Stalcup Farms Charolais
James Stalcup of Stalcup Farms Charolais is the 2015 winner of the Iowa Outstanding Seedstock Producer Award presented by the Iowa Beef Breeds Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
Stalcup, whose cattle operation is near Prescott, has been farming for 53 years. Cattle were not the early focus for the family, although there has always been a commercial cow herd on site. That cow herd was bred to Simmental and Angus initially, but in 1967, four registered Charolais bulls were added to the mix.
Those bulls were part of their expansion of the commercial cow herd, but the Stalcups were focused on raising Quarter Horses, and showing them as a family activity. However, once his sons and daughter began moving from the farm, the focus shifted to cattle.T
he Stalcups were considering ways to increase the farm income in the spring, so they purchased purebred Charolais cows so they could sell bull calves in the spring. Now, they have 350 Charolais cows in the herd, as well as 50 Angus cows.
Now, they sell over 100 bulls a year, with about 90% of those going to commercial herds, and the rest to purebred breeders. Commercial herds are getting bulls with EPDs that translate to favorable numbers in birth weights, weaning weights and 205-day weights, as well as maternal traits.
The heifers added to the Stalcup herd must be a moderate frame and pass a visual test as well as have excellent EPDs that include good disposition and excellent milkers.
Stalcup said he sells the majority of his seedstock through private treaty with many repeat customers. The business focus has been on bloodlines that show and sell well across the country. Their performance is tested not only in the showring, but also they must perform well in pastures and feedlots.
Since the Stalcups started in the purebred business, their improvements have focused on getting better milkers and lower birth weights while increasing their weaning weight to over 700 lbs. “By paying close attention to our performance records, we have been able to manage a more balanced set of calves and improve our program from year to year.”The Stalcups include both spring and fall calving in their herd, with the fall herd started 10 years ago. “We have found this to be a good bull market for us,” Stalcup said. “Customers have been pleased with the cattle they’ve bought from us, and our return customers keep us in business.”
And that’s important to a family operation that now includes both sons and a daughter, as well as their spouses and children and grandchildren! Stalcup’s oldest granddaughter, Haley Stalcup, was recently named the president of the Charolais association’s national junior board.
Stalcup Farms Charolais has produced two national champion bulls. The first was a yearling bull named Blizzard, which they purchased in 1996. Blizzard became the foundation of their Charolais program, and put their seedstock on the map as far as the Charolais industry was concerned.
Besides the national champion bulls, their success has born out two show bulls of the year, champions at the National Western Livestock Show, with many class winners at the American Royal, Iowa State Fair and state fairs in Minnesota and South Dakota, and the Iowa Beef Expo.
In addition, Jim has a passion for the Super Bull contest at the Iowa State Fair, and has won that contest eight times, including holding the record with his friend Joe Holub for the heaviest Super Bull.
Stalcup has served on the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association board, on the Adams County Fair Board, as a 4-H leader, including induction into the 2014 4-H Hall of Fame, and recognition of his conservation work on the farm.
But through all those awards and responsibilities, Stalcup says his short-term goals for cattle production have been the same as his long-term goals. “We try to improve our cattle from one year to the next, and to implement new ideas and strategies to make our program better for our customers.”