By CAROL RYAN DUMAS
BRUNEAU, Idaho -- A bull from Colyer Hereford & Angus near Bruneau sold for a whopping $600,000 at the ranch's annual bull sale Feb. 25.
C Mile McKee 2103 ET, a 13-month-old Hereford weighing 1,410 pounds was purchased by the Miles McKee Syndicate in Dunlap, Iowa.
"It was something else, pretty amazing," said seedstock operator Guy Colyer.
The sale is a world record in modern Hereford history, breaking the previous record of $301,000, he said.
"We knew there was a tremendous amount of interest in him, but we didn't anticipate him bringing that much," Colyer said.
The syndicate, with one unnamed principal in the cattle breeding business, bought three-quarters interest in the bull and will put him into stud for semen collection. The Colyer family will retain one-quarter interest, with the ability to use the bull's semen in its own herd and collecting a portion of semen sales, Colyer said.
While the bull sold for $600,000, its valuation is $800,000. Top dollar came from the bull's breeding, phenotype and EPD (a prediction of the performance of future offspring), he said.
The bull was by NJW 98S R117 Ribeye 88X and from C Notice Me. Under the name C 88X Notice Me 2103 ET, the bull won the Hereford grand champion horned bull title at the 2013 Southwestern Livestock Exposition Show, Fort Worth, Texas, earlier this year.
The bull was renamed just before the sale in honor of Miles McKee, professor emeritus at Kansas State University.
Colyer said McKee is an icon in the cattle industry and had a long tenure in KSU's Animal Science Department, where he taught for more than 40 years and headed up the department until his retirement a few years ago.
McKee was adviser to Colyer children Kyle and Katie, who both graduated from KSU with degrees in animal science. Kyle thought so much of McKee, he wanted to name a prize bull for him, he said.
McKee, who retired in 2005, said he was surprised by the naming of the bull and is honored and humbled.
"I think a great deal of Kyle Colyer, one of our students. It was very kind of him, he said. "I'm surprised it sold with a name like that," he added with a chuckle.
Colyer Herford & Angus runs 400 head of registered cows. Feb. 25's bull sale was Colyer's 33rd annual event. Its highest selling bull prior to C Miles McKee went for $228,000 in 1984, he said.
The sale of C Miles McKee has brought a lot of notoriety to the operation with calls coming in from everywhere, he said.
Asked where the operation goes from here, Colyer said the family will keep doing what they've been doing, "raising as good a bull as possible."
"Every now and then you raise one that gains international focus," he said.
Calls to the American Hereford Association were not immediately returned on Wednesday.