Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 25, 1984, Image 20

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    York County Shives are totally into Angus
Staff Correspondent
cows graze serenely across the hill
behind the Gordon Shive family’s
rancher at Seven Valleys El. In
side, dozens of bright ribbons -
heavy on the shades of blue and
purple line the walls of the dining
room. And just down the road, at
his parents’ farmhouse, an at
tractive sign announces “Shives
Angus Farm.”
Gordon Shive, his wife Diane,
and their three daughters, Chris,
17; Cathy, 12; and Robin, 10, are
totally "into” Angus cattle. In fact,
the activities of the Shives are so
mingled with the purebred black
beef that the state breed
association named them the Angus
family of the year, at the group’s
annual meeting during Farm Show
Shive grew up on the Dan Shive
family’s general farm, with its
three milk cows, flock of chickens,
steers and hogs. When he was 12
years old, Shive joined the 4-H
program, raising steer and hog
projects. '
“Actually, I did better then
showing Berkshire hogs,” he
remembers, adding that their
daughters have done far better
showing beef cattle than he did in
his 4-H career.
He and Diane, daughter of a
Hanover-area farm family, con
tinued exhibiting hogs after the
couple had married. Chris was just
six weeks old when she traveled
along for her first York Fair visit,
while the Shives competed in the
Berkshire show.
Gordon’s father, Dan, found his
interest in beef cattle growing; and
he and his son many years ago
together purchased a couple of
purebred brood cows.
Dan Shive became a sort of
“industry pioneer” back in 1964,
when he was the first county beef
producer to experiment with
wintering his herd outside in the
pastures, at the suggestion of the
then-fledgling assistant extension
agent Tony Dobrosky. The move
Adding a few more Angus ribbons to the family collection
are, from the left, Chris, Robin and Cathy Shive.
Both Gordon and Diane Shive are active in the Pa. Angus
Association he as a director and she as treasurer.
initially earned Shive raised
eyebrows from neighbors and
headlines in farm publications.
Grandpa Shive took his little
grandaughter, Chris, along to a 4-H
beef meeting one night, stirring
her interest to the point that, just
as soon as she was old enough, the
youngster signed up as a member.
That first steer might have
discouraged a less determined
rookie. He never tamed down, but
remained so jittery and wild that
Chris finally exhibited a heifer
instead, winning two small rib
T wasn’t discouraged,” Chris
says. “I didn’t know any better.”
Today, all three of the Shive
children "know better,” as their
dozens of ribbons and rosettes, won
each year attest.
The family was the county’s first
to exhibit at the national junior
Angus show, beginning in
Louisville in 1977. Since then,
they’ve attended other national
junior exhibits in Indianapolis,
Nashville, and Georgia, where in
1980, Chris’ spirited brood cow,
“Killer,” was chosen reserve
champion bred and owned heifer.
This past year’s junior successes
put Cathy in the spotlight, with
SAF Queen Dolly 42, a heifer from
one of Dan Shive’s cows. She
topped all heifers for the cham
pionship at the state junior
breeders show at Centre Hall, won
both the junior and open class at
the York Fair, and wrapped up the
year by winning the junior show at
the Keystone International. At the
Farm Show, Cathy was again a
winner with the mediumweight
champion steer.
Robin was out "helping” \yith
the beef cattle when she could
barely toddle around, and is
considered by the family as their
true “animal lover.” They vividly
recall the scares she gave them by
calmly standing under the older
girls’ steers and playing near the
legs one particular animal known
for her quick feet.
During her second year of 4-H,
Robin showed her showring mettle
Shive family conference is held to evaluate showring candidate. Looking over "Dixie,
from the left, are Diane, Robin, Cathy, Chris and Gordon at halter.
by winning the champion mid
dleweight honors at the annual
Adams-York roundup this past
November, while Chris copped the
champion heavyweight and
reserve grand ribbons the same
Now, the Shive family has added
open class competition with the
purchase of Clarimont Barbara
99C, an embryo-transplant heifer
they call “E.T.” Owned in part
nership with Pleasant Valley
Farms of Lebanon, Bill Holloway
and Dr. Joe Calderzaao, the typey
heifer is housed at the Shive’s show
beef barn, adjacent to their home
on the farm.
Last year on the show circuit,
“E.T.” claimed numerous honors,
including the open class heifer
championship at the Keystone
show, and summer and reserve
grand champion at the Farm
Plans are to flush and transplant
embryos from “E.T.,” possibly
breeding her with some of the top
young sires that have been winning
at the Louisville and Denver
national shows.
Having started at the bottom of
the Angus show competition, the
Shives agree that competition
within the breed is getting
“tougher each year. ’ ’
To keep up with the constantly
improving breed, calves selected
for show must have good size, but
be structurally correct. Purchased
animals are generally selected at
10 to 12 months of age, and many of
the bought 4-H animals in recent
years have come from Rally
Farms in New York.
Slave msists on femininity in
heifers, plus a long, clean neck and
a good stride.
Success with homebreds begins
the moment they hit the ground.
Each calf is weighed and
measured, with follow-up
measurements taken each month
and added to individual records. At
the seven-month weamng period, a
first selection of potential show
calves is made.
Each calf is tied and fed in
dividually, with feed weighed
carefully so that records will
reflect gain efficiencies. From the
initial dozen or so calves selected
as show candidates, about eight
usually emerge for top con
sideration as show season nears.
While tied, calves are brushed
and worked with regularly so that
they become accustomed to being
handled. Brushing daily goes a
long way toward overall fitting of
the animal, which the Shives feel
plays a large role in showring
,e * “ ,
%. **
success. Wetting down of the coat,
as well as brushing, is added to the
daily schedule over the summer.
Regular walking sessions teach
halter obedience, pjus muscle and
condition show entries. A Shive
daughter out walking her steer is a
common sight in the rural
neighborhood, especially just
before major shows, then mile
long treks help polish steer finish.
While there are slower seasons
between shows, beef breeding and
exhibiting is definitely a year
round business.
“There’s no real break any
time,” Chris admits. “We get new
animals about October, while
we’re still working with the
roundup and Farm Show entries.
Then when those shows are over, it
isn’t very long until spring calving
and preparation for the first
The Shives’ herd presently in
cludes 26 cows and calves, but
spring calving will soon boost that
total. Sires favored for use include
“High Guy,” the sire of the Denver
show’s champion bull and female,
“Pine Drive Big Sky,” and the
popular “Ten,” officially named
“Rosebank Connection 69.”
Peak of the breeding season falls
in June, a month also busy with
haying and hauling cattle to shows.
Shive credits their high conception
rates to his dad’s spending “48
hours every day with the cattle,”
and the Atlantic technicians who
handle all their A 1 work.
While the row of show banners,
rosettes and ribbons has lengthed
considerably over the past few
years, this family’s goal is to
continue upgrading their herd.
“We still have some cows I’m not
happy with,” relates Shive. “We
want the kind of cows that will
throw calves with eye appeal, and
that will both show and sell.”
Individual cows are enrolled in
the Angus Herd Improvement
Registry (AHIR), an association
' r.
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program which computes in
formation on genetic potentials of
mothering ability, based on weight
and feed gain data.
Merchandising includes con
signing to the Pennsylvania Angus
sale, scheduled this year for March
9 at the Farm Show building. Their
entry in this year’s lineup of 90
head is a May heifer bred to “Big
Sky.” She was the reserve
champion at last year’s Penn
sylvania Junior invitational show.
“It’s a quality sale with a good
reputation,” Shive says of the sale
that pulls in buyers from many
surrounding states. He credits
Lancaster extension agent Chet
Huges, formerly with the State
Angus association, with helping
establish the high-quality con
signment auction.
Junior members also use the
sale as a fundraiser, auctioning off
semen from some of the country’s
top bulls, donated by the sires’
owners. Last year, the juniors
earned $5,000 toward their ac
tivities, and they’re now working
to accumulate a fund for hosting
the Eastern Regional Junior show
in 1985.
During 1983 Farm Show ac
tivities, Chris was named the
state’s Angus queen, spending
many hours of the ensuing year
promoting beef, speaking to
various events and handing out
ribbons. She was one of the key
figures in working with the
promotional events surround
“J.D.,” the record-setting York
County Farm Show steer cham
pion purchased by Art Glatfelter
and then donated back to the
county’s youth.
A noted 4-H public speaker,
Chris has won state honors for her
speeches many of them focusing on
beef or beef products, and on
promotion. Cathy, too, is polishing
her public speaking skills and won
a blue ribbon at regional 4-H
competition on her beef tattooing
demonstration. Animal lover
Robin exhibited her project in
dependence by skipping public
speaking and concentrating in
stead on hatching out baby chicks.
Angus-related activities fill a
large part of the Shive’s family
time. Diane is treasurer of the
state association, and Gordon
serves as a director and advisor
for the junior group.
And, while ribbons, rosettes and
banners are fun to collect, what the
Shive’s value far more are the
friends they have learned to know
and fellowship they have shared
through the Pennsylvania Angus
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