Couple dedicated to providing top-notch cattle reproductive services

FF Editor
Farm Forum

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By Sydney Sleep

Agricultural Communications and Marketing Student, South Dakota State University

Editor’s note: Throughout the spring and summer months, the Farm Forum will feature articles written by South Dakota State University agriculture communications students.

Passionate about agriculture, many of these students will pursue careers where they will promote the people, commodities, technology and research that make up the agricultural industry.

We hope you enjoy reading their articles and encourage you to reach out and share your story with them.

To learn more about the agriculture education, communication and leadership major at SDSU, contact Lyle Olson, interim department head for the Journalism and Mass Communications Department at SDSU, Lyle.Olson@sdstate.edu or 605-688-4171.

Tim and Chandy Olson of Belle Fourche, S.D., started their successful veterinary business shortly after being married in 2002. Still growing today, CATL Resources, PC specializes in helping ranchers identify and reach reproductive goals for their entire herds using technology such as synchronization, artificial insemination (AI), and fetal ultrasound. They focus on the beef cow-calf producers in their region.

The couple met while Tim was breeding heifers for Chandy’s parents who ranch north of Belle Fourche. They now have three kids, Orin, 13, Atlee, 9, and Ivy, 4, who enjoy traveling with and helping them.

Tim has worked for Select Sires for 24 years, selling beef semen and providing turnkey synchronization and AI programs. While attending college at North Dakota State University, Tim took an AI training class. A year after taking the class, he applied for a position as a sales representative in western North Dakota. Tim moved to the Black Hills in 1997 to develop a beef sales area.

Chandy cannot remember a time when she was not planning to be a veterinarian. She fast-tracked through her undergraduate studies at the University of Wyoming, gaining her prerequisites for vet school. She gained her DVM from Kansas State University in 2002.

During the birth of the business, they took out a line of credit from Tim’s hometown banker in North Dakota, purchased a used pickup from Select Sires, a SILENCER Hydraulic Squeeze Chute and ultrasound machine.

“We convinced our banker that we would most likely ultrasound 5,000 head that year and get him paid off in a couple more years,” Tim said. “However, the first fall we ultrasounded three times that amount and paid the banker off in six months.”

In a normal year, they synchronize and AI 10,000 to 12,000 head per year from April through August. They also do a few groups in the fall. The typical size of the groups they work with range from less than 30 to over 2,500 head. The couple has been involved with large groups of speculation heifer projects as large as 4,000 head. They ultrasound pregnancy test 30,000 to 40,000 head a year.

In 2012, they were asked to go to Kansas to breed heifers that were purchased throughout the upper Midwest and were destined for Russia. They did 15,000 head in 12 days with a crew of 9 people. In 2013, they bred 9,000 head in that same facility in Kansas and then took 13 people to Russia to breed 33,000 head in 17 days.

Additionally, they sell the same equipment they use everyday in their business. This includes SILENCER Hydraulic Squeeze Chutes, Daniels Manufacturing Co. alleyways, panels, and hydraulic chutes, as well as portable corral systems by Rawhide and LINN Post and Pipe.

“What started out as part of our business to upgrade equipment, has turned into a major enterprise of selling equipment all over the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world,” Tim said.

They normally service producers in western North Dakota and South Dakota, northeast Wyoming, and southeast Montana. In addition to Chandy, Tim, and their kids, the full-time work force includes veterinarian Levi Garbel and Ron Nenaber, who delivers their equipment. Garbel worked for them seasonally and then was hired full-time after completing vet school in 2016. They also hire three to four people part-time during the summer. Many of these are college or vet school interns looking to gain experience in bovine reproduction.

In the future, they plan to continue making some improvements, as well as adding a few more services for their customers.

“We plan to continue helping young people gain experience and explore the world of bovine reproduction,” Tim said.

They are always in search of people who may consider the career path of providing top-notch reproductive services for beef cattle producers in their region.

Sydney Sleep grew up on a commercial Angus ranch outside of Spearfish, S.D. She will graduate from South Dakota State University in May 2018 with a degree in agricultural communications and a marketing minor. Sydney is working for Agriculture United for South Dakota in Sioux Falls, S.D. this summer. Following graduation, she hopes to write for an agriculture magazine or work in communications or marketing for an agriculture company. To learn more about Sydney, contact her at sydney.sleep@jacks.sdstate.edu.

Sydney Sleep
Tim and Chandy Olson of Belle Fourche, S.D. Courtesy photo
Tim Olson (pictured here) and his wife, Chandy, of Belle Fourche, S.D., own CATL Resources, PC. Courtesy photo