Mule Shoe Bar Ranch

Location: Alliance, NE
Manager:  John Polk
The Mule Shoe Bar Ranch, a historic property located east of Alliance, Nebraska, consists of 15,000 total acres of native pasture including 1,800 acres of sub-irrigated meadow. A neigboring ranch, the Beck Ranch, consisting of 7,700 acres operates within the Mule Shoe unit. These ranches lie on the fringe of the Sandhills region - the heartland of the cow-calf industry. Acquired in early 2006, the Mule Shoe established the Schiff family's presence in Nebraska. The Mule Shoe’s abundant resources of rangeland, sub-irrigated meadows, and abundant water provide for an optimal environment for grazing cows and calves. 
John Polk manages the cow herd and combined 22,700 acres of property for the Schiff family.  John implements an intensive rotational grazing strategy to accomplish the combined goals of maximizing the ranch’s carrying capacity and being a superior steward of the land. An intensive artificial insemination program focuses on the development and breeding of the foundation cow herd that supplies replacement heifers and home-raised bulls to the other Schiff ranches. 
Approximately 40% of the Mule Shoe cow herd is trucked west of Alliance for winter grazing on Schiff Farms’ corn stalks near the Snake Creek operation. The Snake Creek Feedlot feeds the cows a wet distiller’s ration, a by-product of the ethanol industry, for energy and protein supplementation. The cows return to the Mule Shoe for the April calving season. The balance of the cow herd remains on the Mule Shoe and Beck Ranches year around. The ranch purchases meadow hay and an energy/protein cake to supplement the winter grazing and provide a full balanced diet during calving.

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