A Speckle Park-influence feeder cattle sale was held at Heartland Livestock in Yorkton recently.
The sale, in its third year, is an opportunity for producers using Speckle Park cattle in their operation to bring their feeder calves to Yorkton where they are sorted into lots based on sex, type and weight, making the resulting pens more attractive to purchase.
Josh Vogel, of Legacy Speckle Park near Theodore was the man instrumental in launching the sale three years ago.
“It was basically organized by me and Heartland,” he said. “I just wanted to set up a day to market Speckle Park calves.”
Vogel said the idea is not new as other beef breeders hold pre-sort sales where they focus on marketing that breed’s genetics.
This year numbers were up, “which is good,” said Vogel.
“We were probably up by 30 per cent. Last year we had close to 200 (head), and this year we had over 300.”
This year also saw some big lots sorted from the cattle brought in by producers from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. One lot had 72-head, another 92. The larger lots are more appealing to those buying for feedlots as they come closer to filling a pen with like sized cattle of similar genetics.
Vogel said the sale is just another step in building a base for the Speckle Park breed which is a relative newcomer in terms of beef breeds.
Speckle Park is a breed initially developed in Saskatchewan. It is one of only a few beef cattle breeds developed in Canada. The latter half of the breed's name derives from the characteristic white, black and grey spots and patches of color that it is known for.
Speckle Park were officially recognized by the Canadian government in 2006. A breed association was formed in 1985.
Vogel, who started in the breed in 2001 with his father, said the work is ongoing to grow the breed.
“We still have work to do to have steady demand for calves,” he said. “It’s kind of the chicken and the egg thing. It’s hard to get demand when you don’t have the numbers, but it’s hard to get the numbers without demand.”
But the sale is helping.
“I think the general support is kind of the story for this year,” said Vogel.