Myra Neal Morrison
delivers feed via tractor at her
Rockwell, NC cattle farm.
Thanks to record-breaking rainfall in North Carolina this year, hay is so abundant that Morrison
is now putting bales out on the pasture.
But several previous years of drought led her
to revise her
¡°Until the summer of 2002, I was using a creek and just had one well,¡± she
¡°Then I got worried and added another well.¡± Both wells use electric pumps and most herds have automatic waterers available at all times.
Morrison¡¯s certified and accredited herd is tested for brucellosis and TB annually.
Vaccinations and worming are done at the same time.
¡°Nobody quite understands why I don¡¯t need to do it (worming) twice, but I don¡¯t, ¡° Morrison
¡°A lot is the condition of the cattle, small pastures and when I worm at test time in June, it cleans all the pastures out.¡± She
uses Ivomec and Eprinex from Merck
Morrison breeds year-round, using her
three bulls, which she
prefers, as well as artificial insemination.
own tank, she
purchases serum from ABS, Select Sires and at sales.
¡°(With these sources) you don¡¯t often get anything you don¡¯t want,¡± she
¡°I breed these cows to the best bulls in the AI books.
For the Brahman
, I try to get the best semen I can afford.
Generally, I buy at sales where I know the people and can get them to sign the certificate.¡±
¡°With the Simmental cattle, the traits are all there.
They¡¯ve got good disposition, good feet, good backs; it¡¯s all there, ¡° Morrison
¡°(With) the newer Simmentals, the solid reds and solid blacks, the disposition kind of (got) knocked out.
I prefer the red and whites.
I look for good growth, not excellent birth weight.
But my half bloods can be 120 to130 pounds at birth.
The Simmentals run 80 to100 pounds and the Brahman 70 to 85 and here I get these 130-pound calves due to cross breeding. ¡°
A disadvantage of the half bloods is their disposition, Morrison
¡°They will eat you for breakfast, ¡° she
said, adding that they¡¯re not wanted at stockyards.
solved that problem, finding that she
can feed them out in 15 months and sell them herself.
began computer-based recordkeeping in 1987.
uses Microsoft Excel and Access databases she
developed herself to track complete herd records, including vaccinations, breeding and tag numbers.
She is on the Board of the NC Simmental Association and is one of the few Easterners on the American Brahman Breeders Association Board.
¡°It¡¯s rare for Easterners to run since the meetings are out West,¡± she
¡°My attitude is why I made it (in the cattle business),¡± Morrison