Angus Auction Attracts Cattle Farmers From Across Country

"These could be the greatest black calves yet. Let's bid at one hundred ten thousand," said the auctioneer, as his voice echoed around the sale barn at "7-L Farms".

This isn't your typical livestock auction. These cattlemen are bidding on top-of-the-line, big money, certified Angus breed stock.

"Six full sisters to this female have sold for $ 1,375,000," the auctioneer told the crowd of cattle buyers.

It was the very first production sale for "7-L" farms. The ranch is owned by successful Long Beach builder, Jimmy Levens, who's been breeding cattle for seven years.

"We got about two thousand acres. We have a lab that we work. We do embryo transfers, IVF, A-and-I, work it from that angle. And do a lot of natural breeding too," said Levens.

The lay person won't likely understand those bovine science terms. But the ultimate goal with cattle genetics is perfecting the breed; producing a better steak.

High bidding for these best-of-the-best is not unlike buying a thoroughbred race horse.

"These animals have been bred and selected for specific traits. And we try and keep families together and work on certain cow families to improve our herd," explained Skip Anderson, who keeps track of data for the farm.

The name Angus has long been associated with excellent beef. And that stock is ever improving, thanks largely to advances in research and genetics.

Richard Dyar represents the American Angus Association.

"The greatest end product is out consumer, the person who eats beef. And we want to provide a high quality, safe, nutritious product for the consumers of beef," he said.

All the cattle buyers share a common desire: "Ultimate goal is the steak on the plate," said a smiling Jimmy Levens.