(Bob) When Kipp Sparrow returned to his family’s farming and ranching operation near Mercer, North Dakota, he knew he needed to find his niche. (Sparrow) So there was a lot less risk to being a rancher than it was with the farming end, and we do our fair share of farming, but we felt that by growing the herd numbers-wise, we could do a better job of protecting ourselves from a financial standpoint. As those numbers increased and we felt that and saw that we were maybe getting some added protection with the ebbs and flows of the market, of the commodities, we expanded a little further and a little further. (Bob) The first push was building quantity. Next he worked on quality. (Sparrow) We’ve taken a lot of time over the last 5 years to put better genetics in through A.I. breeding along with using high quality cleanup bulls…better bulls…has made a better animal on both sides, through the steers and the heifers. It’s definitely shown. (Bob) Sparrow has sold commercial females in a special sale for the last several years. The market tells him he’s doing something right. (Sparrow) As we A.I. bred on top of animals that were A.I. bred, you really started to see a commercial herd take shape that was much higher quality than anything that any of us that were working here had been used to seeing in the herd. It really opened our eyes on what we could do as far as carving that niche out, and I think as we go forward, there’s still a lot of improvements that could be made, even for what we’re doing. Hopefully if we keep along this path, we’ll be able to see more improvements within these animals and what they’re producing. (Bob) This year the cattleman sold his steers direct with ideas of getting more performance and quality data to keep improving. I’m Bob Cervera.