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
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.
TO VIEW PHOTO IN LARGE FORMAT
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 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.
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.
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
Fall 2001 EPDs
MSU OPTIMUM Z03