Good to hear from you, Brad. Where have you been hiding?
You are right about "Ya gotta work hard to make it and just as hard to keep it." That is one reason we sold these pairs in the spring instead of splitting them and selling the cows and calves separately in the fall. It is more tax friendly to sell now, by paying only capital gains on the value of the cow vs. earned income and self-employment taxes on the value of the calf. The "taxable value" of the calf can be plugged in considerably lower in the spring.
Our objective is to cut down on cattle by a third, have less work, and not have to put cattle out in the summer-time on any land not owned or controlled by us. In other words, we probably won't be "replacing" the cattle that have been and will be sold.