We caught up with the breeder of the Grand Champion FFA Ewe and the Reserve Champion 4-H Ewe at the 2023 Iowa State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Tanner Hild of Hild Brothers Show Stock below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Breeder Spotlight.”
What’s the pedigree of your champion?
FFA Ewe: This is ewe is sired by Gable back on Freestyle’s mom (bush baby.) This ewe has always been a fan favorite in our families eyes and we feel she encapsulates all the feminine pieces to help us move forward!
4H Ewe: This gal is sired by Ride Time back on a full sib to freestyle (78 x Freestyle’s mom.) We’re tapping into our freestyle line pretty heavy and it’s paying dividends. We had high expectations when she was born, and she’s lived up to the hype. We’re very excited to see this mating again hit the ground come winter.
What makes your operation run smoothly?
There is unequivocally no doubt that our operation doesn’t run without our family putting in overtime hours at home everyday. But I’d like to take a different approach and say the other reason our operation runs smoothly and has seen the success that it has is because of the families we do business with, specifically ones here in Iowa. We have two great examples in the Walker and Goretska family that take what needs to be done to heart and do it with integrity. It’s one thing to raise sheep that you think are high quality, it’s another to get them to the purple chips and there’s no way we’d be there without them putting in the work and making the sacrifices to do so.
How many head do you run?
550ish, fluctuates on how good the fence job is.
Do you have another job besides raising sheep? If so, what’s your occupation?
I currently work full time on the ranch helping my dad on the row crop farming side, and the day to day chores and needs of all the livestock. Job title includes but no limited to: yelling at an ill trained Corgi, taking the verbal beat downs from our father for tools Charlie doesn’t put back and being the best teaser ewe holder on this side of the Mississippi River.
In your opinion, who has been the most influential ram across the industry?
Drop The Mic/Unicorn
What’s your favorite livestock show?
The Iowa State Fair
Do you prefer online sales or live sales?
I believe both are essential for this day and age. There’s an aspect to the live sales that I believe to be making a comeback. People want to see the livestock with their own eyes, and we as breeders want to make a connection with folks rather than it just being a transaction over the phone or computer. Which is why we’re building a new facility to accommodate just that. This will be the first year we sell our January flush group live from our sale facility March 1st, the following day will be a customer appreciation sale open to semen customers. We think this could be big!