We are located in Northeastern Wyoming near Spotted Horse on Highway 14-16 with our two sons on a ranch previously operated by Neal's parents. The Sorenson's have been in Wyoming since 1882 where they first homesteaded on the Powder River. They have been ranching and farming for generations in an environment which can offer many challenges and hardships.
For those who have never ventured into our area of Wyoming, we are supposed to receive 12-14 inches of moisture for the entire year. Wyoming's climate is considered semi-arid, meaning cold winters and dry, hot summers. We knew we were going to require cattle that can thrive in a tough environment, and therefore purchased our first registered Angus cows in 1994.
Our country can support a moderate sized female (1100-1400 pounds), with depth of rib, and lots of natural muscling. If the cattle get too big they fall out of the program pretty readily. Conditions require a profitable cow. We do not have the resources, (corn stubble, beet-tops, irrigated cropland, or cool, well watered mountain pastures, etc.) to allow a cow who requires lots of feed and pampering to raise a calf. We want our females to calve unassisted, have good udders, breed back, raise a big calf, and maintain condition, along with having good feet and legs. We are big into fertility and primarily select bulls with positive scrotal epds. Females, Females, Females! Without a good functional female most of what we strive for is lost. A first-rate bull calf is the by-product of a remarkable female.
Our cattle are grass oriented. We want performance, off grass in our cattle, since it is the one and only cheap resource around. Our calves are never fed creep feed and all harvested hay is dry land, (where we are at Mother Nature's mercy). Our females are run in open country year round. Through the winter we feed a supplement and grass hay once the grass is snowed over. All mature cows are calved unassisted outside in February and first calf heifers are calved through a barn. It is vital our females are good mothers who will get a calf licked off, up and sucking in weather that is often times below zero with a wind chill. All cattle are on a mineral program year round and we follow a rigid vaccination program along with BVD and DNA testing of all calves at branding time.
In the Angus business it is easy to get lost in the shear number of breeders. We concentrate on the fundamentals which allow the other traits to follow suit. A superior carcass can not happen unless that calf is born alive and can survive in its surroundings. We try not to get caught up in the fads and try to pursue a product that our customers can utilize and allow improvement within their herd. We can provide excellent carcass qualities without losing sight of the fundamentals.
Our production sale is mid-February at Buffalo Livestock in Buffalo, Wyoming. The sale is held at Buffalo Livestock Auction in Buffalo, Wyoming. We have marketed cattle all over Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. We enjoy how we make a living and are excited about the future in the Angus business.