Leah and I arrived at a little town called White Oak where we visited Wally and Doris Olson. They are running a 7000 acre ranch with 1800 to 2000 head of mixed cattle. The ranch is on an average of 32 inch rainfall and some snowfalls in their winter, however this year they have received minimal rainfall. Wally and Doris are a great example of Bud and Eunice Williams stockmanship and marketing practises where they are very close friends and mentors for Wally and Doris. Wally practises a holistic grazing system to a certain degree where all their paddocks are divided into a mile long and 660 feet wide with their cattle herd of approximately 508 head grazing from one to three days. Wally and Doris practice a 90 day mating period, with a system where he pregnant tests the cows at 60 days, with the cows in calf at this time he keeps in his herd and the remaining cows, not in calf or late in calf will be sold to the open market to maintain a fertile herd.
Wally also trades a lot of weaner cattle where he monitors the local markets and agents to help predict when to sell or buy. These weaner cattle are entered into a feeding paddock system where they are fed in a paddock, not as confined as a feedlot with lucerne, mineral supplements and some corn-cottonmeal based supplements until they reach a saleable market weight. Wally sometimes trades in the hairless sheep and meat goats. Wally and Doris also lease land out to young ranchers how want to get a start in life in cattle ranching. These young ranchers have to be independent on all financial responsibilities however Wally and Doris will assist them with any advice or direction they want to pursue.
Wally took Leah and I to a nearby town of Bowlin Springs which has only approximately 8 families living there. We had all you can eat ribs and beer for lunch, it was delicious!!
Leah and I had a great day with Wally and Doris with Wally not just sharing his knowledge with pasture management but also his marketing strategies.