1992 National Genetic Focus
Grand Champion Bull, American Royal
1993 National Grand Champion Bull, Denver

Optimum was Grand Champion at the American Royal in 1992, and was Grand Champion at the National Western in 1993. At a time when most Polled Hereford Bulls being shown were large-framed with high birthweight and low milk EPDs, Optimum was a moderate-framed bull with moderate birth weight, high growth and high milk EPDs. Though he was a 7.2 frame, many at the time thought he was too small to be useful. His mature weight is around 2800-3000 lbs. Today many people feel he is too big, which is an indication of how rapidly standards have changed.

Optimum now has over 300 daughters in production in the United States, which is likely to grow with the continued performance and show ring success of his progeny. At Quick Mill Farms, Z03 daughters such as QMF Opti Steele 10F and WNH MS Opti 9503 1ET were some of the highest producing cows in the herd. We were so impressed by Z03 daughters that when Doug Gerber offered to sell possession of Z03 we jumped at the chance. Optimum has been our main herd sire since 1998 and a whole new crop of his daughters will be in production next year.


Optimum's most famous daughter, WNH Ms Optima 9401, is considered by many to be the best cow in the breed. At five years of age, 9401 has produced more champions at the national level than probably any other cow in the history of the breed. No cow has ever had the impact on a single National Show that 9401 had in Denver in 1999. She had six calves there from four different bulls. Her 6 calves produced 3 class winners, two seconds and one third, three divisional champions and both Reserve Grand Champions. Few bulls have ever had that kind of an impact on a National Show. 9401's progeny sales and semen sales of her sons have already exceeded a quarter of a million dollars. In one 8 day period in late October, 1998, 9401 and her progeny racked up over $125,000 in sales.

     OPTIMUM Z03

Optimum has been used widely in Australia where he has 8 owners. He has been a trait leader in the Australian Sire Summary for 9 traits: two maternal traits (gestation length and milk); three growth traits (200, 400 and 600 day weight); and four carcass traits (ribeye muscle, low backfat, low rumpfat and retail beef yield). No other bull is a leader for more traits. (Feltons 517 has been a trait leader for 7 traits.) At the recent Palerimo National Show in Argentina, 75% of the cows in the cow/calf class were daughters of Optimum. Worldwide he has sold nearly 15,000 straws of semen. Sales of his semen, AI certificates, and breeding interests have exceeded $400,000.

During the years (1994-98), Optimum has had 1,121 calves registered to him in the United States alone. Only one polled bull (Victor 103T) and two horned bulls have had more registrations of their calves over the same time period. Optimum has been in the top ten of the breed for calves registered continuously since 1994. Other bulls have come and gone like flashes in the night, but Optimum has endured. This attests to the enduring value breeders see in MSU Optimum Z03.

In 1999 the first Carcass EPDs were published by the AHA. Optimum was in the top 1% of the breed for ribeye muscle and low backfat. This means he should produce very high yielding carcasses, as the Australian data has shown. and that he is one of the heaviest muscled bulls in the breed. In fact, there were only two bulls out of several hundred (both polled and horned) that had a higher ribeye muscle EPD than did Optimum.

Maybe even more significant is his structural longevity. Optimum is now 11 years old, and he has been breeding 20-50 cows per year since he was a yearling. He remains completely sound on his feet and legs, and has never had any significant illness, injury or structural problem. He has great eyeset and he has never had pinkeye to my knowledge. Though he weighs nearly 3000 lbs in pasture condition, he moves free and easy. He serves cows without putting his weight on them and hurting them. His disposition is great, and he continues to be a very easy keeper. In August of Ď97, he was picked up right out of the pasture at Gerberís and hauled to Hawkeye Breeders where he weighed 2870 upon arrival. He had just bred about 50 cows.

Z03 has produced many famous daughters such as 9401, who we have already mentioned, and 9503, who is a top producer, top donor and one of our top 10 cows.

9401 National Grand Champion Female
9503 California Cow/Calf pair Champion

We have had Optimum breeding cows at Quick Mill Farms since the spring of 1998 with his first calves born in the spring of 1999. We have kept most of Z03's daughters in our herd. Below are three examples of Z03's daughters with their newborn calves. They are the broody, good uddered, good milking, attentive mamas that we are looking for.

       Z03 First Calf Heifers

Here at Quick Mill Farms his fertility was so good that the cows in his pasture settle on their first heats during the breeding season resulting in his calves being born at the front of the calf crop. Unfortanely at age 12, Z03's time ran out and he is no longer with us. His last calf crop from natural service will come next spring.

Bulls like MSU Optimum Z03 come along once in a lifetime. First he was famous for his show ring success then the performance and show ring success of his progeny. Now his carcass EPD's are bringing him new recognition. Fertility, longevity, carcass, phenotype, disposition, and milk, not only does Z03 have all these traits but he passes them on with a high level of accuracy. His bloodline through his progeny has impacted the breed worldwide like no other in recent history. He is a foundation building bull and we, at Quick Mill Farms, are proud to have had him as a cornerstone in our breeding program.


Fall 2001 EPDs    
Reg.# P23448168




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