By Mary Lou Hinrichsen
Herald Staff Writer
Rain, snow, sleet — and nice weather, too — Bob Fatchett is out with his cattle, making sure they have the nutrition, water and shelter they need to survive in Iowa’s climate.
Then he often goes in to his desk and studies the genetics of his herd and how he could improve it.
“I’ve been raising blacks (angus) ever since I was a kid,” he said. “I’ve got records going back 30 years. The buyers seem to like them better because they grade out choice better.”
In fact, when his cattle are ready to be made into steaks, he often ships them to Dodge City, Kans., where the plant will pay for the transportation. Sometimes he rides along in the truck, buys replacement calves from a near-by ranch, and brings them home in the same truck.
Bob is the fourth generation of his family to raise cattle in Clinton County, and this year, for the first time, he used A.I. (artificial insemination) to breed 96 cows (including some for other producers).
“In about six to eight days,” he said, “our first heifer will have our first A.I. calf, to start the calving season. All February and March calves will be born in a barn.”
Bob has several people who help him care for his cattle and farm 860 acres.