HERMISTON - Ranchers from Vale to Ellensburg plan to show off at least 40 yearling bulls on Main Street Friday.
The second-annual Columbia Basin Bull Breeders Show begins at 10 a.m. and wraps up at 4 p.m. At least 10 pens of four to five bulls each will occupy East Main Street from U.S. Highway 395 to Northeast Second Street.
Jeanne Daly, chairman for this year's event, is excited the show is growing. Last year eight ranchers registered and seven participated. She's also pleased the ranchers will bring a variety of breeds this year. In addition to Hereford bulls from the Oregon Cattle Ranch at Echo, Bird Herefords of Halfway, and Allison Hay and Herefords of Boardman, Angus stock is coming from Baker City.
The show also will feature Shorthorns from the JR Ranch of Othello, Wash. Another Washington ranch, Beus Cattle Co. of Pasco, is bringing Limousin bulls, and a third, Trinity Farms of Ellensburg, is bringing Simmentals.
Circle V Maines of Vale will show bulls that are a Maine-Anjou and Angus cross.
Carol Allison said she and her husband, Mike, hope this year's show turns out for them like last year's. They sold two Hereford bulls afterward.
"We thought it was a pretty good success, and figured it would probably grow this year," Allison said. "It's a nice deal, not only for breeders, but for people shopping downtown."
She said the Art Walk and the Quilt Show that accompany the bull breeders show also help to attract people to the community.
"It gets you exposure," Allison said. "Exposure's always a good thing, whether you sell or not. It gets your name out there and people will know what you do have."
Dave and Linda Bird of Bird Herefords in Halfway also will exhibit again this year.
"We live quite a distance from Hermiston, but we think it's a very good display," Linda said.
None of the Birds' bulls will be for sale. They've been consigned to a bull sale near Madras Feb. 10.
"We're hoping if they see them and like them they'll come for our sale," she added.
Another Baker County rancher, Collin Kaseberg of Mountain View Cattle Co., is bringing bulls for the first time this year "just to meet some new people and get the bulls out in front of customers."
None will be for sale.
"We sell two-year-old bulls," he said. "We'll just bring some calves over and let people see what we've got."
Doug Bennett of the Oregon Hereford Ranch at Echo will be back for a second year.
"I thought it was a good show," he said of last year's inaugural event. "We had quite a few people look at the cattle, and it's good opportunity for the young people, the FFA members, to see the cattle and get an opportunity to judge cattle."
In addition to setting up and dismantling the pens for the show, members of the Hermiston FFA Chapter conduct a bull-judging competition among 4-H and FFA members from throughout the region. Judging, in teams of four, will begin at noon. Cash prizes will be awarded.
Bennett said his ranch, too, has consigned bulls to the Madras sale again this year. He's hoping the Hermiston show will help to promote his bulls like it did last year.
"A few people who saw bulls there were buyers in our sale," he said of last year's event.
Mike Mehren, a Hermiston animal nutrition consultant, is looking forward to Friday's show just so he can rub elbows with customers and maybe find some new ones.
"It's always great to see them, how winter has gone," he said. "We'll all whine about the price of hay."
Mehren said it's always interesting to see the differences in bulls of the same age.
"This is a great place to expose a new bull breeder, or some exotic crosses," he said. "It's a really nice opportunity for some of the new bull breeders as well as the ones we all know."
Roy Vardanega of Circle V Maines in Vale will be showing an exotic cross. He's bringing bulls that are a cross between Maine-Anjou cattle, a French breed, and Angus, an English breed. He's been in Malheur County six years and was in Wyoming 17 years before that.
"The Maines area maternal cross," he said. "They bring a good yield enhancement, good fertility. They also enhance marbling. I run everywhere from half-bloods to purebred Maine-Anjou cattle, too."
The breed also has a good disposition and are gentle to handle.
Daly said Sharon Livingston of Long Creek, president of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, plans to be available during the day to talk with ranchers about the OCA's legislative agenda, plus water and stewardship issues.
"She's really good about talking to people," Daly said.