I first met Luke Bowman several years ago as a “friend of a friend.” Luke comes from a great farm family in Eastern Indiana, and our mutual friend B.J. Eick invited me to attend the Bowmans’ annual fall production sale.
The Bowmans of Greens Fork raise Shorthorn cattle; I’ve had a love affair with the breed going back to my first cow, Byland Jenny OP6 (of the Jenny cow family from the great Byland Polled Shorthorn farm in Loudonville, Ohio). You could say Luke and I were cut from the same cloth; both into the red, white and roan cattle, both more or less of the same age, both geeked-out by our iPhones and social media. We became fast friends.
So after seeing Luke’s status updates on Facebook in recent days, I decided he had seen a lot more of the farm countryside this year than have I, that he’s talked to a lot more beef producers and looked at a lot more cattle. It was high time I get him on the phone for an interview.
In our discussion, we covered a wide range of topics, including what he saw and heard from the cattle community during the National Western Stock Show in Denver earlier this month, what he’s observing as he visits seedstock operations and talks with commercial bull buyers gearing up for the next breeding season, and which bulls are making waves at Select Sires, Inc.
For example, he says people on the farm are concerned about high prices for herd sires. Margins are getting slimmer, he adds, and people are selecting semen from proven bulls or bulls from proven lines.
He also thinks crossbreeding is growing again in popularity.
Luke is one of the bright young minds in the beef business; you can follow him on Twitter or read his blog posts at Select Sires’ website.
You can listen to my interview with Luke by clicking the audio bar at the top of the page.