History of the Dickinson Ranch
The Dickinsons came to Ellis County, Kansas, from Connecticut and Pennsylvania, in 1881 to raise cattle and sheep. They were looking for excellent grass, spring water, and bluffs for protection from the North winds. Their backgrounds were farming and Bob’s great-great grandfather was the captain of a merchant ship. This is where the Bar Anchor Brand that we use today on our cattle originates from.
We began increasing cattle numbers in 1957 after the drought of the 1950s. We started taking weaning weights and culling cows based on their production in 1961. In 1962, we began to use A.I., experimenting with crossing Shorthorns and Angus sires on our Hereford cows. We liked the hybrid vigor of the calves. We used some of the first Simmental semen in the fall of 1968. These Simmental cross calves were terrific and we liked the performance philosophy of the American Simmental Association. Since we came from a commercial cattle background, we knew the kind of cattle that would work on the pastures of western Kansas. Therefore, we have stayed away from the extremely hard doing strains of cattle. Our show rings have been the bull tests and steer futurities. We have had the high gaining bull and the high sire group many times at the Kansas Bull Tests. We have also won many steer futurities.
We run a spring herd of 450 registered cows. The heifers are synchronized with M.G.A. and prostaglandin with a thirty day breeding season. The last four years, we have calved out our heifers in large pastures and have only checked them twice a day. They are expected to calve unassisted and to mother up without help. This has worked really well with no scours. Out of 400 head and the first calf heifers, only six came up dry at processing time on the first of June. The ones without calves at the start of A.I. season are sold by the pound. We have been able to do this by using calving-ease sires and heifers with high maternal calving ease EPDs. We have even used Simmental sires on our first-calf registered Angus heifers.
cows are expected to graze year-round with only protein tubs during late
February to mid-April. We are able to do this by having easy fleshing
cattle that hold their condition through the winter and by calving in
March and April. These cows aren’t bred until the first of June and
therefore get thirty days of green grass to flush on for A.I.
We are quite proud of the reputation our cattle have with the commercial as well as registered producers. Four Simmental bulls we have raised have ranked in the top four of their breed at one time or another: DS Pollfleck, DS Polltime, DS Caufitime 72X and DS Zinger. We have had five bulls in A.I. studs. DS Six Shooter 3H is the most current at Select Sires. He is a true calving ease bull, yet has explosive growth and marbling.
In 1988, we added thirty Black Angus cows from Finks to our herd. We now have over 200 head of Black Angus cows. We A.I. them to top A.I. sires and we also use a Simmental bull for clean up. This is where we generated our top half blood females and bulls.
In 1998, we added Red Angus to our herd that we purchased from the Boot Jack Ranch in Montana. Red Angus gives the commercial man another option to cross on their Simmental cross cows to produce solid red calves with more marbling.
work to stay current on the needs and desires of the cattle industry
through personal contact and through serving on various cattle
organizations. Bob is privileged to have been on the American Simmental
Association board of Trustees. He was chairman on the performance
committee four years. Bob was named Seed-Stock Producer of the Year in
1981 by the Beef Improvement Federation. One of the greatest awards Bob
received was the World Simmental Federation “Golden Book Award” in
Kirk Dickinson 2324 370th Ave. Gorham KS 67640 1-888-603-BULL
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