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OUTBACK CATTLE COMPANY
Simmental and Simm/Angus
J. Paul Abrams
404 5th Ave. S.E. • High River, AB • T1V 1H8
Business Phone: 403.899.1626
Home Phone: 403.652.1502
 

I (Paul Abrams) have worked with cattle pretty much my entire life. I first started back on my parent’s (Reynold and Patricia Scharf's)farm in the Ottawa valley in eastern Ontario. We had a commercial cattle and horse operation, but in 1980 my parents purchased our first purebred Simmentals and the family farm became Rock Lane Simmentals. I purchased my first cow from Hy-cross beef breeders and her name was Hy-cross Ms Mark, a polled daughter of Polaris.

As a youth I was very active in 4-H and was one of the very first members of the Young Canadian Simmentals at it's inception in 1980. It was with these two groups that I started to learn about showing cattle. Before long I was mastering the art of fitting and showing and soon moved into the custom fitting business, which I enjoyed for two decade’s. 

I attended Kemptville College of Agriculture and Technology. After graduation I went to work for Agriculture Canada and Ontario Agriculture, however I found this slow and structured life was not the direction I wanted to take. In 1985, I took a course at Eastern Breeders in Artificial Insemination (A.I.) and Fertility Management. I would later use this information to enhance my breeding program and develop a new career.

In 1990, my parents and “Rock Lane” were relocated to Cayley, Alberta and since that was where all the “cow action” was, I too relocated. I was in Alberta for three years showing cattle when I was asked to go to Australia to show at the Sydney Royal. I decided to take the opportunity to stay, travel and learn about the Australian ways of raising cattle on a big scale. When I returned from my travels, I decided I was not yet through with the cattle industry and in 1996 I purchased my seed stock cattle from Bar 15 Simmentals (Quentin and Anne Stevick). It was from these cows, as well as cows from the Rock Lane herd, that my current herd was derived. I have not bought in very many cattle over the years, as I prefer to breed and develop cow families. This is a slow process but I recognized early on that the best quality and the most consistent herds were developed in this manner. I keep my very best each year and sell the rest to the commercial industry. To breed my cattle I fell back to my A.I. skills. Since then I have developed that part of my experience into a small business, breeding upwards of one thousand head annually for my customers. I specialize in large numbers of cows and synchronization programs. I take a great amount of effort in researching bulls before I decide to add an A.I. sire to my program. Too many breeders use too many A.I. sires at once. This method may enhance genetic diversity but predictability is sacrificed. When I add a bull, I commit to him for at least three years and longer if he works out. If he doesn’t work out I can eliminate him without any real great financial loss.

Synchronizing the herd, allows us to achieve two breedings in one natural heat cycle and maintain a tight calving interval. Most of the cattle will calve in less than 40 days.

In 2003, a Red Angus component was added to our breeding herd with the purchase of Red Howe Ms Minola 98D.  She has turned out to be an exceptional donor cow. As of 2008 she has over 60 registered progeny and has produced 5 purebred herd sires. She is still producing at 14 years of age.

In the last ten years I have been doing some Herd management consulting and have been retained by two large purebred operations. In these positions I deal with herd management, fertility and carcass development.

My wife Jasmine and I live in High River, Alberta and I make the 15-minute commute to the ranch each morning. When I’m not working with the cattle, which granted is most of the time, I can be found on the river, fly fishing or helping Jasmine with her garden.

 
         

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