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Spring Processing, Turnin' Out Cattle

This week we asked Jamie Roscoe, owner and rancher with 1875 Beef, what the process of Spring Turnout Looks like here in Silver Lake. Jamie was kind enough to take some time away from managing his herd to share with us the ins and outs of spring processing, a time of reflection, decision making, and tough work.

"Spring turnout is really a time of decisions. When we go out and where we go is conditioned based. How is this years grass coming on? Did we leave any old feed last fall that we can go onto if the grass isn’t coming? Did we get enough snow to fill the water holes? Is it too muddy and we can’t access an area or the cows may damage it?

My goals are always to use the ground at the appropriate time which leads to maximum productivity for the grass, resulting in the best conditions for the cows. They’ll be in better shape, produce more milk, and raise bigger, healthier calves this year. This foresight means that next year they’ll breed up faster for a timely birth. All of my planning has to take into consideration the effects of this season, but also the calf that will be conceived later in year, all the way through his harvest in mid to late 2026. I have to determine when to turn my bulls out with the cows so they get the job done at the optimal time.

The actual turnout is easier. We gather the cattle on horseback, pair up each cow and calf to make sure they’re straight, then either trail or haul them to their spring pasture. Then we move them by horseback all summer to new fields as the conditions change."

Cattle running in the Summer Lake bed

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