A Testimonial by: Jack Farnsworth

Maybe you've been hearing about the Power of using Romagnola bulls on your commercial females. If you haven't tried a Romagnola bull in your herd, you'll appreciate the experience of yet another of the satisfied cattlemen who have switched to this Italian breed known for its heavy muscled, moderate calving, and extremely fertile bulls.

Jack Farnsworth, a "no-nonsense" cattleman from Downing, MO breeds from  100 to 150 Angus and Angus crossed females a year. He and his son started running "Rom" bulls a few years back with a 'wait-and see' approach to his revised breeding program using these bulls. He wanted to know about birth weights, and how the calves from this cross would pan out on the rail since he retains ownership to the end of the line. He's interested in carcass data and makes culling decisions in part based on his feedback.

Jack says his "Rom" bulls increased overall muscle mass on the calves regardless of the cow used, especially when compared to calves out of his Angus bulls. "They have more loin and you can see the meat carry through all the way down the back leg to the hock. We've eaten a few of our Rom crosses and their meat is finer grained and tendered... yet were juicy, tender, and full of flavor. The steaks are marbled without thick fat or veins of fat throughout the meat.

Everyone raves about the steaks. But the real test is how the Rom cross calves perform on the rail. Over the last couple of years, we have shipped several loads of steers. Most are yield grade 1 and 2's, with only a few 3's, and no yield grade 4 or 5's. Average dressing on these no-trim carcasses is 64-65%, and percent retail product has been from 65% to over 70%! On top of amazing yields, 70-90% grade choice or prime. We have been paid some great premiums on these Rom cross calves! We keep our Rom cross heifers for replacements. One thing we noticed is after these heifers calve, they breed back sooner than other 'non Rom-crossed heifers' for their second calves. The Romagnola bulls are highly fertile and neither heat nor cold seems to bother them. In the winters here we get weather below 0 degrees and often in the single digits, and in the summers, it gets in the 90's with high humidity.

We haven't had any calving problems on cows or heifers, as we purchased bulls for both heifers and cows with different birth weight potentials. Even on some of the higher birth weight calves, they are long and slender and haven't been a problem due to their shape. You can really tell a difference if you study the Rom cross calves the first few weeks and compare them with calves sired by other bulls. They really take off at about three weeks, and after weaning, they keep right on growing in the feedlot. They are healthy and hardy in the lots, efficient on feed, and we've had no 'pulls'. Most will finish sooner than other calves in the feedlots. The Rom sired calves seem to have a large window to finish without getting over fat before going to slaughter.

We raise a few Romagnola Fullblood calves each year out of some Fullblood females we bought so we could raise our own replacement bulls. After ultrasounding some of the bulls, we were astounded to have some rib eyes over 1.5 square inches per 100 pounds of live weight. Several of the steers sent to slaughter have had over 2 square inches of rib eye at 14-16 months. These bulls are putting some muscle on our calves! The data says it all…. Romagnola bulls net us more money, by producing carcasses that have cut out over 70% retail product.

“My son and I are now 'true believers'. We invite you to come visit us anytime and see for yourselves the difference Romagnola bulls have made in our program."
Jack Farnsworth
Downing, MO

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