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Powles Ranch Partnership named American Gelbvieh Association Commercial Producer of the Year

LINCOLN, Neb. — Powles Ranch Partnership is the recipient of the 2021 American Gelbvieh Association Commercial Producer of the Year award. Powles Ranch Partnership was presented with this honor during the awards banquet of the 2021 AGA National Convention and 50th Anniversary Celebration on Dec. 10, 2021, in Oklahoma City.

Powles Ranch Partnership is a commercial cow-calf operation located in the Nebraska Sandhills near Bingham, Neb. Today, the ranch primarily utilizes Balancer genetics to produce their own home-raised replacement females and market-topping steer calves. The Powles family has a long and rich history in the Gelbvieh breed.

Don Powles first used Gelbvieh genetics in the fall of 1972 in partnership with Phil VanDervoort. The Powles ranch was running purebred Hereford cows and a crossbred commercial herd, but VanDervoort convinced Powles to use some Gelbvieh semen to breed his fall calving Hereford cows. This led to Powles Gelbvieh Ranch becoming AGA member #224.



Powles envisioned black Gelbviehs and worked to make his vision a reality, breeding the first homozygous black, homozygous polled Gelbvieh bull, POW Black Imprint 386Z, in 1992. The family sold Gelbvieh bulls for 24 years.

Powles loved selling bulls and talking to customers, especially when delivering bulls. Powles was a true Gelbvieh advocate and always made time to talk cattle. He is credited with giving several kids Gelbvieh heifers to start their cowherds.



INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT

In addition to the performance genetics the operation has become known for, a legacy of service is also credited to the Powles family name. Don’s wife, Gretchen, served as the American Gelbvieh Gals president. Their daughter, Jana, and son, Bryon, both served on the American Gelbvieh Junior Association board of directors, and Jana served as the American Gelbvieh Ambassador. All were involved in GAIN, the Gelbvieh Association in Nebraska.

Today, the Powles Ranch Partnership includes Jana (Powles) Jensen, her husband, JC, their children, Jada and Cameron, and Bryon and Audrey Powles. The ranching operation is a family affair. Bryon takes care of the north half of the ranch and JC the south half. Jana does all the financials and bookkeeping, while Audrey keeps cow records.

Their present mission remains simple and true to the heart of the beef industry.

“We are strictly commercial cattlemen converting grass to beef,” Jana said. “Our goal is to be able to retain our own heifers for replacements, while raising steer calves that perform well in the feedlot. We are a low-input operation that puts a lot of emphasis on cow production and efficiency, which includes running moderately framed cows.”

Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics have been an essential element of the Powles Ranch Partnership throughout its 49-year history.

“Gelbvieh and Balancer have been a great fit for our environment,” Bryon said. “We like the hybrid vigor and the additional growth and performance that we get. We like the balance of growth combined with the great females we keep as replacements.”

The AGA Commercial Producer of the Year Award honors individuals who use Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics in progressive commercial cattle operations and are proactive in their promotion of the breed. The award was presented to the Powles family by Scott Starr, Cedar Top Ranch, Stapleton, Neb.

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