When Bill and Dodi Dennis, Wolf Creek Ranch of Kaufman, Texas, bought their current ranch, a bit more than 20 years ago, they started with crossbred cows then switched to straight bred commercial Angus.
"We purchased some really good Angus cows - cows from one of the best Angus ranches in the Midwest," Dodi states, "and we bought some top purebred Angus bulls to use on those cows. The resulting calves were nice calves, but not outstanding calves. Unfortunately, our weaning weights were probably only about 450 to 475 pounds."
Four or five years ago, the couple decided to return to crossbreeding and pinpointed Gelbvieh as the way to go on their Angus cows. During a phone call to inquire where to get "some really good Gelbvieh bulls," they learned about Judd Ranch.
Curious about Judd ranch, Bill and Dodi loaded up and drove to Pomona, Kan., to a Judd Ranch Female Sale in October.
"We wanted to see Judd Ranch's cows," Dodi explains. "Cows are the mamas of the bulls, and you have to have good mama cows to have good bulls."
Bill and Dodi went on a pasture tour of Judd Ranch and checked out the cowherd. Dodi said they were so impressed that "we knew we had to go to their bull sale."
The couple purchased eight bulls at their first Judd Ranch bull sale. They thought these eight plus their Angus bulls would cover their 385 cows. But that didn't turn out to be the case.
"Prior to putting our Angus bulls out with our cows, we discovered through breeding soundness exams that several of the Angus bulls had a low semen count," Dodi states. "That meant we needed more bulls. Being extremely happy with the Gelbvieh bulls we had purchased just a few months prior from Judd Ranch, we gave Dave a call to see if he had a few extra bulls we could buy. Of course, he didn't have any as all had been sold in his annual sale. So we bought bulls from another Gelbvieh breeder."
"The next year we returned to Judd Ranch. They just have the best Gelbvieh bulls anywhere," Dodi said.
While Bill and Dodi were extremely happy with the bulls they purchased from Judd Ranch even before they saw offspring from the bulls, they were over-the-moon happy when they weighed their Judd Ranch influenced calves.
"Our Judd Ranch calf crop averaged 150 to 200 more pounds at weaning than when we raised straight Angus calves. That sounds like a lot but that's what the scales show. Judd Ranch's bulls turned our calf crop around."
Liking their Balancer offspring - 50% Judd Ranch Gelbvieh x 50% Angus, Bill and Dodi retained 55 Balancer heifers two years ago. Dodi points out that these first calf heifers out produced their straight Angus cows. They are so impressed with their Balancer females that they plan to keep more crossbred heifers.
The couple sold a group of Judd Ranch influenced heifers over the Internet, selling them to a commercial cowman in Florida.
"They were outstanding heifers, and the gentleman told us he was thrilled when the heifers were delivered," Dodi states.
"The guy didn't buy the heifers straight away. He asked a lot of questions, and we gave him information about the genetics of the heifers. He called several days later and bought the group. He told us that he had researched Judd Ranch and knew he would be getting high quality heifers."
Dodi and Bill are big fans of Judd Ranch - not just the cattle, but the people too.
"Dave and Cindy Judd are the most kind, considerate and honest people you'll ever deal with," Dodi tells. "They are top quality folks. They stand by whatever you buy."
Dodi and Bill discovered just how much Judd Ranch values its customers and their attachment to Judd Ranch genetics when drought struck their ranch three years ago.
"We were debating what to do with our cattle," Dodi explains. "Here we were in a drought, and things didn't look good for our ranch. We really didn't want to part with our Judd Ranch genetics."
After looking at a lot of options, the couple decided to give Dave Judd a call to see if he knew where they could purchase some hay.
"Can you believe that they were able to locate two truckloads of hay that helped us get through that tough time," she adds. "They didn't have to go that extra mile, but they did."
"When I say I'm a Judd Ranch fan, it goes beyond the bulls - even though they are the best in the country. It's the bulls and the people. You can't beat a combination like that."