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James Coffelt is the owner and president of Ohio Land and Cattle, a 5,000 acre ranch with 500 cows.
The ranch owned by James Coffelt is much more than a cattle ranch. It is also involved in land acquisitions and in the extraction and production of oil and gas through-out Ohio. The ranch also plays a role in timber and water sales to nearby oil and gas companies. Along with being a place to raise cattle, the ranch is a place where avid hunters can participate in trophy deer hunts.
There are more than 500 cows on the nearly 5,000 acre ranch. James Coffelt takes a slightly different approach to managing his cattle than other ranchers. Many ranches focus on production at the per-cow level. At Ohio Land and Cattle, the focus is on production per acre.
The ranch raises cattle for the Pharo Cattle Company, a ranch in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. Ohio Land and Cattle works as a co-op producer for Pharo. As a co-op producer, Ohio Land and Cattle provides Pharo with young, viable bull calves. Ohio Land and Cattle uses Black Angus females to produce the bull calves using semen of bulls from Pharo Cattle Company. As a co-op producer for Pharo, the ranch invites any of Pharo's customers to visit its breeding cows at any time.
Ohio Land and Cattle feeds the cows a diet limited to grass and hay. The point of doing so is to produce cattle that are able to thrive on a limited nutrition diet. Cows that do not thrive are removed from the herd early in life to improve the genetic quality of the herd.
James Coffelt, OH rancher, and Ohio Land and Cattle have expanded what it means to own a ranch. Early on, Coffelt discovered that the business model used by his ranch played a role in determining its output. Instead of focusing on production based on the size of his herd, he decided to focus on production based on the size of ranch and the amount of land available.
Without land, there can be no ranch, notes James Coffelt. That is why his ranch has focused on developing the land rather than on developing the cow. He has noted that developing the land is another way of developing cows. The ranch's-land based focus has decided the genetics of the cattle, the type of grazing model and the type of cow bred for.
Ohio Land and Cattle has bred cows that have specific genetic traits. The cows bred by James Coffelt, OH rancher, are able to stay in flesh all year on a diet of only hay and grass. The female cows produce a moderate amount of milk and are moderate in size, not too small and not overly large. Most importantly, the cows are able to produce a calf each year at the same time of year and without any
issues with the pregnancy or delivery.
Over the years, the ranch has culled cows as needed. Culling cows is a necessary part of owning and running a ranch. If cows are not culled, or removed from the herd, the herd stock becomes weakened over time. Culling takes advantage of evolution by removing cows that don't have good genetic traits from the herd. A cow might be culled if she is unable to produce a calf every year or she needs assistance during the birth or required medications.
Culling cattle also allowed James Coffelt, OH rancher, to determine the other ideal characteristics for cattle. It was found that cows who were of moderate size and milk production were able to produce a calf on a regular basis. These cows were also able to stay in flesh on a limited nutritional diet. It was found that taller, skinnier cows who produced considerably more milk were the ones that ended up in the culling pen.
The ranch also discovered that the smaller a cow was, the less food was required to keep her in good health. That meant that the ranch was able to stock more cows on the same amount of foraging space. The smaller cows also produced around 20 percent more calves than the bigger cows. The smaller cows’ calves were also smaller in size, which made them more desirable for buyers.
Female calves are kept for breeding, as long as they meet the requirements and are able to survive through the winter. After the female calves are weaned, they join their mothers in the herd. James Coffelt, OH breeds the heifers, or cows who have not yet had a calf, in the summer, usually in July or August. The mature cows are bred in June, before the heifers.
The cows are then ready to give birth the next May or June. The calving is held off until later in the spring to give the heifers plenty of time to eat grass before giving birth. If a heifer has difficulty delivering her first calf, she is no longer used for breeding.
The ranch uses the best bulls to breed cattle and avoids artificial insemination as much as possible. James Coffelt rancher, purchases top bulls. The bulls possess genetic traits that allow them to thrive in Ohio. When he purchases bulls, Coffelt looks for temperament, hair coat, calving ease, and masculinity.
The number of cows a bull can breed with depends on his age. A yearling bull will breed with up to 40 cows while an older bull will breed with up to 75 cows. At Ohio Land and Cattle, the breeding period lasts for 60 days, starting with the older female cows in June and ending with the heifers in August.
Pharo Cattle Company
One of the companies Ohio Land and Cattle bred bulls for is Pharo Cattle Company in Colorado. Pharo Cattle is owned by Kit and Deanne Pharo. The couple started their ranch in 1985, purchasing the commercial cowherd from Kit's father. The herd was made up of black baldy and red baldy cows. The cows had more than 30 years of pedigree information and more than 20 years of performance records.
The husband and wife team at Pharo Cattle aimed to improve on the cowherd by increasing the cow's production and weaning weight, but soon found that an increase in production wasn't the same as an increase in profits. The company's goal soon became to increase production without an increase in expenses and to reduce expenses while not reducing production. The goal was to protect the cattle farm from bankruptcy, which is a common problem among farmers.
Pharo cattle sold seven bulls during its first production sale in 1990. Since that time it has partnered with a number of cooperative producers, including James Coffelt and his Ohio ranch. The farm currently sells more than 200 bulls every year.
Ohio Land and Cattle isn't just for raising cows. The ranch is also managed to allow for trophy hunting of white-tailed deer. One of the outfitters who has hunted on the ranch is Tim White. White owns and founded Whitetail Kings Outfitters in Ohio.
Whitetail Kings Outfitters takes people on hunts in the woods of Ohio. The company's staff are knowledgeable of hunting and the land and help people of all experience levels have a safe hunt. They offer four different hunts for beginners and advanced hunters alike. One hunt is a four-day hunt for deer using a bow and arrow. The archery season for deer lasts from September through January in Ohio. The outfitters also offer a gun hunt and a four-day muzzleloader hunt for deer. James Coffelt is happy to have been able to offer his land for trophy hunting.
James Coffelt plans on continuing to focus on the land he maintains and on a production per acre model. In addition to using the ranch land to raise cattle and for trophy deer hunting, Coffelt also plans on making use of the minerals found in the land.
James Coffelt also owns Mineral Recapture Services. Mineral Recapture Services is a young company that was founded in 2010. The company will work with landowners in Ohio who own properties that have mineral reservations in place.
Mineral Recapture Services is able to trace mineral abstracts back to 1850. The goal is to find original reservations on the land's minerals which make any additional reservations obsolete. Once the additional reservations are removed, the landowner is able to lease the mineral rights to his land.
So far, the company has had success recapturing land in Harrison County, Ohio. Mineral Recapture Services works on either a contingency basis, where the company receives 10 percent of the lease's value that results from their work, or on a $25-per-acre basis. The structure that is best depends on the size of the land. A per-acre basis offers landowners who have a lot of acres the best deal. The goal of mineral recapture is to allow landowners to make the minerals available on their property available to gas and oil companies.
Rancher James Coffelt plans on continuing to have a high rate of production per acre on Ohio Land and Cattle. The goal is to continue to have high production rates with the least amount of work and for the lowest cost.
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