LIMOUSIN TODAY LimToday_November18_WEB - Page 15

Feature Diamond C Ranch Limousin - More Alike Than Different By Bruce Derksen With 2018 being a year of the International Limousin Congress, breeders throughout the world tend to look outside their usual circle of influences and catch a glimpse of the bigger picture. When we think of ranching in other countries and different parts of the world, the first thoughts that come to mind might be about the differences between them, and while they likely exist to a degree, there may be more similarities than we first think. Neil and Sherry Christiansen along with their son Braeden 18, and daughter Annie 17, own and operate Diamond C Ranch Limousin in central Alberta, Canada running between 130 and 150 red and black purebred Limousin and Lim-Flex cows, plus a few full-bloods on their picturesque ranch. Their grain and hay lands are used to support their cattle herd in feed, silage and haylage rations. Both Neil and Sherry grew up on mixed Charolais and Simmental crossed commercial cattle farms but decided to focus strictly on the Limousin breed for Diamond C Ranch. When asked why they had picked Limousin, Neil answered, without hesitation, that it was because of how easy calving they were. Their parents had begun using Limousin bulls with their commercial herds and couldn’t believe how their calving issues had disappeared. Neil continued to explain that these first crossbred calves had been tracked through the feedlots delivering exceptional feed conversion efficiency. When these calves hit the packing house, their carcass yield, along with grade and leanness, were also at the top end in comparison to other groups of cattle. All these factors made it easy to choose Limousin when the time came. Neil explained that Limousin qualities can deliver an immediate upgrade when crossed with commercial cows of other breeds, instantly adding easier calving, feed conversion efficiency, leanness and upgraded carcass yields. He points to an 85% mark in repeat customers when it comes to commercial and purebred breeder purchases from his ranch sales. While he admits that years ago Limousin cattle had some temperament issues, he credits all breeders for recognizing this and working hard to correct it. The Christiansen family runs a yearly purebred bull sale at the ranch featuring a pre-sale Open House day where potential buyers can mingle and look over the sale offerings with the Christiansen family. 45-60 yearling and 2-year-old red and black bulls are sold at these ranch sales with some years LIMOUSIN Today | 13