The farm is located in North Alabama, and the house pictured was originally built in the early 1800s as a cedar log structure. In the gallery below a picture of the house in approximately 1894 can be viewed for comparison. The Neill Patterson family occupied the property in the early 1800s, and a handwritten note confirms the acquisition of 80 acres west of the house by Neill's son, Jacob Biffle Patterson in 1850 for the sum of $500. A son, John Wesley Patterson and the father of Annie Virginia Patterson, farmed the property until his death in the early 1900s. Annie Virginia received as her share of the estate the house and 188 acres of land. She later married William Edwin Knight from South Alabama and they continued to farm the land. Their oldest son John Edwin Knight farmed the land and raised cattle until his death in 2006. The property then passed to the only son John Jr.
The original cattle herd was comprised of Jersey milk cows crossed with Hereford bulls. As the generations passed, the continued use of Polled Hereford Bulls on the offspring resulted in a herd of cattle (even though not registered) that looked like Herefords. In the mid-1950s, John Jr. bought a registered bred heifer from the Weeks farm in Hanceville, AL. The first calf was a heifer; and as a part of the purchase deal, Mr. Weeks offered to breed to the same bull for a second calf. As luck would have it, this also was a heifer calf. These three females formed the nucleus of the registered herd; and by the late 1970s, all the grade animals were dispersed, leaving only a quality group of registered animals. AI breeding in the 1980s greatly benefited the herd as a focus was on mothering ability and calving ease.
John Sr. is pictured with an AI son of Reinforcement (Reinforcemet was sired by Enforcer 107H) - JK Bama Enforcer K251. K251 added some size and thickness as well as mothering ability.
An AI son of Vindicator (a famous Sire of Distinction SOD) was also used extensively and three daughters earned the Polled Hereford breed Benchmark Dam status - they were ID's 9005, 9009, and 9013. This status recognized those calving as 2 year olds, calving annually at approximately the same date and achieving calf weaning weights in the top 20 percentage of the contemporary grouping. A daughter of one of these recognized Dams (9013) has several daughters in the herd - her Herd ID was 0902. Her offspring include one twin F1 daughter 1706; two D15 daughters 2001 and 2108; a JO Dark Vadar sired grand-daughter 2101, a JO Black Jack sired grand daughter 2203, and two JO Atomic grand sons 2301 and 2302. 0902's Dam (9013) produced calves annually until she was 19 years old. With the exception of one ET female, all the remaining females in the current herd trace back to Benchmark Dam 9009.
After the death of John Sr., a decision was made to pursue Black Herefords. An Angus bull was purchased, and one F1 female remains in the herd-1706 is considered to be the herd matriarch. She has an outstanding JO Atomic 8008 son born in 2023 - in fact the calf weighed 255# at only 9 weeks of age. The first Black Hereford bull purchased was 3C's D15 of JB Classic Smith in 2017. D15 is a son of JO Bull Classic Smith 2008 HB003736. Our realization that daughters of D15 would require an out cross led us to revisit AI as a means to bring in additional Black Hereford blood lines.
In 2019, two F1's and one D15 daughter were bred AI to JN Balder D403. Of interest the F1's are twin daughters of JK MS HEADLINE 9013-0902 (9013 was one of the Benchmark dams referenced above). JK D403 Balder 2003 was utilized successfully in AI cleanup duty and JK D403 Balder 2004 has been quite successful at Stuart Farms in Camden, Alabama.
The 2020 breeding plans were even more aggressive - 2 D411/700 embryos and semen from JO Black Jack 4217 and JO Dark Vadar 7B ET were purchased from JO Bulls and utilized in the breeding program. JK Bullseye Sugar 2105 ET HB020613, the successful embryo transfer, had her first calf in 2023 - a beautiful heifer from JK Black Jack 2106.
In 2021 JO Bulls semen from Black Jack, Dark Vadar and Atomic as well as 2 8008/727 embryos were utilized in the breeding program. Highlights from this AI effort are JK Black Jack 1804-2201, JK Vadar Lady 1808-2202 and JK Black Jackie 1706-2203. 2201 has been sold to a new breeder in Schulenburg, Texas in April 2023 and the two females are being bred AI in May 2023.
In 2022 a continued emphasis was to utilize JO Black Jack and JO Atomic in the AI program. It has been exciting to see AI/ET females starting to calve in 2023. In addition to the arrival of Atomic sons from the 2022 breeding, another highlight was the birth of two absolutely beautiful daughters from JK Black Jack 2106 (2106 was utilized in AI cleanup duty when only 15 months old - both 2106 daughters are HOMOBLACK).
Calves arriving in late 2023 will be sired by our newly acquired Primary Herd Sire JO Captain Jack Sparrow 1L ET HB023672. Captain Jack is HomoBlack, HomoPolled and is an ET sibling of several now famous JO bred bulls. Three mature cows were examined safe in May 2023 and should calve in September. Captain Jack will be utilized in 2023 for late Winter calving in 2024 as opposed to a heavy reliance on AI breeding. We think his calves will be OUTSTANDING!
A photo gallery below highlights some current animals and assorted items of interest. It is periodically updated so a return visit might be of interest. Pictured in this Photo Gallery are some animals currently in the herd, some previously sold and scenes around the farm.
JK Vadar Lady 2202 Birthdate February 14, 2022. Out of JO Dark Vadar 7B ET and JK D15 Classic MS 1302-1808.