Eddy Whitehurst, Greers Ferry, Arkansas, along with his wife, Jeanie, own and manage a 70-head commercial cow herd in northcentral Arkansas. The couple feed out their calves and sell beef directly to the consumer.
The Whitehursts had been buying Gelbvieh bulls and liked how they were working. This led them to decide to start a pure-bred, registered Gelbvieh herd to complement their commercial program. Looking for the best females to start their registered herd they made the decision to buy Judd Ranch genetics.
"I bought some heifers about five years ago from a guy who had been buying Judd Ranch bulls. I really liked those heifers," Eddy explains. "I read their customer testimonies and decided I wanted to go to the source and buy four or five good females to be the foundation of our purebred Gelbvieh herd. So, I called Cindy Judd in the spring of 2019 and had a great conversation with her. I got my catalog last fall and then I called Roger Gatz and he talked through the offering with me.
"Roger's assessment of cattle, for both the female and bull sale, was spot on," Eddy says. "He is very knowledgeable. If I couldn't attend the sale, I wouldn't hesitate to call Roger and say I'm interested in Lot x and have him bid for me."
Eddy recalls when he headed to Pomona last fall for the Cow Power Sale, going with intentions to buy four or five females. When he arrived at the sale, he took the wagon ride around the ranch. "The wagon ride was the proof in pudding," he explains. "The Judd females are not huge framed; they are moderate just like I want."
Two other traits that stood out to Eddy on the wagon ride were the herd's docility and the fantastic udders. Excited about the Judd Ranch cow herd, Eddy purchased five heifers and one pair. He then returned in March and bought a Judd Ranch bull.
"There's not many places you can go and find that much selection or that type of quality," he says about the Judd Ranch sales. "There is not much difference in quality from top to bottom of the sale offering - the cattle are real consistent."
The Judd Ranch heifers Eddy bought are bred and will calve in September and October. He says he is happy with how the females have retained their flesh and he's extremely pleased with their docility and how easy they are to handle.
"I'm anxious to see how the heifers milk and how their udders develop. The calf on the pair I bought weaned really well and the bull I bought I bet he has not lost 40 lb. all summer. They hold their flesh really well."
But what really sold Eddy on the Judd program was their customer service. "They treat customers like family; like they have known you your entire life," he explains. "They make you feel important and truly want to see you prosper. I really appreciate how they are willing to help you find the genetics to fit your program."
Eddy and Jeanie's goal is to build their Blacktop Cowboy Cattle Co. LLC to 20 productive registered Gelbvieh females with Judd Ranch genetics as the foundation. "The Judd Ranch females tie all the traits we're looking for together in one package."