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Running a cow/calf operation on the dry, treeless plains of northwest Kansas is not always easy; however Joel and Mary Bunker of Sharon Springs have made it work for 20 years. The Bunker’s purchased their first registered Angus in 1990 from the Lamb Ranch in Russell Springs. Beginning with 10 bred heifers carrying the bloodlines of TC Walkon, RR Traveler and Bando 155 their herd now consists of 150 registered Angus cows.
After marrying in 1987 and deciding to start a registered herd they combined each of their first name initials with their last name initial to name their ranch JMB Angus. The Bunker’s began researching and studying different breeds and soon came to the conclusion that Angus was the breed for them. JMB Angus joined the Kansas Angus Association and the American Angus Association in 1990 and has used the AHIR program from the start. When asked about their program, Joel and Mary say, “We AI all of the cows and heifers for one heat cycle and then we put them out with the herd bulls. We calve in the spring. We experimented with some ET work last spring for the first time. We have built our cow herd by using proven sires. We have genetics t hat have proven themselves to work well. We put great emphasis on maternal quality, disposition, calving ease, growth and carcass. We try to keep all of these traits in balance.” They have purchased females based on the goals they have set. Last year they added the Miss Wix cow family to their herd. Females have been purchased through several production and private treaty sales including from the Stucky and Benoit herds in Kansas.
Besides ranching, Joel is employed by Animal Health International. Mary teaches Language Arts in Sharon Springs Middle School.