potential buyers can view the animals without actually attending the sale. Customers can then conveniently buy over the phone and continue working with the knowledge that their bulls will be delivered expediently at Flying H’s expense.
“It is our goal to offer expanded options to the beef producers within our regions by providing them with a quality-guaranteed product, valuable services and a 100 percent guarantee,” Wareham says.
For more information, go to www.flyinghgenetics.com.