Our goal at Black Rock Farm is to provide the cattle industry with gentle, thick muscled, functional cattle with balanced EPDs aimed to improve our customers' herds. We select cows that have good structure, udder quality, gentle dispositions, and excellent mothering ability. We evaluate our herd annually and cull any cow that does not meet our standards for fertility, structure, and performance. Our herdsires are selected from other progressive seedstock producers based on individual performance, genetics, and EPDs with moderate birth, excellent growth and carcass, and high in maternal traits. We use leading sires from AI studs on our younger cows in an effort to provide consumers with the best genetics possible. Our cattle are bred to be moderately framed, fast growing, and easy keeping.
We still have a solid group of 18 month old bulls available on the farm. Look for our consignment of 9 bred heifers in Marianna, FL at the Southeast All Black Classic Sale on April 8, 2017.
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The Bagents family has over 30 years of experience in the beef cattle industry. Our farm started when Lora Gail, with one bull and a small herd of commercial cows from her family's farm in tow, moved from Pintlala, AL to Luverne, AL and married Mike. Over the next 15 years, we bought and used cattle from many different breeds to see which would work the best in our management system. We bought a red Fleckvieh Simmental from a sale to use on our growing herd. He was gentle, thick, and easy keeping and he passed these traits along to his calves. We wanted to make more moderately framed cattle, so we introduced Angus into our herd. We found that the combination of Simmental and Angus provided superior heterosis, allowing our calves to perform exceptionally well. Simmentals add growth, frame, and milking ability while the Angus provide reduced frame, efficiency, carcass, and maternal traits. We transitioned to all black cattle over the past decade in response to market demands and now we have over 90% black hided cattle.
In 2006, we went to the Alabama Simmental state sale where we bought a small group of registered bred cows to add to our commercial herd. In 2008, we had the chance to buy a herd of mature cows and 2 herd bulls from Mr. Buddy Bates in Clanton, AL. These cows raised some of the best bulls and heifers our farm had ever seen. We retained the heifers and sold the bulls by private treaty for the next 5 years in an effort to grow our herd and find our place in the seedstock industry. In 2013, we had the opportunity to buy 60 fall calving 3 in 1s from the Sunshine Farm's herd reduction. This doubled our registered herd numbers, making us one of the largest Simmental herds in the state.
We continue to retain a group of 25 heifers annually and market the rest as bred replacements off our farm and at select sales. We retain a couple of bulls each year to use in our own herd and market the rest as private treaty and in the Southern Excellence Bull Sale. We maintain our herd of 200 commercial cows, out of which we market our steers in board sales each fall and our females as bred replacements each spring. All our cows are evaluated each year for structure, udder quality, performance, and disposition. Any cows that do not meet these standards will be marketed through local stockyards. All animals at Black Rock Farm are the result of years of intense genetic selection and breeding, so we will not sale anything as a replacement that we would not be willing to keep for ourselves. Both registered and commercial herds are maintained on a 90 day fall breeding season with the registered cows beginning to calve in September and the commercial in October. Nutritional management includes winter grazing, which consists of rye grass and clover with free choice hay and soy hull pellets supplemented as needed.
Black Rock Farm is family owned and operated with Mike and Lora Gail Bagents as owners. Both graduated from Auburn, Mike with a B.S. in Agronomy & Soils and Lora Gail with a B.S. in Animal Science. They have 4 children: Christopher, Michelle, Heather, and Blake. Christopher is the sole employee at BRF and has his own herd of commercial cows. He and his wife Dusty have 2 children, Noah (4) and Leila (2). Michelle and her husband Kyle work at a local hospital and are expecting their first child in March. Heather works as an RN in a cardiovascular intensive care unit and has a small herd of cows included in the Black Rock herd. Blake and his wife Brittany have 1 daughter, Emma Hayes (10 months). They also have a small group of cows within the Black Rock herd while he attends veterinarian school at Auburn University. It is truly a family effort when it comes to breeding decisions, working, weaning, and record keeping with everyone pitching in to help. We truly enjoy being a part of the cattle industry, through which we get to spend time with so many friends and family. Our farm is located on Highway 10 just a few miles outside of Luverne, Alabama, which is one hour south of Montgomery. We are passionate about our cattle and we welcome all inquiries.
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