What's an Old Bull Worth?

This is about a bull nicknamed Vindicator. He looked a lot like the bull in the movie “The Rare Breed”, hence the nickname Vindicator. Vindicator had been around for 3 or 4 years doing his job when an issue arose registering one of his daughters. So I called the Association and they said just send some DNA and we’ll get it straightened out. I got him in and poked him til he bled, put the blood on a cute little card and sent it to a lab in Lincoln, Nebraska. About a month later we got the results back. To my surprise he didn’t match the sire on his registration papers. Now we have a bull with an identity crisis. We went from having problems registering his daughter to his papers being canceled. This annoyed me to no end. I just wanted to get rid of old Vindicator. Just my luck, the local sale barn closed last spring. We thought about hauling him west across the river to a sale barn but then we remembered they have those grumpy old brand inspectors, you know the guy standing by the load-in chute with a big hat, bushy mustache and a scarf tied around his neck and kind of looks like he just stepped out of the late 1800’s. They have no sense of humor about selling a bull with someone else’s brand on him. You see he was a boughten bull and we never got around to rebranding him. It annoys me every time I see him, he’s got to go. So we decided to take him to a local meat locker and have jerky made out of him.

Vindicator weighed 1890 lbs. alive. We got him dressed and we still had 1134 pounds hanging weight. Deboned and trimmed he weighed 680 lbs. Raw meat is 64% moisture and jerky is 1% moisture therefore you lose 63% of the weight in the jerky making process. Now we have 251 lbs. of jerky. Seems a little disappointing to start out with a 1890 lb. bull and end up with 251 lbs. of jerky. But on the other hand what the hell are you going to do with 251 lbs. of jerky.

We know there is a South Dakota National Guard Unit deployed to the Middle East that has at least 4 soldiers with connections to the Chamberlain, SD area. We thought maybe some South Dakota jerky would brighten their day and let them know that people at home are thinking about them. At least this way we could salvage some bragging rights, and in the future we can advertise we sent a bull to the Middle East. So we called the State Family Readiness Group Coordinator to see if they could help us with logistics. They thought it was a good idea but they had one problem. They can only accept up to $1,000 donation per entity. Evidently they think old Vindicator is worth more than $1,000. Well, technically she is right. At the sale barn he is worth $.85 a pound, $1,606.50. I didn’t quite know what to say to the lady. I’d been accused of a lot of things over the years but being accused of being too generous, now that was a first. We had talked to other people about helping with this project so we decided we needed to count up our entities. Well, there is Totton Angus who instigated the project, Old Vindicator was actually registered under Hoing Hereford Ranch, Dehaai Processing gave us a break on the cost of the jerky making when they found out we were donating it to a National Guard unit, the owner of Adamson Angus, Kore Cares of Sioux Falls and Thrivent Financial helped with the processing segment of this adventure, and the Hoing Racing Team procured the money for the shipping. So now we have 7 entities involved. We decided to go to the local C-Store to see if we were under the $1,000 per entity. We found a bag of SD made jerky about the same weight as we would be sending. It weighed 4.5 oz and cost $11.49. That figures out to be $2.55 per oz. or $40.80 per pound. Our 251 lbs. of jerky would cost $10,240.80. Not enough entities or we will have to find some jerky on sale. If I would have known Old Vindicator was worth $10,240.80 he would still be alive. We’d like some more calves out of such a valuable bull.

In the end, a total of 45 boxes (1,300 packages) of jerky were sent to the 91 soldiers of the South Dakota Army National Guard's Company C, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment that are currently deployed in the Middle East. The soldiers were thankful for a delicious taste of home.

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Article published by Tri-State Livestock News: