Gerald Jahner of Mott is the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association’s 2017 producer of the year.Knowing how individual cows are performing and having a historical perspective
on the animals in the herd are two of the reasons why he received the award.
Jahner was selected from among the producers belonging to the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association (NDBCIA) who process records with the association.
Jahner and his wife, Mary, have been fastidious record-keepers, and the Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) system the NDBCIA uses has played a key role in his herd improvements.
“I don’t know what inspired me to get involved, but I wanted to improve and CHAPS looked like a good way to do it,” he says. “You have to have records.”
The NDBCIA award was based on the average number of cows calving in the first 21 days and pounds weaned per cow exposed for a 10-year average.
He generally calves 120 to 130 cows. His CHAPS records indicates 82 to 83 percent of his cows calve in the first 21 days. He was as high as 94 percent in
the first 42 days in 2015. He has a 60-day breeding season that starts about March 20 and ends by June 1.
The value of CHAPS records has been especially evident to Jahner in dry years.
“When we had to cut back the herd, we went to the records and looked at the old cows and then looked at the performance,” he says. “CHAPS records have made it a
lot easier to cull.”
The Jahners have five children and 15 grandchildren.
The North Dakota State University Extension Service helped start the NDBCIA and developed CHAPS with assistance from the association.