County Farmer of the Year Bill Hullander just bought three of the most expensive cows he has ever purchased as he launches a new idea at his Apison farm - pick out your steer and get the beef from that cow when it is ready for market.
The County Commission member got delivery on Wednesday morning on his three Black Angus "with the genetic edge" that he bought at a recent auction at Riverbend Ranch at Idaho Falls, Idaho.
"The cows at the auction brought in over a million dollars. One was over $100,000. I didn't spend that much for mine," Commissioner Hullander said.
On the huge metal trailer that came from Idaho to the stop in Ooltewah was one cow that fetched over $400,000 at another sale, the driver said.
Commissioner Hullander said he is continually improving his stock at the 100-acre farm his father, the late Troy Hullander, bought in 1944. He uses no hormones or steroids, buys chemical-free feed from Wilhoit Farm nearby, and uses an environmentally friendly liquid fertilizer on his pastures.
His new idea is to have customers come to the farm and pick out the cow they want. He said, "When it is ready, we will ship it for processing to H&P Meat Packing in South Pittsburg. They will cut up the steaks the way you want them, and you will have 400 or 500 pounds of beef for your freezer. Or you can take just half a cow and somebody else gets the other half."
He said, "I am getting a lot of good comments on how the steaks from our Black Angus cows taste. One lady says she can really tell the difference and she won't eat any other steaks."
Commissioner Hullander said, "Most of the steaks you get are from the West and have a lot of chemicals and steroids in them."
He also has divided his farm into seven different pastures, and he rotates the 50 cows on the different pastures - allowing the grass to grow back up on the ones not in use at the time. "I move them every two weeks," he said.
Commissioner Hullander said the three cows he bought at auction are females. Two have already been bred and should be having calves after the first of the year.
Riverbend Sure Shot, BCC Bushwacker and Rockn D Ambush were getting used to their new Apison surroundings on Wednesday.
Those interested in signing up for a Hullander cow should call 236-4571 and arrange with Linda a visit to the farm.
Newly arrived Black Angus