POWER COUNTY, Idaho - The state of Idaho has a new claim to fame. In addition to world-famous potatoes, Idaho is now the home of the national champion red Angus bull. That's the biggest title in the nation that can possibly be pinned to a breeding bull.
Trooper is owned by Russell Fehringer of Power County. He took the title recently at a big stock show in Fort Worth, Texas. Trooper is still in Texas, but his yearling sons are on the ranch in Idaho, and look like they too could be award-winning someday.
Fehringer said when he first laid eyes on Trooper as a calf, he knew he was a winner.
When he left for Fort Worth, Fehringer told his wife, " I know he's gonna win, he's gonna win. I know it. I can feel it. "
He was right.
Trooper is a beautiful 2,500-pound bull by anyone's standards. He's a rich dark red in color, long-bodied, straight-backed, with super hind legs.
"And he can move like an athlete," said his owner.
Fehringer said just like a body builder, when a bull gets really big he can't move very well.
"But Trooper is so athletic, he can step right out, and that catches the eyes of the breeders, " says Fehringer.
Fehringer admits to a secret weapon that lent itself to the national champion title.
His niece, Morgan Fehringer, a senior at American Falls High School, exercised Trooper every day several times a day.
"That's why he moves so well," said Morgan.
His dark red coat showed well because Morgan and her little sister, Abbey, bathed, brushed and blew dry Trooper's hair every day.
"Most bulls have brittle short hair like pig hair," said Morgan. "We got it to the point it was softer and more shiny than mine. With the amount of conditioner and high-quality shampoo we used, and just constant washing, we got it to the point it was salon-quality hair."
Now, for Fehringer, it's just a matter of keeping Trooper alive. They will use Trooper's semen to create better livestock all over the world. Ten straws, or small containers, of semen are worth $2,500.
"Pretty much a pot of gold," said Morgan, looking into the freezer tank.
Embryos created on the ranch in Power County will sell for about $10,000.