Bull Test Center
CSC Bull Test History
The Connors State College bull testing program was established in 1962.
The Muskogee County Hereford Breeders approached Bob Hodges about
starting a performance test. The college agreed to furnish the land,
labor and test supervision, the association was to own the facility.
Members of the association obtained a loan to build the barn. The loan
was to be repaid by charging a "pen fee" on bulls tested. This worked
fine for a couple of years, but performance testing was not accepted by
the cattle industry as fast as they anticipated. The loan was becoming
delinquent. The "friendly banker" wanted paid and the breeders did not
want to take the money out of there own pockets to repay the loan. Fast
talking cow traders must have been around forever. They convinced the
president of the college and the friendly banker this deal would be
good for both of them if they would take their names off of the note.
They succeeded and the college assumed full responsibility. The next
year the sales facility was constructed. Bob Hodges and the students
did a good job and the program worked fine. Bob retired in 1972 and the
college hired Joe Garrett. Carl Simeroth was the farm manager and looked
after the bulls. Joe was at Connors for three years. Both Joe and Carl
went to Northwest Missouri State University. Joe then became the Executive
Director for the Charolais Association and retired from that position.
Last Year the Santa Gertrudis association convinced Joe to come out of
retirement and run their association. Carl returned to Warner to run a
ranching operation for Robert Thompson. Carl still buys bulls for that
operation at the Connors sale.
The cattle crash in the 70's about done everyone in, including the
Connors Bull Test. The bull sale had been discontinued in 1974. The
college hired Gary Harding in 1977 to try to rebuild the bull test and
Agriculture program. Only twenty six bulls were tested and sale was held.
It was not a pretty sight. In 1978 a new college president, Dr. Carl
Westbrook, was hired and Jerry McPeak came aboard to start a livestock
judging team and Bill Standifird became farm manager. About 45 bulls were
tested and an ice storm came on sale day. The auctioneer, Col. Holland
Jester of Madill wrecked his car on the ice coming to the sale and retired
following the accident. The sale went on but it was "plum ugly". In 1979,
Dr. Gary Updyke came as Dean of Agriculture and Technical Education. The
Equine Technology or horse training program was instituted, Fred Williams
was hired to develop the program.
The Limousin and Simmental breeds had arrived in America. Most of the
bull tests would only allow purebreds to be tested and would not
accept these "crossbreds" or percentage bulls. This presented an
opportunity to the struggling program in eastern Oklahoma that was
trying to compete with the big boys. Connors became a place to test
Simmentals. The Limousin association started the "National Limousin Bull
Test" and Connors was selected to conduct it for the first three years.
The Connors bull test is open to all breeds and they want to test all
breeds because of the educational value to the students. Buddy Lassiter
joined the team in 1988. Ron Ramming, a Connors alumni, came back from
the University of Tennessee as an assistant judging team coach and ag
instructor. Jeff McPeak joined the agriculture program in 1998.
Stayability is not only a characteristic of the Connors agriculture
staff but also of others associated with the bull sale. A. J. Smith,
editor of the Oklahoma Cowman, has worked the ring at every sale held at
Connors. Bruce Brooks has sold every bull for the past twenty years.
Over 6,000 bulls have been tested at Connors. Types and
performance have changed. In 1977, Newell Pixler of Keota had the top
performing bull on the test. That bull was the only bull tested that
gained 4 pounds per day and the big highlight was his weighing 1000
pounds at a year of age. Twenty one years later, every bull in the sale
exceeded those figures. The economic benefit of identifying superior
genetics is tremendous. If those 6,000 bulls only sired 60 calves each,
they sired 360,000 calves. It would be impossible to calculate the added
value of the daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters.