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 Reflections from LL---Condensed

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Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:22 am

Well Mike, when you asked me to post some of my innermost thoughts on the Keeney’s Corner website, I had to laugh because you seem to be a such a glutton for punishment. You must have an ulterior motive since you more than anyone knows how my breeding philosophy has gone over like a lead balloon in the more glamorized high dollar segments of the registered sector. If there is one thing I have learned well, it is that cattle can be changed relatively easy but it is nearly impossible to change people. People tend to go wherever the money is, but sooner or later we learn that all that glitters is not gold : )

You know how I've been standing on this isolated soapbox for over 30 years talking about ways to genetically improve the predictability and efficiency of hybrid beef production..... about things the purebred industry could do to harness hybrid power for the benefit of all segments in the commercial beef industry, yet it remains unleashed. And most of us know all the reasons why we're stuck in the rut of tradition. Anything I have to offer seems pretty redundant, I'm like a broken record saying the same things over and over again over time....does that make me "predictable" ? : )

Publicly posting my thoughts tends to upset the applecart of traditional selection directions or methodology so I suppose that's your intent. At my age, I am no longer interested in opinions about different kinds of cattle, we need diverse kinds. However, I am interested in discussing genetic principles and ideas of how we can better utilize this diversity. When I heard that someone said they enjoyed breeding cattle much more before they met me, it bothered me because I'd rather not be known as a spoilsport..... just because I've accepted and profess genetic reality. Like the illusions of the magician, we all know traditional illusions of grandeur are more exciting. But these temporary illusions offer little lasting value to improving the economics of beef production. And then my futility steps in as I realize not many breeders really care about the big picture beyond themselves anyway.

The question always is who will be the gainer and who the loser from our traditional selection emphasis in this multi-faceted beef business. Some people may think I have an axe to grind but I actually have nothing personal to gain by exposing some of the gamesmanship that is practiced in this business.... a practice of always accentuating the positives and ignoring the negatives of any direction. I would prefer to just ignore all the crazy things that go on in this business but it seems the only way reality can compete with all that nonsensical stuff is to factually expose it for what it is. Then people can let their conscience decide what road to take.

Many people in your area enjoyed reading your old Keeney’s Korner articles and I'm sure your new Keeney’s Corner will encompass broader interest and enjoyment since it's accessible by the entire internet world. For all the right reasons, I know you do enjoy doing what you do while sharing the reality of your experiences to justify your directions without all the superficial hype and fanfare that is so prevalent in this business. I've noticed how your viewpoints comfort those who already agree with you, annoy those who do not, and some of the currently disappointed breeders out there will look to your cattle to solve all their a cheap price after paying high prices for cattle that got them into trouble in the first place : ) Most of us go through these common learning phases.

Your topic "The Problem with Breeding Maternal" seems to be very active and struck a nerve with me. You asked the question "is change, or predictability the role of the breeder?". I would like to dwell at some length on that question but first I want to offer the comment that I think your "Guests of Honor" thing is a bit superfluous. After all, we all have our own opinions for all our own different reasons, but in one sense we're all equal since most everyone that's been in this business for any length of time has made and continues to make their fair share of selection errors. The positives of our selection are always readily apparent, but since we only discover our "selection errors" in hindsight, time has just allowed us older guys to see more of the errors of our ways.

Change, or predictability. For people that don't know me, they might want to know that over time, I developed this intense interest in the amazing wonders of genetics fueled by a comprehensive study of the historic results of cattle breeding and 45 years of experiencing all the ups and downs of the registered business. From what I gleaned out of all this, I formed the opinion that most of our "selection errors" are caused by over ambitious, short term objectives going from bull to bull or cow to cow in order to sell next year's progeny for more money. We all seem concerned about time and many of us suffer from our disappointments down the road due to our shortsightedness .... NOT MANY PEOPLE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN 120 YEAR BREEDING PROGRAMS as set forth by Gavin Falloon, but nearly everyone would like to capitalize on his work.

I should let Gavin speak for himself about his program to genetically improve the entire population of his herd. But I am only using him as an example here just to put time into perspective. Since people have been breeding Angus cattle FOR OVER 200 YEARS , one would think that breed purity/predictability would be vastly improved by now .....THAT FINALLY, WHAT WE SEE IS WHAT WE'LL GET. To the contrary, the reality is that prepotency is rare today due to continual directional change.

Our individual time seems to be so precious that too few of us take the time to stop and really think about where we're going, what the ramifications might be, etc.. I have been criticized for using hundreds of words to make a point when people who post on chat rooms like Advantage, 5barx or now Keeney's Corner prefer an unending series of short little witty quips exchanging opinions about this or that bull, types or whatever.....mostly short term stuff that collectively still consumes alot of time. So I figure that anyone thinking long term will have the time and interest in reading what I have to say and reach their own conclusions as to the worthiness of any of it.

To be more successful in long term breeding programs, we can learn alot from the thousands of words and pages in our history. Before embarking in a direction with a definitive destination, I think there is merit in analyzing all that has been done before us, we're really not any smarter than many former breeders. Modern technology won't really change the basic anatomy of the bovine. We can choose to either accept reality or not. There is not much to argue about when we deal with factual reality so let's start with "purity".

We have a registered society initially formed to preserve the purity of the breed. Now with all the different sizes and shapes, all the measures and technology I wish someone could tell me what that purity actually represents in the population of the breeds today.....or explain to me how we have utilized breed purity by itself to improve the economics of beef production, or how our misuse and abuse of expected progeny differences improves breed purity.

Being a strong proponent of improving the economics of hybrid beef production for every segment by improving the purity of the parent stock, from strictly a genetic standpoint, isn't it strange that after 200 years of historic experience to learn from, that we're still diluting "functional purity" with continual change chasing the illusions of within breed or across breed "genetic" hybrids. It goes without saying that while many have produced more beneficial "genetic hybrids", however, collectively as a whole we have failed in our ability to replicate or reproduce them more economically. Doesn't anyone stop and wonder why?

I suppose some of us could say we/ve made progress by making the little short blocky fat ones longer, taller and leaner; or, we've made the slower growing ones grow faster; etc.etc. There are an abundance of justifications for changing cattle. But it seems to be an endless list of continual correctional change using the top of whatever to bring up the bottom of whatever. The reality is that "fire & ice" will do very little to ever improve the frequency of functional purity.... all it can do is change averages.

I must be naive since I believed that purity was synonymous for prepotency or predictability - the unusual ability of an animal to transmit its characters to its offspring with more consistency. Most of us want more predictability but by our actions and directions, doesn't anyone wonder why we don't accept it even when we begin getting more of it? The quick simple answer is we always want more than we can genetically get in one animal and consequently we experience the continuous cycles of change. We can choose to have a little bit of alot of things or alot of a few things, but it is genetically impossible to have a prepotency for alot of everything in one animal.....but oh my goodness, how hard we've tried even with composites.

Now Mike, the peak of hypocrisy in this so called purebred business was when a few of the mainstream followers called you a "dishonest, blue sky" breeder for trying to improve the functional purity of your cattle ..... so what people see at Keeney Angus is more likely what they'll get. I laughed as I thought "it takes one to know one" and I probably know you as well as anyone in this business. But what I don't know is whether you are advancing or regressing by going from being "a greedy paranoid" to a "dishonest, blue sky" breeder : )

Everyone knows the reality is that any genetically mongrelized animal with or without registration papers can have trait progeny averages while ignoring the range of deviation from the means. So the factual reality is that many of your customers will likely get "more than they see" from some of your cattle.... and "less than what they see" from some of your cattle .....part of the amazing wonders of genetics : ) Your "Blythemaker and Unwanted stories" are good examples. There is only one way to improve functional prepotency in a population.

Another reality is that our breed national sire evaluation reports document the continual spherical expansion of the deviation from the ever changing means of the many functional values in beef production. Since I formed the opinion that the beef industry needs more functional prepotency in the parent stock, in order to move onward in this direction without restrictions or approval by the society's rules, I accept the universal criticism for my divorce from the registered society for our irreconcilable differences. No need to further explain, they can do their thing and I'll do mine.

There is nothing I abhor more than hypocrisy, so I really had no other choice since at my age I'm running out of time and patience. I think it was Thoreau who said something like if a man travels alone, he can start anytime, but if he travels with others, he must wait until they are ready. I've already waited too long, most people aren't interested in accepting the limitations of special purpose strains, so why would they bother forming them. The reality is they want all purpose cattle that continually do everything better everywhere as we witness the creation of more and more composites and the movement of many breeds towards a similar biological type .... at least as portrayed in the promotions.....what is not portrayed is the distributions of all the rest.

On the other hand, we're told that the principles to successfully improve functional prepotency are exceedingly simple, the difficulty is in the application. I am not about to get into any debates arguing over which type is better or worse than another. The reality in this direction is that Nature does provide the form that eventually follows functional selection irregardless of breed, whether we like it or not. The devil in the details is that beef production involves many functional traits that interact with each other under many different environments. Obviously, since all breeds want to be superior for everything and the mainstream wants cattle better for everything, we can all attest to the fact that Nature is providing us with a distribution of many, many forms. From those we then select the ones we seem to prefer what we call the best and cull the rest. I don't see that as improvement of a population.

Whatever type anyone prefers, the first question I always wonder about is whether that type is sustainable with minimal culling or if it requires a high percentage of culling to sustain the type.

Promoting high standards is admirable and fashionable in the registered business but ultimately I often question whether these high standards are economically practical in commercial beef production. For example, the Billings auction yards list the prices and consignors of cattle that sold at their weekly sales. I couldn't help but notice that a very successful well known reputable high performance herd recently sold 17 cull cows that averaged 1704# with one cow weighing 1901#. The reality is cattle simply do get larger with emphasis on increased individual performance.

Another interesting example of form/function is that Gavin says he selecting for the highest performing genes in his closed herd while allowing the environment to determine the type that emerges ....and says that after forty years the type that is emerging is more classical Angus, just thicker, longer, more massive.... believing that it is the only type that will emerge for those who want grass only beef.

I probably respect and enjoy corresponding with Gavin about genetics as much as anyone I've ever met in this business. We can be very open with each other since we both have relatively closed herds and don't have anything to sell each other : ) On one occasion he told me that his production consists of bulls, beef and cull cows, that his long term program has cost him alot in all ways but would do it all over again because it is working....readily accepting the cost to achieve his objective. Without a doubt, he will continue to improve the functional prepotency of the emerging type. What you see is what you'll get, it has absolutely nothing to do with whether everyone agrees with the type or not, the qualities are there with more certainty for those who have a need for them.

The single biggest difficulty is to determine an acceptable, more realistic, sustainable functional type. It all starts with the cow and how much cow we are willing to support. And then, as Eddie says, we all still need to learn how to replicate any ideal MORE OFTEN which is nothing more than improving the consistency of a functionally useful type. Consequently, and economically, the pros and cons of close breeding to speed up this process is a very controversial subject. One of the first questions I had to resolve from my observations was why do the so called "good genes" seem to disappear when we intensely inbreed a preferred type and yet they somewhat reappear when outcrossed. I shall not forget your question to me when you asked if we are going to restore the so called inbreeding depression, why would we inbreed at all in the first place. The simple short answer is to improve the desired consistency of the complimentary cross OVER AND OVER AGAIN !!!!.

Mike, you did an excellent job by portraying the dam of your "blythemakers" as an example.... I am not sure people actually comprehend what you're trying to explain to them, I think you ought to tell more of your "once upon a time" stories illustrated with pictures, especially since you're such a good picture taker. From the content of the responses and debates in the forum, I still notice the mindset seems locked in on the concept of one kind doing everything to make more profit over another kind....I'd guess profit is at least 85% management and remember what I said in the beginning, it's nearly impossible to change people by pushing them. It's easier to lead a bunch of cows with a bale of hay than it is driving them with whips, I got a great kick out of Bootheels "Thou shalt not covets ..." : )

Of course I could write pages and pages on the details of the general principles regarding "is change, or predictability the role of the breeder". 'Nuff said for now, the rest is up to you. Could sum up everything by simply saying "we reap what we sow" - but the problem with just saying that is pretty simple, we never seem to know just exactly what we're sowing until we harvest it, and by then it's too late to change it .... so now you know what I think the role of the breeder is : )

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:23 am

Eddie, the difference I see in "culling" and "selection" when moving a group to a type compared to other directions is that some pre-conceived type has already been"selected" ... so, as we keep those animals most near the preferred type and remove or "cull" those that are not, the mating sequence of selection essentially becomes a type to type process ...we could say the methodology would be similar to the way breeds were formed and isolated in order to increase the frequency of the preferred type. Of course throughout history breeders have crowned their ideal type of the day and by now we know most of the reasons why a single type in beef cattle has never prevailed.

Bootheel, we are all slow learners. I'm half ashamed to admit it took me over 15 years of expensive learning before I evolved, for better or worse, into my current breeding philosophy. I think part of the confusion you expressed by your posts on Keeney's Corner stems from misleading connotations from the words "maternal and terminal " used to describe animals. We need to remind ourselves that beef cattle are bred for one primary convert a variety of feedstuffs into beef. Since the British breeds were developed more specifically to improve the end product of beef as compared to dual purpose, draft or dairy animals, I consider Angus to actually be a "terminal" breed. I believe the research data about the F1 cow is valid for the cattle measured.....but the results are derived from what we all have bred, not what we could breed if we rearranged our selection priorities for different types.

Some breeds and types of cattle have more reproductive and longevity problems than others. The economic importance of reproduction and longevity have long been overshadowed by many other production traits that are higher on the industry's list of selection priorities.

We're told hybrid vigor is a non-additive phenomenon and must be maintained to avoid regression. I accept that in general continually crossing different types mongrelizes genotypes...and certainly there are beneficial mongrels, they simply lack the genetic ability to renew themselves with any continuity. So if we want to IMPROVE the utilization of hybrid benefits without the haphazardness of crossing mongrelized types, and if parent lines or strains are presumed to be stabilized, in theory then, properly applied linecrossing would offer more predictable consistency of hybrid production systems .... and of course, these type of production systems must end with the beef product, which is the "terminal" animal.....unlike a cow which is a producing those animals ..... not necessarily IN HER OWN IMAGE. The traditional habit is that the parent stock should look and be like the production stock, so technically no parent stock can be terminal, I would prefer the use of the term "paternal".

Most of us hate regression, so we spend most of our lives chasing what we refer to as progression. I don't know how many sale ads I read where each years sale offerings are proclaimed to be the best they've ever offered. Beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, when breeding cattle most of us have experienced that pretty can produce ugly and aren't accustomed to seeing ugly producing pretty : )

Mike began his topic "The problem with breeding maternal" by posting what many people consider a pretty cow the 24th of Sept and later on page 13 he pictured her somewhat inbred dam who some people might consider to be comparatively "ugly" or "regressed" . Then on his topic "A case for stabilized lines & crossbreeding", he began it with a picture of what I presume to be an Angus cross Charolais cow, not a typical AxC cow, with what many would consider a very "pretty" growthy bull calf nursing her....a type of calf that would satisfy most segments of the industry from "pasture to plate".

That picture is one of the most fundamental "prettiest" functional cows I have ever seen, from her ladylike head to the bottom of her feet, a type that would be as efficient as any in producing "beef" nearly anywhere for anyone. Now, stop and ask yourself how many people in this world have herds and herds of cows like that functional RARE type, so I have concluded they must be considered "ugly" by nearly everyone else.... or is it simply because they are considered to be "inadequate". I have seen that type of cow on rare occasions in purebred herds, straightbred herds and crossbred herds and I have spent many years wondering what her "male equivalent" looked like.

From what I have observed, I will wager anyone that the "outstanding" bull calf, presumably sired by a Charolais bull, will RARELY produce daughters that look like his mother and steers that look like him. And yet, I have seen purebred registered cows of this type produce registered bulls like the calf pictured that may sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars....when fools and their money soon part. And I will almost guarantee that this type of cow will not produce this kind of calf when mated back to her own type.

So, we can endlessly debate over which type of animal we individually might prefer or which type is more profitable for ourselves, but IMHO there is only one way to maximize the efficiency of beef production. Mike even might be willing to tell his story of how he came up with the name for his "Blythemaker Bulls" : )[/color]
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:30 am

Quote from EddieM::

So, Larry, I guess I was fishing and am still waiting for a bite on the amount of regression we can comfortably retain in breeding animals for the longterm good and goals of the program. [/quote]

Eddie, when we go fishing, I've found that the best lure to use that attracts all kinds of fish is gold or silver : ) I don't know your comfort zone nor the long term goals of the program you might be thinking about. About 25 years ago, CSU published a chart which shows that the mating of cousins would result in approximately a 50/50 percent of hetero/homozygosity. With selection, I did not experience a significant amount of regression in the averages at this intermediate level. Since any animal or population is only as good as the average of their progeny, and presuming any regression would be caused by the reduction in the amount of heterozygosity, only you can determine your comfort level. I don't have a scanner so I can't show you the chart which shows the hetero/homo percentages from different mating systems. If Mike still has one of my 1986 sale catalogs, maybe he could scan it from that and either send it to you or post it here for anyone to view.

Quote :
Then Eddie added ...I think that the females suffer the most from infertility as regression is exhibited from the little I know. Is there more to be gained to retain regressed males for the test breedings or do we need to select both males and females? There is the mindset for some that the most acceptable animals of a contemporary group, using some breeder opted selection criteria, need to be retained as the next generation of breeders. Is there additional progress to be made to breed desired functional type to type and select a low growth, depressed, "hide him behind the barn" male to produce the line or is that a dead end street? Is it a one time deal based on the quality of the dam or will repeated efforts work or end the breeder up in the bottom of a deep genetic hole.

I wish I had some black and white answers for your specific questions but in general I doubt "regression" affects one sex more or less than another. Bootheel, you also offered several opinions/questions which I will try to answer throughout the text of this post. I greatly appreciate all your practical comments and I had a hearty laugh when you concluded a post by saying ".....
Quote :
someone tell me I am wrong, lost, and a hopeless cause, as this topic is starting to unravel the feebleness of my sanity".
The topic is breeding phiIosphy..... my purpose here is not to promote my cattle, nor to ascertain who or which type is right or wrong, nor to confuse anyone. Rather, it is my hope that I can help shed some light on why what is.... is, and what could be. None of us want to end up in the bottom of a deep genetic hole or lose our sanity. I am merely describing my thoughts during my journey through life as it pertains to my own breeding objectives.....which likely differ from many others. I enjoy reading everyones viewpoints on Keeneys Corner, it helps me keep an open mind. Old people like to reminisce so I enjoy sharing my experiences.

I don't know why I have these inner compulsions to do what I do, probably environmentally induced. Mike and I became very close friends a long time ago I suppose because of common interests while we have been searching for answers. Perhaps it is all as simple as when someone once said "we see a wrong and try to right it". That in itself would keep us all busy for a lifetime : ) When sharing our learning processes, needless to say, it takes me several days to gather my thoughts to prepare a post like this so it makes sense to anyone that might take the time to read and hopefully benefit from it. It is my privilege to outline the story of our journey.

Our basic objective here is to present ideas to stimulate the development of parent stock that can REGULARLY produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns. Not just for ourselves, but moreso for the commercial producers. This is a mighty undertaking that requires alot of breeder cooperation, dedication. thought and time.... and yes, one step at a time. There is no greater enjoyment for Mike and I than a satisfied commercial customer and how that makes all our frustrating efforts worthwhile. We laugh about how rare it is that we can satisfy a registered breeder.

The "wrong" we see is that contrary to our objective, the irrefutable reality is that the bulk of the traditional bull business prospers by featuring progeny of rare bulls that so often are produced at the highest possible cost and expenditure of labor that often give the highest possible but shortest lasting net returns to the commercial cow business. I've tried to persuade Mike to be a little more diplomatic in exposing all the BS and crazy monetary values that go on in the registered sector .....but perhaps we need more people like Mike that call a spade a spade. This is a forum which allows us all to do that.

When we enter the no spin zone, the core of the commercial beef cow business begins with the cow, 90-95% of the producing population ,,,, but usually ends with the cow being a sorted by-product of the traditional "bull" business. While the predicated fears of inbreeding are well founded, for better or worse, I do practice what we preach without waiver in this long and tedious direction.

A few years ago Mike sent me this quote by C. Mingus ..... "Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, That's creativity". My oh my, how complicated and confusing breeding cattle has become with genetic chaos or disarray and egos often overriding practical common sense Smile

Basically, most of us want to genuinely improve our cattle in order to improve both our profit and that of our customers. In a feeble attempt to simplify cattle breeding, for many years I have quoted and followed Sewall Wright's summary. I will it repeat here for those who might not be familiar with it.

" A thoroughly self-conscious movement toward improvement of livestock dates back hardly more than a century and a half. Robert Bakewell is credited with being the pioneer in this movement. The breeders of the time of Bakewell suspected him of possessing and concealing special PRINCIPLES of breeding. It is often believed that successful breeders have some mysterious method of which others are ignorant. Instead, the PRINCIPLES of the successful breeder have been EXCEEDINGLY SIMPLE. He ISOLATES and FIXES a GOOD type by careful selection and CLOSE breeding. If ambitious, he takes a greater step in advance, he CROSSES types with the characteristics which SEEM to offer POSSIBILITIES for a DESIREABLE COMBINATION and FIXES the new ideal by continued SELECTION and CLOSE breeding. He brings inferior stock up to a HIGHER LEVEL by THE CONSISTENT use of PREPOTENT sires of the SAME improved type. The DIFFICULTY lies not so much in knowing the principles as in APPLYING them."

I capitalized certain words for emphasis. I also realize a "successful breeder" can be defined in many other ways in many differing directions. For my purpose here, we need to temporarily put breeds and monetary values out of our minds and just consider types. A majority of the posts have been debates over types or individual bulls. I have previously said our high ambitions are centered on "crossing types" in what seems to be a perpetual search for a more "desireable combination".

This brings us to the point of "difficulties". After all these years, I have to laugh when Mike tells me he still can't decide on which types he likes better. I suspect he would like to edit ou this part of my story since I do see how he tends to change with the seasons .... likes light birth weight bulls at calving, heavier WW bulls at weaning, thicker bulls when his cows are thin, heavier muscled bulls when his calves look too rangy, etc., however, after a bad experience he can sure tell you what bulls he don't like .... so, he's really not too much different than the rest of us, is he Smile If there ever was a case for the need of stabilized parts to make the whole, I've just presented it.

When we do get a more "desireable combination", the common difficulty is that we seem to be unable to FIX the combination to our satisfaction. The first major difficulty encountered is that while we can reasonably fix a "good" type in accordance with Wright's simple principles, the basic problem is that good is seldom good enough... isn't that so MIke. We all see and envy more "desirable combinations"..... don't we Mike Smile

The second diffculty then is in the real world we lack the "prepotent sires of the SAME improved type to bring inferior stock up to a higher level". So, during our attempts to breed prepotent sires of the same improved type, handicapped by our habitual mindset, we tend to be disappointed in the natural "regression" of the expressed combination.... the functional phenotype we preferred isn't quite that way anymore...... we've experienced that too, haven't we Mike Smile

At one point in time, I thought I should have started at a "higher level" in order to compensate for the expected phenotypic regression but I finally learned that would be an endless journey to nowhere. It is always difficult to know beforehand where the optimum is and when to stop, which of course is dependent upon ones objective.

The geneticists who developed the models for the EPD system are on the right track when they say an animals expected progeny AVERAGES are 9 times more reliable than their individual performance. Eddie, when I talk about an endless journey, I'm sure no one wants animals that we need to "hide behind the barn"..... but we know the individual phenotypic bottom end of any distribution will tend to revert back up towards the genotype average of his most current ancestry and the top phenotypic end will tend to revert back down. Anyone in the business has observed this over and over again....isn't that so Mike?

Nature does not seem to allow us to inbreed and get "peas in a pod"....,you can personally attest to that too, isn't that so Mike. IMHO, nature turns some genes off and on at some points in time, a built-in mechanism to control population densities and preserve variation. While her persistant distributions can be frustrating, this process of turning back on some of the homozygous alleles that were always there in the depressed inbred does help explain why the first cross between two different more homozygous or prepotent parents is always the most consistent. However, it is not the only reason. Certainly overall genetic complimentarity is vital. Obviously, the more consistent the random halves of each parent are, the more consistent will be the progeny.....we've seen all this too, haven't we Mike.

I have been told that there is no significant difference in the distributions of bulls listed in the AHIR data bank. It is of little wonder that the range of distributions of them all continues to get wider and wider. In my own herd, the bulls standard range of distribution or deviation is highly correlated with their IBC's. Of course by random chance, we can get prepotent outcross animals who become valuable to fix whatever they are prepotent for in one generation. We know what happens after that, don't we Mike.?

In this same vein of thought, I found Table one as described on to be an interesting example of the 3 full siblings. If Bull B was the most preferred phenotypically, their genome or DNA analysis for net merit dollars (NM$) and productive life (PL) indicate he was nevertheless significantly the worst of the 3 full siblings. That's a tough pill to swallow for eyeballers and promoters of great individual phenotypes, isn't it Mike Smile

Ironically, I found this to often be the case back in the days when I was much smarter than I am now .... when I must have enjoyed wasting thousands of dollars buying or using the "best" bulls out of the "best" cows I could find for the thrill of producing that next rare one. When my bubble burst, I no longer enjoyed wasting money on temporary frivolities. Eddie, on the other hand when I talk about an endless journey, that does not mean you should "select a low growth, depressed male" for that could very easily be a dead end street. If the top has little endurance and the bottom is cuilled, how many years have you been harrassed for thinking "average" Mike?

Now if we move on down to the colored bar 3-generation pedigree of Accelerated Genetics web page, it illustrates the different percentages an individual animal may inherit from his ancestry. Haven't we all seen this in the full sibs of people, how some resemble and take after their mother or grandmother and others more like their father or grandfather..... "the wonders of randomized genetics". I have come to believe ancestry is far more important than individuality.

We have seen how certain cow families carry more of a predominance for expressing their characteristics in their offspring moreso than others - I really don't know why and I suppose I really don't need to know. I have noticed the ones I prefer seldom produce the biggest heaviest calves. And I suppose because I have been mating more or less on a type to type basis for many generations now, for better or worse the difference between cow families has been significantly reduced.

For these many reasons, it is no secret that I have grown weary of the traditional habit of people chasing and crediting certain individual bulls or cows in a pedigree consisting of many mixed types.... which I define as genetic mongrels...... who attribute this or that individual animal for the good or bad of whatever we have today. Incidently, I have a son also named Mike who contends that he inherited ALL of the bad from ALL of his ancestry.... he didn't, maybe just more of it Smile

To dwell on distributions a little further, Mike has told you that he and I have had our debates over the usefulness of mating "fire and ice". A common practice in breeding cattle using fire to melt the ice and then using the water to quench the fire. I don't know what happens after that except I presume we're supposed to live happily ever after just being satisfied with warm water.

Ah, but some like their mixed porridge hot, some like it cold, and some like it in the pot, nine days old. So the creativity required to better satisfy everyone in this multi-faceted beef business certainly cannot be fulfilled with one prepotent kind... can it Mike. It has been my experience that sarcastic criticism of others preferred cattle types has never improved my own cattle....that is strictly a competitive marketing strategy. I believe we are all solely responsible for what we have from our own choices. When things go wrong or right, there is no one else to blame or credit. Who is foolish enough to guarantee flesh and is "buyer beware", watch your values. There is no perfection in any type yet novices in this business certainly expect they can buy it.

I spent some time on my previous post about the importance of "genetic purity". To produce MORE FROM LESS, we simply need many more prepotent types to HARNESS HYBRID POWER. We need to create better ways to transfer the proper genetics intact directly to the commercial producer in order to provide him with the most benefit of any cross, I will repeat my last post that IMHO this is only one way to MAXIMIZE the efficiency of beef production. And it could be a much more effective way to reduce and control any problems each type may have.

It is easy to understand why the self-interests of the traditional registered sector ignor these breeding objectives. Mike has talked about "breeding the parts" for the commercial industry who is growing tired of quick fixes. Someone once told me if we took the time to fix things right in the first place, we wouldn't have as much to re-fix. So to expound on this some more, I ask that you go back and look at Accelerated Genetics' multi-colored bar 3-generation pedigree, read what they say. Please keep a mental picture of that colored bar pedigree in your mind.

Using myself as an example, during the 70's with Wye genetics, I produced bulls who became trait leaders in maternal, carcass quality and growth, BUT NEVER WITH THE SAME ANIMAL IN ALL 3 CATEGORIES. Monetarily, I was well rewarded for what each animal could do, but extremely disappointed over what they could not also do. Consequently, over 30 years ago these events caused me to spend many years analyzing the parts or combinations that produced these more "desireable ideals" .... from cattle in my herd as well as in several other herds.

Working backwards, I tried to identify their different genetic components each with a different color. Clearly, it became quite evident that if we want to improve the purity or prepotency of characters in an animal or population, rather than have one ideal or outlier appear by chance after hundreds of mixed matings, we would need to create pedigrees dominate in a single color by the absence or isolation from the other colors. Each functional type represented a different color, not much different from the way we identify breeds.

Now I know that is an exact reverse direction to what most of the mainstream is doing today. You might say it was like starting all over again, extracting the parts that produced the more beneficial whole. I became so intrigued with the concept, that everything else seemed meaningless. Little did I realize the difficulty in application, not in applying the simple principles, but in dealing with the self-serving nature of humans.

My thought processes moved to how we take milk FROM a dairy cow, who really cares what the dairy bulls look like....we take the eggs FROM the hen, who really cares what the roosters look like, but like the dairy and beef cow, the most prolific layers are a different type than now we have this beef cow who is expected to be like the product we eat ... for years the show people selected female "broilers", the performance people selected for increased size and everything else....thank God for distributions, in people as well as cattle, we never know when we'll need whatever's there.

I had to laugh when Gavin Falloon made the comment that the cow is nothing more than the incubator, but don't tell that to your wife or daughter. I made my choice, then set out to breed a more prolific type of beef cow, who when crossed with a paternal type, we would take the beef product FROM her, I wouldn't really care what the bulls looked like. I had learned what a prolific cow looked like and I knew what her duties needed to be. I knew how I could get 10-20% more beef out of this kind of cow for nearly an equal reduction in her fixed maintenance costs.

Assuming we have a 50% sex ratio, for every heifer we would have a steer who might be 10-20% less in value. I reasoned who would care for that one time loss if that heifer produced 15 calves at 10-20% more. In 1977 I tried some sexed semen and if that ever worked, we wouldn't even have to worry about the one time loss of her male counterpart. When I discussed this idea with other breeders and the AHIR department in the early 80's, I was always met with the response that the standard way we're doing things is about the best we can do. I absolutely believe we can sure as hell do alot better in the seedstock business than what we're doing.

I wonder if any of you reading this fully realize what a difficult decision this was to give up selling 10 to 50 thousand dollar bulls at the Midland test station or in my sales to change directions to breed smaller prolific cows in an era when frame score 9 and 10 cattle were the most valuable. No one knows more than I that it can be very costly when you see a wrong and try to right it. I told my wife we may never be able to sell any bulls FROM my new venture, and she frowned because selling high priced bulls had enabled us to finally get out of debt and build our own home.

I have read all the comments and concerns posted about the chickens. They are not our competition, beef is its own product and the only competition beef producers have is among themselves. No one needs to worry about the packing congomerates telling you what genetics you will have to use, they have controlled the price of whatever you produce in the marketplace ever since I was old enough to remember. No need to worry either about having controlled environments like the dairy, pig and chicken people do, the nearest thing to that in beef production is the large feedlots.

Whether its chickens, horses, cattle or whatever, while the breeding directions of other species may differ, the basic genetic principles are all the same. I began this post by saying what our basic objective is. The concept I profess offers year by year product flexibility, would benefit all segments, would not disrupt the adaptable cow herds, would reduce problems and all we need is to improve the purity/prepotency of the different functional types needed in unison....Or, we can waste another 200 years singly doing what we're all doing trying to achieve the impossible with continuous change.

Certainly there is nothing wrong with breeding an optimum all purpose type. If an average Angus would be the optimum, an EPD search for an average Angus bull or cow will reveal that none exist in the data bank, nor in the AI studs and seldom will you see in any auction sale offering where the average bull commands the top dollar.... right Mike Smile Subject to his editing again Smile , I noticed Mike posted that he believes we have to select from the top to maintain an average. That may be the case for some traits in a heterozygous population to sustain the level of heterosis lest we revert to the true genetic level of the population .... from what you've seen and done, would you agree with that statement Mike?

I've discussed the genetic aspects long enough, but I want to talk briefly about monetary values which is always the driving force in this business. Everyone seems to be worrying about protecting dollar values and have become slaves to the registered clubs and their artificial monetary values. Some breeders I've talked tell me they respect me for what I'm doing but they say they can't ford to do what I do.....and I say how can we afford not to.

For pete's sake, most of the breeders are multiplying the bull of the month anyway when they could be multiplying something more lasting. And what is so pathetic, is they claim they need registration papers for authenticity in order to sell their stock. Whatever happened to breeder integrity, did it go out the window along with functional purity? If cattle bred like they looked or better, we wouldn't need piles of expensive time consuming complex have they improved efficiency for you Mike?

I have gotten a lot of flack when I discontinued registering my cattle. I probably have accumulated more MEANINGFUL records and measures on my cattle over the years than 95% of the registered breeders. Just a couple days ago, I was shocked by the content of a letter I received from Tom Burke of the American Angus Hall of Fame. Since the content was known by other parties before I even received the letter, I decided I would use it as a public example to clarify what I'm talking about here.

It is probably not the proper protocol to publicly share the content but there are alot of improper things that go on in this business. Tom is a very intelligent person successful in his field with an exceptional memory like that of the fabled elephant. Tom's statements in part are followed by my thoughts:

Quote :
It's been a long time since I've spoken with you, but want you to know I've carefully followed your Angus breeding program over the years.....
Larry, I realize that over the years you've been very frustrated with the Angus breed and the American Angus Association
..... I sure have been for many reasons but basically, their policy's simply have far. far exceeded their original purpose in order to expand their membership for .......... : )

Quote :
In 2010 the Angus breed is at a crossroads. With the escalating feed costs it's critical that Angus seed stock become more practical from the standpoint of feed and forage intake, and far less costly grain. Shoshone Angus obviously has worked hard to put the word "Aberdeen" back into Angus.
No, no, that was never my purpose.
Quote :
A lot of cattlemen across this country are genuinely interested in the practical approach you've made in the building and breeding of Angus seed stock.
I thought real cattlemen always preferred the more practical approach.

Quote :
I know and realize that you've discontinued registering your Angus cattle. Larry, I sincerely believe you should reconsider and go back to registering your Angus seed stock. Shoshone Angus has a lot to offer the Angus industry.
I have nothing genetically to offer the Angus industry that it does not already have, except more continuity of a type. Why would I want other breeders to mix up what I've spent so much time on trying to restore to some genetic order

Quote :
By not registering them, you're depriving breeders introducing your genetics and hard work into their programs
What a crock, I absolutely am not, my genetics are available to anyone, anywhere, anytime without AAA registration is their call whether papers are more important to them than the kind of cattle they raise.....just what are their programs? could it be to find a short cut to capitalize on someone else's work at the expense of the commercial producer?

Quote :
Larry, I fully realize it's none of my business whether you do this or not. I do believe by doing this it brings into focus a lot of new and exciting genetics that can further advance the breed, your customers and friends' Angus programs
. I do not have a lot of new and exciting genetics, what I have is the same old genetics that everyone else has access to, the genetics that breeders long before me put together as the breed was formed....they can sort through them and pick the ones they want the same way I do

Quote :
Larry, I know you say you don't need this kind of trouble in your life, but we're in the crossroads in the Angus breed and we need Larry Leonhardt and Shoshone Angus
. The Angus breed has been at the crossroads of changing directions many times just in my lifetime and got along before me and it will get along without me and my cattle when I'm gone. One man or herd did not cause the Angus breed to be at a crossroads nor can he change the course of the next road the community will take

Quote :
I hope that you'll reconsider and bring your Angus genetics back to the Registered Angus Community
. I appreciate all the kind comments. Firstly, I have moved forward in a direction to improve the efficiency of beef production without the need of the Registered Angus Community to verify or give their stamp of approval to everything I do with my own cattle. I really don't believe the Angus breed is at a crossroads, I do believe it is their monetary values that are simply going to be switched again to another chapter of change.

Secondly, I run my cows with my own multiple bulls for many genetic reasons. Because the genotypes are so similar, the DNA samples often cannot distinguish which of the bulls sired who, and therefore are inelgible for registration as set forth by Assn. rules.

Being in the sales management business, I think Tom is seeing the handwriting on the wall when he talks about "the practical approach", and along with DNA technology advancing, the phenotypic illusions of yester years that sell for thousands of dollars will no longer capture the big dollars ..... what do you all think ? : )

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:34 am

Answers from LL...
Eddie, I must say you have certainly studied my post intensely enough to get down to the nitty gritty details. I've been trying to figure out how to write "A Guide to Better Fishing" manual for you .... so here it is : ) It's much easier for me to encourage people to think for themselves than to tell them what they ought to do. You wrote: "...Good things include uniformity, fertility, fit to environment, something that I can enjoy owning. Probably something deeper and more meaningful I should say here to make a few eyes moisten."
".....something that I can enjoy owning".... pride of ownership from a sense of self accomplishment can sure be good for the soul. Are you thinking of being a breeder and seller of either parent or production stock to others? I've noticed from your chicken and sheep emails to me, that you must have a great interest in the breeding of "unique" animals. I have never heard you talk about breeding for monetary values. When you decide what your goals are with cattle, I hope some of your questions are answered with the examples I describe below. But first I would like to summarize my last post to all those lurkers and posters who might be overwhelmed by the volume of my last message. This morning I was encouraged by nearly 500 views since Mike posted it.

Rather than offer my thoughts in a piecemeal form, I had decided to throw out the whole ball of wax all at once to keep from getting sidetracked. I've noticed how topics start out and are often distracted to other subjects. I used Mike and I to serve as examples to try to better explain the D I F F I C U L T I E S of WHY what is ..... is, followed by what could be in order to help anyone like you make THEIR OWN choices. Many breeders may seem interested but few actually practice our basic objective stimulate the development of parent stock that can more REGULARLY produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns. Not just for ourselves, but moreso for the commercial producers....but it would seem admirable if more did : ).
Basically, I wanted to demonstrate how we tend to make the simple so complicated....but even moreso, I wanted to emphasize how we cannot FIX an ideal IF we cannot ACCEPT THE LIMITATIONS of any ideal....or BREED, both being isolated populations. Mike and I have these mental images of the examples I talk about so that puts anyone with minimal experience at a distinct disadvantage to comprehend the consequences of what all happens with selection over time. I will leave it to Mike to answer all those questions because of all his first hand experience : )

It must have been destiny that Tom's letter came at such an opportune time which allowed me to demonstrate the never ending "crossroads" that BREEDS also encounter from their over ambitious directions. I must thank him : ) If we take the time to think things through, it seems easy to understand why we've had these chapters of change throughout our history. For example, MARC has an abundance of data on crossbreeding. Many efforts have been attempted to capture the benefits of heterosis by combining breeds of either similar or different types, or to even form "new breeds". The principles are exactly the same as when we outcross straightbreds.

In beef production, It is always a cost/benefit ratio and many of the long term hidden costs are in the "cow". In the registered sector, it is always just about benefits, not too many talk about the individual EN$ epd value which is primarily based on size & growth. We all know of lots of other contributing factors that are attributed to increasing costs as well as benefits.

I had to laugh when Tom implied that I was working hard to put the "Aberdeen" B A C K into Angus. Whatever "Aberdeen" was, over time the membership never ACCEPTED that type either......many more crossroads followed....interesting word 'cross' roads : ) In a broad sense, Tom is right since I am "reverting or regressing" back to establishing a type. For quite some time now, I thought that when we finally get done mixing all the breeds or kinds together for all our different reasons, the only thing left would be to separate them again for all our different reasons : )

If we want to mince with words, from any means we can improve cattle by changing them inward to be more alike or outward to be more different and call either direction progress. But by habit inward is always called "regress" in a negative manner : ) Essentially, we can call breeds the parts we put together in crossbreeding to capture the benefits of heterosis from any beneficial complementarity. Mike posted that he is a parts store but he questioned the reliability of the parts : ) It is all just as simple as improving the reliability of the parts and that is the primary reason I left the hypocrisy of registered community which is proclaimed to be a "purebred" world and in actuality it really isn''s just another distorted word.

I didn't leave this social club because of petty things like fee increases etc. And the only one I hurt is myself by foregoing the monetary value of papers. I have noticed I have actually helped increase that speculative value in a few registered circles who have registered these so called "Shoshone genetics". The "values" are not necessarily because of their worthiness, but I suspect more because of their potential rarity or extinction : )

Tom Burke's world is all about selling and for me it is pathetic that the industry measures the worthiness of registered cattle by how much they bring in the speculative registered marketplace. So Eddie, let's forget all that garbage and focus now on the nitty gritty details of the real purebred world to help you establish your realistic goals.

We can measure IBC percentages based on relatives when breeding inward .....but I have seen no measures on the percentages of heterozygosity when breeding outward. CSU's linear line chart descending from maximum possible heterozygosity to homozygosity provides these approximate ranges.
specie cross (donkey/horse = sterility 85 - 90%
crossbreeding 65 - 85%
outcrossing 60 - 75%
cousins 50 - 65%
-------------- this point is deemed to be 50 percent
one herd sire (one half sisters) 40 - 50%
one half brother/sister or sire/grandam 30 - 40%
three quarter brother/sister 20 - 30%
full sib or sire/daughter 10 - 20%
self fertilization (not possible in animals)

MARC has said how we must maintain the percentage of heterosis lest we phenotypically regress to the average of the parents. To fully utilize heterosis I think they suggest a minimum of 75%. Eddie, I don't know what percentage type to type would provide, I would think it would depend alot on the type, perhaps one day DNA will be able to tell us. I do know to sustain their preferred types, nearly everyone is always looking for an outcross bull.

Like our other measures, genomics is another identification tool. Mike and I did some very intense individual inbreeding at the bottom of the percentage scale for curiosity and identification purposes. But we still need to figure out how to properly apply or utilize what we identified. For today from a population rather than an individual standpoint, I run multiple bulls who are selected primarily for my maternal values based more on the continuity of their ancestry than their own individuality. Righ or wrong, I'm sure the standards of my selection will self-govern the percent of "purity" that is phenotypically sustainable.

Of course, the higher my standards are, the more culling would be required. I had to laugh when I got a call from someone who told me he set very rigid standards on a porton of his cattle within his overall operation to improve fertility .... and now he doesn't have any of those left : ) Remember, I said I wouldn't really care what the males would look like....well, actually I do. What I really should have said I would need to accept whatever nature provided, I wouldn't care what other's think, but still I kinda do : )

In general, they have become more masculine with increased libido, perhaps with a little slower maturity rate compared to what's seemingly popular today. The economic consequence of this along with multiple sires in one pasture is that as they mature, they can do alot of damage to each other in their battles for dominence. That is the price I must pay and accept if I am ever to improve the built-in vigor of the population as opposed to being dependant on hybrid vigor. These are the days when I wonder alot if it is worth all my effort but somehow I have always had enough good happen to keep me on track. I suppose it is the stupidity of my stubborn heritage that prevails.

As you know, there are very few close herds or populations. I believe the Lent's herd restricts his relationships at about 50%, calling more than that "incest". The linebred Craigie herd would occasionly introduce a female from 1 of 5 cow families from a "reliable" outside herd and also use an occasional Wye bull since the Wye & Craigie herds each imported some of the same bulls...yet each chose DIFFERENT directions. Since I have had a lot of personal experience with the genetics from both herds, I found it extremely interesting that the AVERAGE of the progeny in many traits was still about the same.
Since Wye has been a research herd since 1978, a few years ago I asked Eddie Draper if he could send me a year by year graph of the AVERAGE weaning weights of the herd. The results revealed a slight yearly zig and zag from nearly a flat line over a period of about 30 years. We all know that the Wye herd has gone back and re-introduced some of the old bulls that todays generations descend from. From a research standpoint, Eddie can tell you the phenotypic state of the bulls being produced by the herd when he took it over as herd manager about 1995. I don't know if their reason is to restore the phenotype by lowering the IBC "numbers" to improve either functionality and saleability or not. Eddie, you might want to talk to the other Eddie.

I have always observed that in general the Wye bulls will perform better when they are used in outcrossed herds. I do know that the first Wye bulls I used in my herd gave me more "phenotypic genetic kick" than after I used higher and higher top individual performers over time. I do know that without any doubt the individual top performers I used in my herd gave me fewer of the kind of cows I prefer over time. I do know that the more traits we select for, the slower we will go from all the interrelationships and the more individual performance we want, cattle must and do get larger.

One day a performance breeder and I were walking through my first calf heifers with new calves at side and he told me he really liked the heifers but asked me why I wouldn't want to breed more performance into them. I like John D's words when he said "we can't change cattle without changing them". I have hundreds of stories but I just want to relay one more in regards to closed populations.

I've had the unique opportunity to exchange many emails with Gavin Falloon sharing genetic opinions. I had to laugh when he told me he hasn't read a book for the last twenty years if it wasn't about genetics. His responses are usually short and direct but it took me nearly a year to FULLY understand and learn to greatly appreciate the GENUINE value of Gavins PROGRAM, both for what it can do and also not do. I believe his "programme" is PUREBRED breeding at its very best slowly improving his population for his conprehensive selection direction. What I like most of what he says is ....."been doing this for 40 years and we've barely began"..... it truly is an endless journey to lasting improvement.

With steady persistence and determination, he has told me it has cost him alot in all ways. I have often thought how fascinating is fate when two breeders from opposite sides of the world, going in opposite selection directions may have the potential, when combined, to regularly produce a more profitable first generation hybrid. Rather ironically, without any of my doing, STEP ONE is already underway in the identification stages.

So Eddie, as you wonder where it is on the ladder of progression that you would be comfortable with really does depend on your goals. While Gavin uses pedigree to sustain variation allowing Nature to establish the type, and to avoid what he calls the unexplanable Bulmar effect .....I use pedigree to breed more continuity of a pre-determined existing type. You asked, "Can you describe the look or do we just use a Shoshone or Keeney cow picture? "

Yes, but only for today. Here is a picture of a closer bred ideal "Shoshone" maternal cow John Dockweiler purchased from me. He recently sent me a picture of her last natural heifer calf sired by a Wye bull produced when she was 19 years old in Feb 2010. John is selling a REGISTERED bull calf December 4th out of this cow sired by another closely related "shoshone" bull who was out of another one of my ideal cows who earned her way into my "longevity club" by reaching 20 - will we need to wait another 20 years to measure what portion of this new generation's common ancestry the bull calf inherited.... or is it more likely he could only inherit the bulk of what was only there ? : )

another look...of the look

Tomorrow, as we move down the ladder of regression for higher percentages of "purity" to improve reliability and efficiency in hybrid beef production, My opinion has not changed over the years and it is important to know that the GENOTYPES are NOT "Lowlines", rather they are "phenotypically regressed" maternal functional lines : ) OK Eddie, now which of these cows would you most enjoy owning that do good things, are uniform, fertile, are fit for many environments, and last to give the highest possible net returns ? : )

I have been working with a certain group of cattle taking them down to the lowest rung on the ladder of homozygosity that have the characters that could do something right so we'll see what happens over time. Another word besides regression that I don't like is when I'm accused of practicing "incest" : )

Wow, I seem to have gotten spellbound by my intense interests.... I had no idea when I started to answer your questions how long this post would get. I hope I didn't get too sidetracked and that this will at least indirectly answer your many questions.

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:35 am

Eddie, as a post script to my last post, I forgot to respond to the very most important thing you said, " .... something that I can enjoy owning. Probably something deeper and more meaningful I should say here to make a few eyes moisten." I know exactly what you meant. Our breeding philosphy is often a reflection of our philosophy of life. I have said that in breeding cattle we never seem to be satisied - that good never seems to be good enough - and told you that I have always had enough good happen in this business as well as in all of my life to keep my perspective on track. To say something "deeper and more meaningful" that could make a few eyes moisten, I want to share with you the following that I recently received:

Subject: 'I wish you enough.'
Recently I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments
together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, 'I
love you, and I wish you enough.'

The daughter replied, 'Dad, our life together has been more than
enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too,

They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the
window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and
needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he
welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone
knowing it would be forever?'

'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a
forever good-bye?'

'I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and
the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' he said.

'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you
enough.' May I ask what that means?'

He began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from
other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone...' He
paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail,
and he smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were
wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good
things to sustain them.' Then turning toward me, he shared the
following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how
gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may
appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

He then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to
appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to
forget them.


To all my friends and loved ones,
I wish you all ENOUGH


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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:37 am

Eddie, thank you for your straightforward comments and the history of both you and your area. Your posts are getting nearly as long as mine but I am no match for your wit : ) I had to laugh because it reminded me of what Gavin once said to me...and that is, if we ever got together, we would be so busy taIking, neither of us could get a word in edgewise. I've had some experience like that with Mike : ) I particularly like your last line, I would just like to add "and the truth shall set us free".

Yes, free to be in competition with any vast multi-directional registered sector rather than being slaves tied to all the antiquated traditions it embraces. We all know what the registered segment is all about and there is no point in discussing any of that. It took far too long for God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, or the courage to change the things I can, and I was extremely slow in gaining the wisdom to know the difference.

Competition has always been an unrelentless adversary but it is a healthy process that stimulates progress. I just happen to believe in the ability and entrepreneurship of private enterprise. As a competitive entity, obviously the ancestry must also be private, any validity is in the proof of their production. Since we cannot do a single thing to change the past, my focus for some time has been to prepare for the future.

I presume Mike provided you with my booklet, the history of my "X" strain. Ever since the inception of my introduction of the TruLine concept back in 1983, I have spent much time figuring out the mechanics of the practical application. I have had a relatively long time to work on the details of the application since it is such a slow step by step procedure to develop the parent stock. Which of course is the first requirement and this seems to be the only direction where there are no quick shortcuts.

The "X" was to denote that it is primarily a maternal beef strain, paternal strains would be designated with a "Y". Each of these first letter designations would be only for the parent stock. The production stock could be designated with a "Z". And of course any number or shade of color following the initial letter would be an indicator more or less of their more prepotent characteristics. This is specification breeding but there is no need to get ahead of myself by going into all the specifics and coordinates here.

Eddie, properly applied this could offer you a better way to enjoy the kind of cattle you choose to raise with more reliability. That is why I asked if you planned to raise parent or production stock. To help turn a dream into a reality, Mike and I will need to figure out how to present a few examples of what the projected "look" of some of these parent strains might be but that is not necessarily essential for you to know. Man provides the criteria and Nature provides the parental types. What is essential to know is what the "Z" actually will be.

The principles are exceedingly simple, the difficulty is in the application. I simply lack the knowledge, ability or capacity to help anyone beyond that.

Eddie, I do appreciate knowing your personality and the difference of animality. About wit, when you wrote "With a straight face delivery, my wife tells everybody that she can never tell if I'm telling the truth or not", I had a hearty laugh....Because my sick sense of humor also gets me into similar trouble. My wife has sternly reprimanded me on many 'telling me that people don't know whether what I say is the truth or not when I jokingly distort certain events that to me seem so ridiculous, no one would believe them anyway.

Since I like giving examples, for instance, when asked how we met, I might say she was a stripper in a NYC bar, were married in December and had our first baby in March. I better quickly clarify that the truth is she was a sweet little innocent eighteen year old girl who just graduated from an all girls Catholic school taught by nuns. She has this proverbial car that is just driven by this little old lady to church on Sundays.

She had this childhood fantasy of marrying a farmer. I suppose she married me since I was the only farmer available in NYC and the baby was not born the following March but a year later. Never having a single quarrel while courting, surely a marriage to be made in heaven, being of Irish descent, she didn't turn vicious until a week after she married me with a flying vase : )

You can imagine how well it goes over today when I tell her I am too busy solving all the world's problems to do all the little "big unimportant" things she wants me to do. The "honey, would you please do" jobs are no more, my first name has reverted to Larry, and the "you need to do" jobs are conveyed in not so pleasant tones .....But, we've been married 55 years, just hope she doesn't read this to end all that fun stuff : )

I spend so much time fixing broken things or trying to solve problems, I get too little accomplished. So when you asked whether my X, Y and Z are anything like Mike's Models A, B and C, I can say in principle yes. The difference is that from my failure to attract other breeder cooperation, it became too overwhelming for me to continue to do all three. Mike is still more ambitious than I am : ) So I backed off and concentrated only on the "X" where it all absolutely must begin .... the cow. Although "this cow" may be considered pretty by me, I reasoned we had to know what she does before we know just how to mate her. Performance people tell me beauty is what beauty does so why worry : ).

Please remember the TruLine concept was ONLY the INITIAL formation of a direction, a place to START based on all my observations. Anything has to start somewhere. There was nothing immediately available out there in the cattle world other than randomized crossbreeding and wild outcrossing in the races to everywhere. It was a world of rapid change and perhaps it still is. The world went sailing on by and I remember Mike reviewing the sire summaries telling me how that my EPD's have moved from the top range of the heap to the bottom. I thought I was just standing still.

I always have to smile as I remember when my grandaughter was very young and exclaimed with her new discovery "Mom !, my shoes aren't getting smaller, my feet are growing larger!!! ".
How many times have we told a child their shoes are getting too small for them. And how many times did we hear that there are still too many small cows out there as they were growing larger.... they just didn't fit anymore. This same grandaughter came home from her first year in school one day and excitedly said,"Mom, all the letters in my name are in the alphabet".

With the same excitement of my new discovery, I began to sort all the genes of the "alphabet" into "names". I restricted myself to a gene pool I was familiar with that had the characters I preferred. I had too much yet to learn before I needed to worry about marketing. The primary thing I had to determine was whether or not we could breed an "X" or whether it would need to be an "X1" from the combination of two "X's". Remember, I began with an "X1" and worked "inwards"..... I almost said the word "backwards" : )

You stated you do not want to pester either me or Mike for examples but hints are greatly appreciated. Mike told me he had no TruLine books on hand, I will mail him some and then we can try to post some pertinent excerpts here

Bootheel asks - Is the heifer that produces up to 20% more, being bred to outcross lines, and if so, what is the production if not outcrossed? If hard data is available, I would like to see the numbers, as generalities tend to confuse me.

Very definitely yes, the 20% more is an unsustainable effect believed to be caused by complimentary heterosis. If she is not outcrossed, the average of her progeny or production are likely to be plus or minus 100 which is the means. The topic here is breeding philosophy, to describe breeding objectives and methods to achieve those goals. Not to publish hard data, promote my own cattle, nor to ascertain who is right or wrong. It is to describe our individual choices by comparing one method against another. The clear choice here is whether to pursue breeding inward to improve the control of hybrid production or not.

I had to smile when you said you are confused by generalities, or is It the generalities that are confusing. Welcome to the world of population genetics. I will try to explain by examples.

As I analyzed the mountains of individual records at Wye in the 70's, it became quite evident that what a cow gets mated to has a large impact on what she produces. In generalities, we all know that but the randomization of genes would mean a cow bred the same way one year might have a better calf while the next a poorer one. Having complete access to all those records along with mine, it was imperative that I be intimately familiar with the various types in and among the records in order to associate types with records.

Familiar with the types, my concentration on the pathfinder cows and their matings for similarities was extremely interesting. One herd in Iowa and another in South Dakota were even more interesting. One of the real benefits of public registrations and data is that it can be extremely educational but we don't seem to use it for that purpose, we tend to use it for marketing. After analyzation, I moved FROM chasing all these silly overpriced individuals INTO the arena of population genetics.

For instance, If I had a group of cows that produced 100, and mating them back to their own kind, producing 100, I could mate them to certain kinds and those same cows would produce 120 rather than a range of 80 to 120.. That in itself is nothing earth shattering, the simple choice is do we ever want to reduce the distributions, another way to say the word consistency.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:39 am

"Sometimes things aren't exactly the way we see them"

Eddie quote

Larry, how do we know when genes are turned on and turned off.....Is there a telling sign of genes off vs. other genetic things going on in an individual?

Yes Eddie, there are some telltale signs but only in a situation of closed breeding when you have an intimate familiarity with the stock. In a randomized outcross population I have no idea how you would ever distinguish the difference between detrimental and turned off always, intimate familiarity of the ancestry is very important.

My first encounter with this confounding selection issue began in 1971 with some sire/dau matings (from the first Wye bull we bought) which produced heifers who weighed about 600# when my other heifers weighed 900#. Being of a performance oriented mindset at that time, I quickly learned why people avoid inbreeding. That same bull's outcross progeny in my mixed up herd were completely on the other end of the spectrum....his first progeny were like a miracle so I was going to intensify it. Of course that "intensification" was halted damn quick.

Those inferior inbred heifers did, however, produce progeny that equaled my other heifers except that their progeny were exceptionally uniform compared to the rest. But in my genetic ignorance, I did not sell their male progeny as bulls because I thought, "My God, if they breed cattle that "look" like their mothers, it would surely be a disaster".

Just as many cannot accept the look of Hilly's bull today, I did not like the look of the Wye bulls back then either, unaccustomed to the lack of "squareness" or whatever that was the most acceptable ideal during my era of growing up. Old habits are slow to die, we only bought a Wye bull because we spent 3 days there looking thru a cow herd that was second to none in the entire USA.during the late 60's, also acclaimed as such by Dr. Bonsma.

Eddie, you have an inquisitive mind like me. Many things happened over the next 10 years to cause me great consternation along with all my "success". One of many examples was Career of Wye, I thought rather a pathetic looking bull, yet he sired many notable bulls for Wye, one of which was Lodge who sold for $250,000.00. Our first Wye bull just happened to be out of a Career dau and those first inbreds were just as pathetic as Career, yet our first generation "Wye" daus were good ; alot like the Career daughter who earned her way into Wye's elite point field. Please do not confuse what I am not saying here that we should select pathetic looking bulls. I also learned alot during those years when we also had to oversee those sire/dau matings on 35 daus to test some of our bulls for those genetic defects monitored by the Assn.

The accumulative observations I made over those years stimulated the initiation of my planned experimental project in the very late 70's, the birth of my Tru Line thinking. Intensive inbreeding was initially used to identify any conformational strengths and weaknesses. I quickly learned the difference between breeding cattle for improvement and multiplying cattle by mating everyones bulls to everyones daughters.

At that time as I looked forward, it seemed to be a very long, time consuming road to travel, today as I look back, the time zoomed by. I am planning to present many examples without any embellishment whatsoever for educational purposes under the topic of "reflections" that will hopefully be of some assistance to anyone as we enter a new ear of beef production.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:41 am


ignoring all that happened behind us...without knowing the hidden that lies ahead

I ended my last post saying " I am planning to present many examples without any embellishment whatsoever for educational purposes under the topic of "reflections" that will hopefully be of some assistance to anyone as we enter a new era of beef production". But, first things first : )

.Eddie wrote- My thinking out loud can be dangerous and usually leads to correction. But it is my feeble way of learning.

Eddie, I know that so well. You will take comfort in hearing that I once asked an old long time customer of mine in Roundup, Mt (who had raised & sold a calf crop using Wagyu bulls on 500 Angus heifers) what the Wagyu bulls looked like .... He said, "damn sorry Angus bulls" : ) I enjoy using the term "the look" rather than phenotype, they're both subjective .

Jack McNamee wrote-Larry I'm a little confused. What is the difference between stabilizing a type and consistency?
All of the below Smile

Bootheel wrote- ...... to once again return to being an uneducated nuisance, in the never ending journey of higher learning....leads to my next pondering from my opaque view of genetics....are you also trying or breeding for an equal increase in effective life span, or longevity, of the parentstock

Yes. .....

I have not had access to it, but would readily consume the propaganda, when available.
Propaganda ?...
...The initial purpose for the formation of Tru Line was to market a free concept, the same as I am doing here, and in 30 years I have one member....well, almost : )
Mark - I can't help but wonder......Mike replied -.........the bull was nothing special, just another bull along the way of the 280 or so bulls Larry has used in this steady progression of first learning about, and then building consistency..

As always, intimate familiarity of the ancestry is very important

Kit has his PCC, Leachman has his LCC and when Mike started this web site, he now has his KCC = Keeney's Corner of Comments. Or the CC's might stand for Keeney's Corners of Criticism, or Concerns, or Contentment, or Comfort, or Corraling Crap. The ASA's = Ambitious Self Achievers, have the AAA with their 4C's =- Charades of Crossing Composite Cattle and calling them purebreds. I and Mike 4C his ABC's =- Always Better Cattle and my XYZ's = Xtra Yield at Z end, as a way to improve singular genetic order from A to Z ,,,,, but.a rose by any other name is still a rose which ever way we do it. Don't we all like to present a rosy scenario while avoiding the hidden thorns in the bush Smile .

The preceding paragraph is to demonstrate one way to say something nonsensical that causes us to stop and reflect about what was just read rather than just skimming through it....or we can just choose to ignore the hidden messages and go on. Whenever I read scientific research projects, I tend to skim thru all the interim complex details and skip to the conclusion described in the ending summary. But when we are doing a project ourselves, the details become the core of interest

Note the words in the above poster's quotes highlighted in red. They relate to why I would prefer the topic "reflections" to be a primary branch of KCC - Keeney's Cattle College, to be of one of many branches to help earn a PhD - Practical Doctorate, in a new version, yet old philosophical approach to breed parent stock as the roots of beef production, to produce the fruit. I liken this simple concept to the process of producing seedless watermelons, grapes or oranges....steers or spayed heifers : ) There is always a reason behind any basic philosophy and a prerequisite here is a genuine interest in the subject. .

Most of us want simple answers to singular questions like those in the above posts. So do I, but they are often interrelated with too many other factors to provide definitive answers. Many years ago I recognized that I desperately needed therapy to resolve my discontent and wanted answers. Psychiatrists take us back into our lives to find the origin of our problems by self-recognition in order to begin the long and often difficult road to recovery. In a similar manner, I went back in time in order to help me resolve my addictive efforts to reach a state of contentment with why I do what I do. .

From those answers, I simply believe what I am doing is the right thing to do for those I choose to serve and that in itself provides me contentment, a sense of personal fulfillment. I have learned that everything else, the money, the marketing or whatever will take care of itself only if what we are doing is the RIGHT thing to do as determined by customer satisfaction. IMHO, the simple basic problem is that regardless of our different directions, we breed cattle for marketing.advantages rather than improvement when we could do both.

Apparently most everyone is happy and content in their oblivious state of mind just casually walking along day by day not too worried about what lies ahead or just taking pills to relieve the pain of our ills of yesterday rather than seeking a cure for a better tomorrow. To keep whatever I say or do in perspective, this is all really no big deal, it just boils down to choices of whether to keep moving with the flows wherever the money goes, or not. There seems to be a great lack of creative thinking in the beef business. Like zombies, we're stuck in a traditional rut, and this is the nature of the beast.
In this relatively vacant therapeutic room, I'm reminded of the Cinderella story when the clock strikes midnight and a new day begins, equating the fairy godmother to our mother nature .....will there be pandemonium among people seeking therapeutic treatment to cure whatever ails us. Well, so much for my prelude on a philosophy of life to put things in perspective....our cattle are a reflection of the one who owns them.

If we want to improve genetic order, first the mindset must be redirected towards producing the seedless fruit. I am trying to also put some order in my posts as well so they will make sense step by step. This is difficult for me since the tendency is to get ahead of ourselves as we each reflect back to associate some topics with how it would affect our own cattle and the direction we have been going.

Jack, by my delay you may think I have ignored your simple question but your question addresses the heart and souI that stabilization is the road to improving consistency for every segment without the expense of another.. Very few are addicted to that direction like I am. Seeking a cure for my addiction, I want to go into the boring details of needing you to listen to my problems as I talk about why I got much more than just a "little confused" along the way...... Most of my confusement involves selection so bear in mind this part is indeed therapy as much for me as anyone else. .

Trying to untangle the webs we weave when at first we try to deceive, I had to go back in time before I learned that the single primary purpose of a purebred is to increase consistency and most importantly REPEATABILITY while trying to refine a functional type. I once thought maybe we no longer need "purebreds", so when the formation of the EPD system was being developed, I asked a couple of the notable, directly involved geneticists if there was a future for purebreds in beef production ...... might pedigrees merely be used as tracking devices for numbering traits. . Of course, science marches on and they have little actual familiarity with what is all that is required in the whole of the species as each value is being measured singularly. Science breaks the mechanics of it down but we have to put it all together again.

Based on my previous experience with trait interrelationships and consequential frustrations, I became acutely aware of what would happen based on the track record of human behavior in this business. So, I began to prepare for the inevitable.. I published my Tru Line booklet in 1983 unsuccessful attempt to offer a cure for what surely would transpire in the future. I did not find one cooperator, not one, but I did find one supporter and that was Mr. K. A. Clark. He was an old an experienced linebreeder, an avid believer in the importance of pedigree and functional purity....the 5 yr old story.of our acquaintance is interesting but not pertinent here.

So as I proceeded, the difficulty during this lengthy search for a worthwhile type was to find one that wouldn't go out of style, and.most important, was that the type could be both genetically SUSTAINABLE and ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE in its' role for commercial beef production. My over ambitions logistically overwhelmed me with trying to breed too many distinct types at the same time.
Then, I got very confused during the pursuit of higher percentages of functional purity. I got even more confused from not knowing the difference between progress and more lasting improvement. I was unhappy since I had been brainwashed like we all are into accepting the mentality that standing still is not progress. These resulting perpetual disappointments led to constantly changing my direction towards a different seemingly more comprehensive ideal type. I was torn between following this path to progress while trying to please everyone else. These are prolonged, sometimes agonizing stories, I often thought "why do I do this, why do I even care".

I was no different than most anyone else, we do forget what happened behind us and seldom know what's hidden that lies ahead. But slowly as I learned, I did become happier when I could accept that refining is improvement for more enduring progress .... as opposed to the perpetuity of constantly changing what we had before into something different calling that progress....I look back now and call it the progressive stages of learning. Perhaps the biggest hurdle we all have to overcome is our mindset that true purebreds must have the "look" we all want for everything.

Speaking of some of the things that happened behind us pertaining to stabilizing types and consistency, I have articles written in 1968 - "Breeds Aren't Breeds Anymore"; in 1986 - "Too Many Breeds, Not Enough Predictability"; in 1987 - "Maintenance Requirements Biggest Obstacle to Overcome in improving Efficiency of Beef Cattle Production; in 1987 - "There is No Such Thing as a Pure Breed Today, Those Days are Long Gone; in 1994 - "Don't Do Hybrids Until You Can Do It Right, Bigger isn't Better Anymore"; in 1995 - "Testing the Limits of Selection", a 24 yr ongoing experiment" and hundreds more that when they are all summed up, there is lots of talk and action but too little reaction to reach simple enduring solutions.

For example, I enjoyed Mike's "stick man" ad a few years ago wherein he described his dilemma....the stick man being the only one at some positional centerpoint to establish a type and everyone else is going in all different directions all around him getting financially fat and sassy in the pursuit of different and presumably better types.....being skinny from eating crumbs, and lonely the stick man shouts "where did everyone go". We hear lots of talk about "consistency" but I honestly cannot see how we can collectively either sustain or increase variation and address consistency at the same time in one type....what is, is.

I am not a geneticist who can explain the how's and whyfores of "things" that genetically happens, I just need to know what the reactions are from our actions to better know what lies ahead. I recently received an email from Mr. Gavin Falloon, a man with utmost character and integrity, with an intensive interest in studying genetics, and who has spent a lifetime of experience breeding cattle by following the basic genetic principles.
He said:

I follow with much interest your effort to set up a new outlook for cattle breeding. I have of course been through that with a singular lack of success. For I think that it was 40 years ago that Dr. Keith Gregory and I toured New Zealand trying to change the direction of animal breeding. Not one person either understood what we were talking about, let alone thought to try the principles. Not one ! The only way is to demonstrate. We have made more progress in beginning to get them thinking. In the last herd walk they commented to William "it is bl...dy well working, do not stop now". And we are beginning to sell Stud bulls to the industry ....... I am still learning.

After 40 years. We both agree that we would do it all over again, it has cost us alot in all ways, but it has been a fascinating trip and any monetary rewards are insignificant in comparison. It also took Wye 40 years (38 - 78) to reach the peak of its popularity in 1978 when the herd was donated to UMF for research. On the other hand, I did begin by riding on the coat tails of Wye genetics, selling popular stud bulls to the registered industry. And as you know, I have reverted to the point that I don't sell registered stud bulls to that industry after 40 years (65 - 05), not one!

Mike says he began getting smarter from his college and subsequent days with great ambitions to go from raising commercial cattle into the registered world and that after 27 years he has "nearly but not completely" reverted back to my position : ). And Jack, our mutual friend Dennis Voss, raised on a commercial ranch, started his own about 25 years ago and ......well, I'll let him tell his own story word for word::

"I don't know what you thought when you were here for the visit because we never did get up to see the final product on the butte. Everything is based on price per pound for me. If I raise my own bulls, I'm clearly saving a lot of cash outlay. I'm still stocking my commercial herd with $15,000 to $20,000 bulls, they're just raised by me - a lot cheaper now.
The half blood Falloon bull eventually will provide outcross to my commercial cattle, which I am planning on doing fairly regularly by flushing non-Shoshone cows to provide additional outcross. These cows have earned their way here and stand second to none. With respect to my breeding approach, I'm probably more like old Falloon. But genetically, I have the best of both. If you imagine the analogy of using snowballs, some of my Shoshone bred cattle are tight, well packed, hard hitting and really sting when they hit you. Some are clearly packed, but not as hard. Some are loosely packed, don't hurt at all, all the way out to loosely rolled wet snow. I use this analogy because it's my way of understanding genetics.
An ugly little Shoshone bull with 4 functioning feet, a stick, 2 nuts and a nose, that's packed tight genetically accomplishes a great deal round here. But most of its value for me is in creating females. The Falloon bull strengthens the feet, looks like he adds muscle and fulfills my need for outcross. If I discover something about him that I no longer wish to pursue, no harm done because I sell them by the pound and I have enough fundamental maternal based cattle devoid of his influence to plod on that way.
Some of the longhorn cross heifers will be kept for cows to provide herd markers and rangeability influence to my straight Angus cows. The only thing that could be replacing the longhorn influence on the heifers would be Waygu bulls, which I am looking into. These would all be terminal cross and sold by the pound.
The reason I am so into the sale of cattle by the pound, is because it does a number of things for me. I no longer have to be a grand marketeer, I no longer have to be on the phone day and night to sell or exchange ideas with other purebred breeders and my life is much less complicated. To tell you the truth Larry, I got tired of trying to convince some guys that the mother cow can make you more money than all the terminal crap in the world. I got tired of being a teacher because I got tired of teaching years ago and didn't come to ranching to teach.
Therefore I think what I have best to offer tru line is this: my story which is always available, and of course something genetically that Larry would determine he needed on his end. Otherwise for me, it's all Larry's deal. So somewhere in the future you come up here and say, "Dennis we need some of that and some of that.", I'll be glad to provide it for you with the same generousity that Larry has shown me over the years.
I want more than anything to see Larry's full spectrum of accomplishments to be achieved. He has been the most important influence in my cattle breeding history. He's been a friend as well as a paternal influence. Paternally speaking, he's the kind of Dad I wish every kid could have, because for me he has let me fail and also let me succeed. The patience involved in this process bestows a lot of learning capacity on the student or the son.
Raising cattle for me is a life fulfilling dream. Raising cattle that I have had a hand in genetically makes it even better. Paying the bills with these cattle by the pound really is the frosting.
Later, Dennis

HBR is but one of several examples of my lasting rewards, the kind I will never cease from wanting more of. We all may have our own different reasons for our own directions but the commonality here is down to earth reality rather than hyperbole. The central theme behind Tru Line is exactly what the name implies. I have no axes to grind, I simply have chosen to continue refining my purebreds for direct use by the commercial industry hopefully in order to offer them more predictability as well as any benefits they might gain from any heterosis therefrom. Lord knows, they are not perfect nor for everyone. It is unimportant as to how far any of us get, it is only the continuation of the constant direction that counts.

I cannot emphasize enough that the extremely important point I want to make here is that truer purebreds do offer the commercial producers better choices with more reliabilty for their success in their production systems. This is simply called customer satisfaction for genuine value exchange. It is such a simple choice, do we offer them the more reliable parts or will we keep offering them the expanding variation of the whole to dream the genetically impossible dream .

It is not necessarily a difficult task but a very time consuming one to establish some genetic order and I do not want that order to be disrupted by registered breeders who may or may not capitalize on any outcrossed benefits at the expense of the commercial producers.... which of course is beyond my control....the one I chose to serve. We all know what the registered industry is all about.
And a distant secondary reason is I do resent the monopolistic mandatory rules and regulations controlling the technical advances by tying everything to a registration number by a society who's leading proponents practice hypocritical methodology little different from crossbreeding ..... but that is my competitive marketing problem, not theirs. There is absolutely no justified reason anyone cannot keep their own pedigress and records which are obviously needed for familiarity to improve the direction of THEIR OWN breeding program. This can be called simple self-responsibility.

To the contrary when breeding to increase marketing values, we all know there are lots of monetary reasons to maintain public pedigrees in order to inflate the market value of their cattle in their direction ... so often based on the individual popularity and singular performance values of each individual in a pedigree.... derived from the different multi-combinations therein for authenticity to show how much different they are from all the rest.....ON AVERAGE.. Just like reading this last sentence, this can be called making the simple complicated. I often wonder when we will ever tire of the futility of searching the world for rare superior individuals that have nothing to do with actually improving the economics of beef fact it is contrary to that fundamental purpose.

In Gavin's closed herd, he has told me he uses his own pedigrees for his own reasons to further his direction which is not for me to discuss here, he has his own web page for that. And for those who may not be familiar with his also publicly recorded pedigrees, each individual therein consists of his Pinebank name and a number along with the year of birth, i.e. 41/97. I have not seen a public pedigree filled with all the EBV data of each individual listed therein, only the data of those Stud bulls that go out in the industry when they are evaluated with other cattle. Gavin is thoroughly familiar with the vast randomization of genes and genetic principles to put much stock in trying to evaluate each value in each and every individual. Its called population genetics.

Now I wish someone out there could tell me what in the sam hell they can tell from looking at a Pinebank pedigree and which animals in that pedigree attributed just what to the new star of the day. The first thing registered breeders look for of the few Waigroup Stud bulls available is which in the hell is the best one when in fact the variability in your own cow herds will contribute to half of what they produce.

So you might wonder why do I keep talking about Gavin. He is my example for demonstration. A couple of years ago on 5barx he originated a topic "closed herds" and said I fear I may open a can of worms. He sure did and without ever adding any further comments just sat back and watched as the tangled worms tried to free themselves from each other each going their separate ways while remaining bonded to.each other within the can bearing the same old AAA label of habitual traditional values of self-preservation.

Naturally I was interested in this topic and I was confused by Gavin's absence from any further participation. Fate provided me with a way to come to know and understand him. I quickly understood his primary reason was to stimulate people to think.... heaven forbid, never to tell anyone what to they ought to breed. So here we are today, still looking for answers tied to tradition, which I call the inability to wean ourselves. Life is tougher when we have to go out and fend for ourselves but it can be as Dennis said, more fulfilling.....the frosting.

I am not going to worry about being "political correct" , diplomatic or indirect on these issues. Stopping here to review what I said, it sounds like I am a "Dad" lecturing his kids. No, I am sharing the real life history of my background and this is laying the groundwork to provide clearer understanding. There are too many misunderstandings of either the Tru Line or my own objective. If I cannot change any mindsets, anything else I have to say would be an irrelevant and a waste of your time.

When you have time to give the foregoing some serious thought, as Gavin says the only way is to demonstrate. I will begin this demonstration process with real life details with my next post. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow. We all have to start somewhere or some day so why delay. Thank you all for allowing me to speak my piece in this therapeutical has done me it's your turn Smile

Patb quote from Gavin's newsletter:
..... a bull (his individuality) is of no interest as such. It is his progeny that is of total importance. If this (DNA) can be predicted in a calf it will speed up generation interval by three years and make bull selection that much easier and accurate. A final measure for bull buying. If you are selling grassland beef, then selecting bulls with the alleles for tenderness makes a very big difference in the eating quality of the beef. This was where the reputation for scottish beef came from in Angus. These alleles appear to reside only in those cattle that retain their old scottish ancestory. Having eaten both beef the difference is considerable and will win you buyers that will stay with you forever."

Followed by Charles quote:
I am not sure if there ever was true genetic order ...I am really interested in Mr. Falloon's breeding program........would make a good terminal cross.

Patb, thanks for posting the useful topic on the entire set of Gavins newsletters, they describe his program exceptionally well. Charles, I interpret genetic order as increasing the gene frequency for certain characters. Breeders have moved in that direction often in the 200 years of breeding Angus cattle.....the problem is we don't seem to accept what "genetic order" cannot also do. I have learned to discontinue using the word "terminal". In a play with words, obviously parent stock cannot be terminal. I would prefer us to focus our mindset on the fact that steers and heifers (spayed) are the seedless fruit we enjoy eating just like seedless grapes or watermelons.... to refer to the beef we eat as the "fruit" of our labors Smile
If the type of "fruit" you want to produce is what the Pinebank cattle are, I think they would do just that for you. It has been well documented that "some types of high performing" females who do not necessarily make the better cows do far and away make superior female "fruit". I learned this back in my Shannon/Shanigan days. I also picked up this tidbit in one of the Waigroup ads whereby some of their open heifers topped the carcass contests. A long time friend and breeder in Nebraska, John S. exhibited many of the champion carcass's at Denver with what he told me were "cull" heifers. Certainly these are not a wasted effort, but the right kind of "cull heifers" can be a very beneficial part of our production, more profitable for feeders and benefit packers from the way the markets are structured today..

When Gavin described to me the type of the only two "outlier" cows that he said he produced (i.e. who consistently produced 20% more, one extra calf by weight in five years) and warned his son William not to continue to use bulls out of those specific cows, it was more frosting which re-confirmed all my observations to gain confidence that the Tru Line concept is on the right track.

It is disastrously so common in the registered sectors to criticize cattle for what they can't do which ultimately leads to compromises. I can confidently admire and greatly praise Gavin's cattle for what they CAN DO as he continues to improve his entire herd in his direction.....and I do not need to see them, ''IT IS THE PROGENY THAT IS OF TOTAL IMPORTANCE"..... the "fruit". I have said a rose is a rose any way we do it and we give roses to express our gratitude Smile
PatB Quote - Since their are several companies providing Genomic profiles, one not aligned with the AAA, would you consider sampling some of your cattle for your own personal use and interest? Somehow the shoshone genetics and other non mainstream genetics need to be sample and included in the genomic evaluations. The scientist analyzing the data could have some interesting pattern variations on markers. The question will be how does one find markers for low heritability traits or less glamorous traits. Should the AAA allow testing of non registered animals of Angus ancestry?

I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful questions which are uniquely revealing. Your last line struck a very raw nerve with me which stimulated me to go into another one of those therapueutical sessions for myself about "non mainstream genetics and non registered animals".
I have always and will continue to sample my cattle for identification purposes whether for my own personal use or for my customers. DNA is another progressive step for identification, just as EPD's, ratios, and on back in time to the methodology utilized in the formation of breeds via differing degrees of inbreeding. History records that Hugh Watson only registered about a dozen animals in his many years and after he died his wife burned his records. Some things in life never change and so often things have to get worse before they get better lest we become complacent. There is nothing wrong with being complacent but times change and competition is unrelenting. Competition drives and can lead to desperation for survival and thusly this is how progress evolves but not without many costs. We all know this but I have had to remind myself often to keep things in perspective.

In Gavin’s direction, genomics could speed up generation interval by three years, in my direction it could speed generation interval up to twenty years (longevity and the associated factors that's needed to reach it). In corn, genomics actually did speed up generation interval from 7 or 8 years down to 2 or 3 so far. I highlighted part of your questions in red because in regards to genomics, I still have the same concerns as I expressed when the worthy endeavors for identification in the shows, the performance era of ratios and then when EPD systems were initiated....not with the measures but as I said before with the common track record of human behavior. The track record of the mainstream registered sectors has been excessive speed and derailments one after another. Your last sentence shocked me back into the reality of the attachment, dependency or loyalty breeders have with AAA. For greater understanding of my position with AAA, I will bore you with some of my history Smile
I actively participated in the AHIR dept from the beginning when Assn personnel would visit the herds to classify our cattle. In those days there was no such thing as "heifer bulls". Angus bulls were often used for calving ease on Hereford heifers at a time when most everyone calved their heifers as three's...Gavin also refers to that in NZ.. I cannot recall a time when calving first calf heifers was free of problems. Back then, Jack W solved his problems with Jersey bulls on the first Simme X HH cows calling them "bittersweet" Hersheys....the HooDoo Charolais Ranch solved theirs by buying some of my sorriest looking tail end Angus bulls, and that was back when little blocky Angus averaged 55# at birth and we still had problems calving out purebred or straightbred first calf heifers....I think moreso than today because now we're breeding smaller bulls to larger cows instead of the other way around. Smile
In more modern times, Henry B solved his management problems with Wagyus, Dennis V solved his problems with Longhorns and Gavin tells us what he does. In the commercial world it is always about the cost/benefit ratio. In the 70's I worked closely with AHIR's structured sire evaluations. You might not be aware that back then when CMS (certified meat sires) were being identified, that the AHIR dept. decided to abandon carcass measures in SSE since they said there was no significant difference in the primary Angus sires of that day. However, from the industry's changing types, carcass data was only re-instated when the growing demand of the CAB program exceeded the continuing decline in the supply. And you posted what Gavin had to say about tenderness alleles, yet many might not accept the type that has emerged from his constant selection.

In 1978 when as a member of the Wye Advisory Panel, I was wanting the now UMF research herd to help develop and be a central MONITOR for the concepts that are described in my 1983 publication of the so called "Tru Line" concept.....which is nothing more than "breeding breeds WITHIN breeds"....or specific sub-populations of strains. Included in that panel, John Crouch represented the AAA as head of the AHIR department along with a representative of MARC and three notable geneticists. I would love to share all those experiences during those 5 or so years, the chaos that prevailed trying to get several different people to reach any objective....naturally we failed and disbanded I had wanted the UMF research foundation to provide the AUTHENTICITY for the development and guidelines of the Tru Line objective.

Having failed, sometime later I had some lengthy visits with John even in my own home about setting up a special section in AAA's AHIR dept to monitor the results of the development of special purpose strains and the subsequent results. John told me we would not live long enough to see what I was talking about...and besides EPD's would take care of all that...and besides I think he said the budget for AHIR was about 5% of AAA's total would have to be self supporting. Well, I thought since I was only a member of one, I might as well self-support myself. You cannot imagine how shocked I was to hear that most of the AAA dollar goes for promotion......we all pay for the services it provides its membership, not with just the fees but much more from all the measures that are required from each and every one of order so each of us can use that information for promotion or whatever with supposedly some authenticity. We all know who ultimately pays dearly or all this "stuff"....the commercial producers ....the question is are they gaining more benefits from the ever increasing costs?. They alone will make that final decision given a choice.

The registered track record is bent toward promoting the benefits, I want to dwell on the COSTS. Several years BEFORE AAA took over control of the confidentiality of DNA analysis, the same way they took over control of the confidentiality of blood typing reports back in 1978, I had a private business relationship with MMI, the genomic lab in Davis, CA accumulating a drawer full of papers for my own use. By some backroad maneuver, suddenly AAA had the only control over any of my previous private records and all control over any subsequent ones. To put it mildly, I thought who in the hell do they think they are, always dictating what I am ALLOWED to do, including the power to tell us which of the never ending list of what our many defects are tolerable, and which few are not, I have many other reasons for leaving the AAA but this DNA episode was the last straw that broke this camel's back.

I have more than paid my way for the services provided by the AAA over the years, but far, far much more than that, I have paid dearly for MY CHOICE of battling upstream to improve the purity of my cattle while the AAA has been reaping great monetary values going downstream diluting purity. Dependant on what I define as purity, that is not just my opinion, that is evidentiary fact. And that is why Tom B wrote me that letter trying to hand me a rose that I cannot accept.

So Patb, in answer to your question, I would allow the AAA to use my herd to find "non mainstream essential markers", it is THIER CHOICE now of whether or not they want to for it. Just this morning I heard from a very long time close friend of mine, Ed Oliver in GA. Several years ago Ed received a young 3 yr old NON-registered shoshone" cow with essential but non-measured traits from me and he reported : " .......A389 had a bull calf. Was the 5th cow to calve..Has backed herself up from April to October (since he got her 5 years ago) What a cow!!! Could write all night but won't bother you further.... and I look forward to hearing from you...I value your friendship.....With regards and warm thoughts. Surely this is a 20,000 dollar cow but like Dennis said, when we can raise them ourselves, they are alot cheaper now : )
If a little grubby farmer from the little town of Cowley in a barren and dry dessert can reap these kind of essential, non-monetary rewards, or in Nancy KY, or in the tiny town of Two Dot MT without being handicapped by the help of AAA, why can't anyone? And Hilly, in answer to your post, have patience, I will get to just savor the anticipation : ) And Boothill, your last post will go into my everlasting box of treasures, no need to explain about "propaganda", I've come to know and appreciate your personality. We might as well laugh at our failures so we can enjoy our successes that much more. It is so much more comforting to be down to earth with among the ordinary, but extra ordinary good people.
So much for this therapeutic session. As Bootheel always ends his posts with "Life is Good", mine is getting better....but shorter Smile Later....
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:43 am

I just want to offer some quick general ideas to help guide your own thinking by using myself as the example. There are no simple quick answers to confusement, I have stated it took me many years to simplify what we all tend to make so complicated. DNA will not solve very many problems, breeders solve problems. By identifying them, every one of us needs the latitude and freedom to do just that, not to have our cattle condemned for identifying them just because some people have such lofty expectations. I have told many that my objective is that if I never do more than just reduce problems, that is one hell of an accomplishment. EPD's are a wonderful tool that should have taught us many things. When I talk about human behavior, I get very frustrated that we have used EPD to create more problems than the benefits provided from that genotypic measure.

We all try to solve problems, but when I finally realized that during that process, the track record of the industry is that in reality we have created problems faster than we can fix them. I have often said I am going upstream, what I really mean is I am going in reverse to the industry momemtum. I certainly don't want anyone to think that I think I'm so damn smart or smug for doing this. My confusement stemmed from always trying to play catch up. The Tru Line concept was and is a way we could manage, not eliminate, our problems while improving our benefits, the basic bottom line theme is how to manage or control the benefits of heterosis by harnessing hybrid power, simply a means to produce the most possible from the least possible....and that includes with the least problems, not without problems.

It starts with the cow, not the consumer. When Dennis said the cow is more important than all the "terminal crap", that came about simply because he had to experience it first and then and only then can we work up. It is all very simple, it just takes time, one step at a time, slowly but surely Smile

A sincere thank you Jack. To expound on your sinking boat analogy, a couple of years ago Mike and Joe Dunkum wearing life jackets, took a boat-ride fishing down the rapids of a rushing river west of Red Lodge ....for the thrill and trying to catch the big one. At days end, the wild ride was over and all that remains is the memories. Both you and Dennis have gone down the rapids of AAA fishing and have reached the sea of tranquility.... but since he learned how to float on calm waters, Dennis has turned in the life jacket he no longer needs. Ed Oliver has been floating on this sea all his life and I can't publicly display his direct words (#?*&+!x$~) about everything else Smile If wishes were fishes, the sea would be full. My wish is the heart of the Tru Line concept.

Anyone is welcome to use whatever I say on this public forum, the only thing I ask is that it be kept in the context in which it was given.. I have stated that there is too much misunderstanding of my objective. I can understand anyone's confusions, that is why I am offer explanations by examples of real live people and cattle. I do want to remind everyone that my purpose here is to offer an option to consider another breeding philosophy....and that the bottom line is that I or we are in competition with other "AAA methodologies", not the AAA.....its breeding "in" vs. "out". This competitive process will require confidentiality to protect owner values and I expect much espionage between private and public groups in this battle of ideas Smile

Nevertheless, I will reluctantly use my own cattle as examples simply because I am not here to directly promote my own cattle, but to promote the true value of cattle bred like them whomever owns them.. Any success or failure is solely on the genetic merits of the cattle without grandiose promotion, the proof needs to be in the pudding. The truth will ultimately prevail in any event. With Mike, Craig and Rod's pictures along with comments by Dennis, the truth is I seem to be gaining a reputation on this site for producing ugly bulls that produce pretty cows ..... I hope that's at least better than pretty bulls producing sorry cows Smile

From some of the comments I continue to read on other topics, when applying the "Tru Line objective", I cannot stress enough that the parent stock NEED NOT "LOOK" like the "FRUIT". One undisputed fact that is the major difference from the status quo is that truer purebreds tend to breed "up" when outcrossed and outcrosses tend to breed "down" from what they are. We have observed this for many years and science has confirmed this over and over again. The general assumption that breeds are "pure" is false, if some don't believe me, they should try some closer breeding.

Mike is getting way ahead of me with his stories, so as usual I am playing catch up. One of these days I'll post the story of who taught me everything I profess straight from the horse's ... er, I mean cow's mouth Smile . Mike has more "hare-like" DNA in him than I do, but for others like me with more "tortoise-like" DNA , I want to demonstrate how the principles are "working" hoping it will help any of you to start making your own choices in your own direction.

To my own amazement, these simple principles really do work when I look back and see what has expected miracles but for me they are a revelation of confirmation.
The key to all this is to ascertain how far can we breed "in" and sustain and refine functional purpose in each of the parents to produce the "fruit" that far exceeds both parents....producing the most from the least much more efficiently and consistently is the constant banner. May the winners, the commercial producers who are the lifeblood of the system reap their just rewards.

For example, for my story today, assume that the below cow is an ideal functional type, a real live example that's shown standing still in time as Craig (Hilly) pictured her about the first of August this year. I never did particularly notice this young cow before Craig and then Mike drew my attention to her. I don't know if she is an outlier/outliner or not, but she was/is apparently preferable to them : ) And just recently I noticed that Leroy Thorstad in MN had purchased her previous bull calf last spring along with a few yearling heifers. I wondered if he too is a sorry looking bull like Hilly's, or even why Leroy & I would've picked this young bull from an anonymous cow, surely he must've not looked so bad .... but at my age it is hard for me to remember one out of a couple hundred ugly bulls Smile

I have to laugh because this pretty picture reminds me of my wife and all other wives, they all look so pretty in their wedding pictures. But it is afterwards when we discover their real inner beauty when they become housewives and mothers......think I heard something about how "looks is only skin deep" Smile Craig, I bumped into this same cow by accident yesterday among about 400 scattered about, just like you did last summer. The difference is that after a long summers work and the grass became poorer.....she didn't "look" quite so pretty being thinner with her hair-coat preparing for winter, but she is still the same cow.

Craig, you can associate yourself with this example and I smile and wonder if you had the same anxieties you have expressed to me about this cow as you had when you met and fell in love with your wife Smile We do get excited when we talk about things that interest us, I remember when Gavin said if he and I ever got together, neither of us would get a word in edgewise. For those of you who have never conversed with Mike, you don't know what your missing; when he and I or anyone else get together, there is never a lack for words Smile
When making a commitment, somewhere I also heard if we want to know what our wife will be like, we should study her mother and her father's mother. The difference between public and privately formed pedigrees is that only owners really can intimately know all the characters of the relevant "mothers". That is also a difference between a purebred breeder and a registered purebred multiplier of everyone else's cattle who often descends from everyone else's directions whose ancestry is often based on hearsay and gossip.

I want to demonstrate how registered breeders who have this inherent "need to know" make things so very, very complicated for commercial buyers. This cow Shoshone Pride A724 was born 3/18/06, a descendant of the Craigie cows, from the Pride of Aberdeen family. For either curiosity or nostalgic purposes, by going thru just the maternal side of this cow, she is the 7th generation in my herd, was 4 generations in the Craigie herd and traces back 19 more generations back to the first cow Pride of Aberdeen 38, or the 30th generation since 'Day 1.

For practical purposes in my relatively steadfast direction to stabilize a type, I wouldn't have any familiarity with what the cows functional characters "looked" like beyond the 7th generation....and I doubt anyone would know what those seven cows even looked like beyond myself by looking at a public registration paper. But I have told you about my selection direction and I am quite familiar with the Craigie steadfast direction of the previous 4 generations (carcass quality first & secondly maternal cow families). There are a host of conformational values that are important to me but the only three "publicly numbered values" that are relevant to me are EN$ (the cost of cow maintenance), W$ (to maintain a BALANCED SET of single trait numbers) and G$ (quality as opposed to quantity) to contribute to any paternal sired "fruit".

The individual accuracy in a cow's numbers is never very high simply because cows never have enough progeny but we can see trends change from selection and matings when compared to an entire breed population. Whenever I reached a point of "happy comfort" where I want to stand still - the EPD's might change from the average of the changing average of the breed but the cattle's own actual values should no longer change with or without additional records. These $ values said to be enhanced by genomic profiles are as of 10/28/10 and the lineage descends as follows:

A724 - 06 Not registered ( Single sire's EN$ - 26.96, W$ 17.69, Est G$ 17.00 )

A789 - 03 Not registered - multiple mob sired (Craig realized his favorite "unacceptable Shoshone bull" was out of this cow)

A760 - 96 Reg # 12709124 (from here down see ) EN$ - 22.09, W$ 22.66, G$ 18.88 (The W$ peaked here)

A703 - 91 EN$ - 29.74, W$ 18.40, G$ 19.02 (Nearly a genotypic and duplicate "look" to the cow I sold to JAD {'6157-born the same year. Notice the same great grandsire in all 4 generations of the pedigree, the same "mother" then appears 4 times.

A728 - 89 EN$ - 34.95, W$ 9.96, G$ 20.62 (The known G$ peaked here - The end of our AAA structured sire carcass research in the 80's to identify what we had in the gene pool)

A727 - 87 EN$ - 45.16, W$ 4.55, G$ 10.15

Pecan - 82 EN$ - 52.49, W$ -2.71, G$ N/A (One of our original Craigie cows)

Pepsie - 73 EN$ - 52.82, W$ - .58

Peppermint 69 EN$ - 52.95, W$ - .53 (The known EN$ peaked here)

Penelope 66 EN$ 52.50, W$ 2.45

To Day 1 - l9 generations to Pride of Aberdeen 38

This A724 cow was sired by my bull #14968153 born in 5/6/03 and anyone can search his ancestry on but very few people would be familiar with any of those cows functional characters in the pedigree beyond myself. He was a leftover bull partially because of his age from that calf crop, I selected this ordinary "Shoshone" bull who became a favorite of mine with his dominate boss bull attitude and freedom of movement who saw heavy natural service until he met his demise last Aug from a broken right rear stifle joint in a mob of individual who tended to get too heavy when not working yet his feet remained in perfect condition, never sick or lame prior to his demise while living with many other bulls.....he likely wasn't paying enough attention in his older years and got careless from confidence, kinda like me Smile

About the maternal side of this bull, many years ago Joe Dunkum purchased a small group of cows from me and just happened to buy both maternal grandams (1012 & 6354) and last summer Joe told me that the Echo (IBC 39%) son he used out of this bulls paternal grandam (2318-the result of a sire/dau mating in 1989 with an IBC +30%) left him some very useful cows in his herd and the maternal grandam of the sire (3116) was the base cow to HBR's Esters who was one of Dennis & Ericas favorite cows who lived to be about 20 and her daus 3128 and 3131 to about the same age. I have an abundance of relatives and familiarity with the #6374 cow.

A question I might ask a customer might be is how much do you want to improve consistency? In what? In this business we often assume many changes are free. When they're not, the next question is whether you would be willing to accept the cost for any potential gain you may enjoy.....that perpetual question of when is enough, enough. Commercially, that would be when the costs override the benefits. When the mainstream registered sectors cannot or do not acknowledge "costs", it is very simple to see how the sky becomes the limit of change.

It is customary for registered breeders to buy sons of ideal cows and then our great expectations falter over time, we cannot sustain the "look". It has been interesting to me that for example if a son out of an ideal cow is sired by an unrelated outcross bull, his individuality is usually acceptable,,,,, if he is an inbred son, his individuality is generally considered unacceptable.

Common sense suggests that the inbred bull would likely transmit more of this cows characters more consistently but we don't risk that due to our predicated and justified fears of inbreeding. .
A buyer of say an inbred son of cow A724 who insists on some preconceived popular "look" would also want him to be among the top "performers", hasn't that been so Mike? And so Craig, you might wonder just how "pure" is he and being an inbred animal, I could confidently say that probably more than most cattle today....but, in my herd, I could also confidently say he would be MUCH MORE LIKELY likely to transmit his mother's EPD values ALONG WITH his sires maternal ancestry with more consistency if he was an average individual performer. This may seem confusing but it is based on my first hand experience not just with one animal, but many over the years. We often learn too little too late.

So Craig, it comes down to some very simple choices....Since Tom Burke told me I have put the Aberdeen back in Angus and the Angus breed is at a crossroads, that my friends and practical cattleman need the genetics of Larry Leonhardt's Shoshone Angus, that I am depriving them without registrations.....and since Tom hasn't been to visit the Wye herd in 25 years until last summer after they sold a bull for $28,000, who knows, I might even be able to start selling $50,000 bulls again, all I need to do is hire Tom as my sales manager and rejoin this "foolhardy" business as usual. I could have used a better more direct adjective but my only regret is that I didn't quit publicly registering my cattle 30 years ago, I would've had fewer headaches today as well as over the years and the monetary rewards would've been the same. Perhaps I ought to take out some insurance, surely someone, somewhere will dig up some dirt about my cattle since I used Rito 549 back in the 80's Smile By not having a known defective calf from using that bull, it reassures me that my base herd must be relatively free of his defect.

I liken the AAA to our government who thinks they can regulate the entire economy by the tax structure they implement, a totally absurd notion. Ah, but after all the people are the government so who is to blame. It is easy to see how Dennis and Jack got sucked up in this whirlwind and became bitter, how hard it can be to break away, but how easy it is when you have character and integrity in this endless battle between the horns and halos. So when people think Mike is a bitter contrarian, or a greedy paranoid breeder for not wanting to sell AI certificates at give away prices to what Dennis calls genetic rustlers, I am so glad he continues this battle of ideas.....most would have given up long ago. I think we should have a poll and see how many would call Mike a Paul Revere or a Benedict Arnold Smile

As a current commercial producer Craig, it becomes very simple, do you want to buy a $20,000 registered bull for the rare commonality of all the ancestry, or pay $2000 for a non-registered bull with a private pedigree. or do you want to buy this unregistered cow for $2500 and breed your own bulls....or do you need the AAA to provide the authenticity of my records Smile I hope I have answered your questions Craig and I hope everyone realizes how complicated we have made this business for the commercial bull buyer....sometimes I think the overload of information is done on purpose to add confusement, has anyone ever seen a GAR catalog ? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:45 am

Mike's private response to my last post....if he doesn't edit this, it is now my chance to get even with him when he posted some of my personal emails to him Rolling Eyes

..... no paul revere here, it`s 3:48 am, i just woke up, so there was no midnite ride...just ask linda Smile ....they want to fish for a trophy to mount, instead of taking two fishes and feeding the multitude.

Nothing new, the history of the registered Angus breed has always been about trophys, awards, contests and self-acclamations unto itself which actually increases beef production costs. I have never figured out how boasting about how much their sales bring, listing their top sellers etc, helps the commercial producers improve their bottom line. Rolling Eyes

I prefer the immeasurable placebo effects I get from having "had a hand" in someone else's success, as Dennis said so well,
Raising cattle for me is a life fulfilling dream. Raising cattle that I have had a hand in genetically makes it even better. Paying the bills with these cattle by the pound really is the frosting.
Perhaps " the pound really is the frosting" is one of the most important statements to summarize the objective of these pages of dialog.

Hilly posted .....walking the hills to see the principles working was reassurance to me that TruLine was the road I want to travel.....

The principles work exactly the same regardless of any direction, it is only the way we reach the goals that are different.

I have to admit guilt when Larry and Mike talk about people spending big money getting us into trouble and by the time we get through all the learning stages and end up back in the middle with them, we no longer want to spend over true value and even if we would they wouldn’t accept more as it goes against the principles that have kept them in the middle.....

...."true value" a conundrum that causes me great consternation...... often based on supply and demand. Of what real worth is a 100 yr old rare dollar gold coin that may be worth a half million to collectors, it could be real and genuine value, but only if they're not "a dime a dozen". Genuine registered monetary values have always been primarily determined by rarity yet oddly enough we measure their worth by what we call breeding values by the "pounds".....hummmm, two bulls might have similar "breeding values" and yet they might be miles apart in the monetary marketplace. And who could ever have dreamed that some cattle with average or below breeding values are beginning to rise in comparative monetary values....I've been thinking about this for a very long time.Rolling Eyes

I'm reminded of fertilizer ads saying "grow 2 leaves where one grew before" or "for every dollar invested two are returned" .....but somewhere we always reach a point of diminishing returns with too much of a good thing. I have finally concluded that "true value" would be dependent on the application wherever the benefits exceed the now we're back to square one, for whom ? A commercial buyer like you Craig has to determine whether $2500 for one cow's breeding value is worth the risk of twice the production value of two commercial cows. A registered bull breeder may pay $20,000 for speculative projected progeny values while a commercial bull buyer and breeder has to determine actual pound progeny values . Wouldn't it be better to know the difference between speculative and actual bottom line production costs based on pound values Rolling Eyes

Mike replied -
I like the human stories; never too much information... eventually it is human nature rather than economics or cattle genetic difference that determines what course we follow breeding cattle; provided we are exposed to; or create alternatives ourselves to merely following the crowd...and yelp, our nature is influenced just not by genetics, but by environment as well

EddieM -
........after seeing a lot of the linebreeding with Sinclair's effort, I have come to the conclusion that EXT was an outlier. I say this because there has been such great variation in the results of the linebreeding and no son(s) have truly replicated the old bull. But, then again, I am full of unproven and useless opinions. Rolling Eyes

Has anyone ever wondered if the wrong son(s) were selected ?Rolling Eyes

Keystone writes - The nicest EXT cows I have seen were on the old N-bar. The ones I raised were tall, skinny and wild, as a group. they seemed more extreme as outcrosses than they did in the herd he came from. A couple dry years were hard on them. I worked through them and linebred to EXT and had some nice results that are still going. But then again, why go through EXT to get negative BW, 30-40 YW cattle?

Thanks Hilly for filling in the blanks of the "A724" story. Anyone is welcome to critique my cattle, please do, for that demonstrates what they also will not do. But I would prefer that critiquing anyone else's cattle be reserved for somewhere else. In reflections by LL, these are my personal reflections of my history explaining how my breeding philosophy and objectives evolved. I have reluctantly identified my own cattle to demonstrate a real live relationship of the ancestry in an attempt to establish a type and the actual results rather than some theoretical exercise. The merits, likes and dislikes, and acceptance of the many needed types are where these discussions usually get sidetracked. The venue of TruLine is to encourage each breeder to establish his own unique special purpose type and we all need all the luck we can muster as we deal our cards playing these genetic lottery games.

My identification of real people is to authenticate real factual incidents with whom I have had a first hand relationship with to demonstrate what Mike said about being influenced by or being products of our environment. I am trying to explain the non-monetary rewards of values, mutual cooperation, respect, character, integrity and basic honesty as opposed to the despicableness I have for all that goes on in this registered business, the lack of self-responsibility, the passing of blame when things go wrong, when the first pursuit is that of the almighty dollar.....I am extremely ashamed that I have been there and done all that for 15 years until about 30 years ago.

So yes, I have been greatly influenced by my environment, Craig explained how he was influenced by his dairy experience, the same can be said for J.B.Lingle's dairy upbringing, the same way K.A. Clark influenced me on the importance of pedigree and beef quality, the same way the leading performance breeders influence so many is a great study of human behavior as we make our choices.

To stay on track from this brief interlude and to continue the story of which to choose, the A724 cow herself or a son, or which is also an extension of my response to Eddie and Keystone's related question. Mike mentioned taking two fishes and feeding the multitude. We have an extraordinary event coming up shortly on Dec 4th that has a very direct genetic relationship to the rest of this story here in association with "values". I want to use part of John Dockweiler's sale offering to provide an example that can stimulate us to stop and scratch our heads.


[/size]I have been doing some of my deep crazy thinking an awful lot lately about two fishes and feeding the multitude, the two bull calves, full brothers that John calls Peter and Paul. John emailed me some pictures a couple weeks ago. Thank you John for your contact which provides me this timely opportunity to use this as an example of what I talked about on the previous post.......the only charge for the free publicity Smile

John's web page says one of them will be offered in the sale, but doesn't yet say which one..... or perhaps he will offer a pick of the two and then what would we do:roll:,,,,, and if I understand correctly, JAD is also going to offer the last natural heifer calf born from Shoshone Prudence 6157 who was 19 years of age, a maternal sister to Peter and Paul. I have used two bulls out of this cow, registration numbers 12647010 and 14036650 before I sold this cow to John. I named these two bulls Pyus and Princeton.

Shoshone Princeton 6157 at 4 months of age,

Shoshone Prudence 6157 at 11 years

pedigree of Shoshone Pyus 6157

Shoshone Pied Piper K F D 20AAA #9563705
Shoshone P P 7105AAA #10393619
Shoshone Margaret LJD71AAA 9772045
Shoshone Prince 6135AAA 11834563
Shoshone Balboa N1702AAA 10223395
Shoshone Prudence 6135AAA 11154932
Shoshone Prudence MD61-92AAA 10017005
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone 99-2028AAA 11303764
Shoshone Eileen 2028AAA 10564785
Shoshone Prudence 6157AAA 11637031
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone Prudence 6146AAA 11303849
Shoshone Prudence ME61-62AAA 10017009

pedigree of Shoshone Princeton 6157
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone Ben 99-1012AAA 11459822
Shoshone Barbara L 1012AAA #10223403
Shoshone Euston 3131AAA 12706458
Shoshone Laser 2310AAA 11154991
Shoshone Ester 3131AAA 11459882 [AMF]
Shoshone Ester 3116AAA #10836922
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone 99-2028AAA 11303764
Shoshone Eileen 2028AAA 10564785
Shoshone Prudence 6157AAA 11637031
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone Prudence 6146AAA 11303849
Shoshone Prudence ME61-62AAA 10017009

I became intrigued with why John named his two bulls Peter and Paul. To refresh my memories, Peter was the chosen disciple "the rock, upon which to build the foundation of the Christian church" . Paul was an apostle, described in the encyclopedia as being born a Jew, a Roman citizen, educated as a Pharisee and a successful man. He had often wondered how Christians seemed so content even when persecuted During a journey he fell off his horse and became blind. . Through a vision his eyes were opened and he spent the remainder of his gruelling life formulating and systematizing the doctrines of Christian theology mainly through writings to churches . Eventually imprisoned by Jewish enemies, it is said he was executed .

John, did you have an underlying lesson here for naming them Peter and Paul. What was the difference between their recipient mothers?

JAD Peter

JAD Paul

The pedigree of Peter and Paul

Shoshone Muscle 329AAA 11303694
Shoshone Eric 1714AAA 11637143
Shoshone Erica 1714AAA 11155041
Shoshone 130-6357AAA 12221656
Shoshone Balboa N1702AAA 10223395
Shoshone Frances 6357AAA #11154945
Shoshone Frances 6333AAA 10707272
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone 99-2028AAA 11303764
Shoshone Eileen 2028AAA 10564785
Shoshone Prudence 6157AAA 11637031
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone Prudence 6146AAA 11303849
Shoshone Prudence ME61-62AAA 10017009

JAD Prudence 6100

the pedigree of JAD Prudence 6100

Lambdin of Wye Umf 6278AAA 11060743
Bear of Wye Umf 6591AAA 11384275
Blackbird of Wye Umf 6324AAA #11060784
Carty of Wye Umf 6952AAA 11773159
Fargo of Wye Umf 5813AAA #10748957
Clova of Wye Umf 6686AAA 11384343
Clova of Wye Umf 5275AAA #10319328
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone 99-2028AAA 11303764
Shoshone Eileen 2028AAA 10564785
Shoshone Prudence 6157AAA 11637031
Shoshone Echo 1702AAA 10900300
Shoshone Prudence 6146AAA 11303849
Shoshone Prudence ME61-62AAA 10017009
# Pathfinder

Craig said, "Although I have succumbed to the common nature of gravitating to individuals, I feel it is important for me to point out my hypocritical nature of selecting individuals out of a population while supporting the principles of the population philosophy. In my opinion the A-724 cow and A-789 bull are but snapshots of moving expressed genes amongst a population that has even greater consistence in things unseen,making the selection of individuals on appearance relatively redundant."

TAKING TWO FISHES AND FEEDING THE MULTITUDES, I wonder who those multitudes would be....and I would be interested in which individual bull anyone would pick that would transmit more of the maternal characters of his ancestry. What would anyone expect the difference in the market value to be of either of these bulls with registration papers and without??
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:47 am

Mark asked why I considered JAD's Dec 4th sale to be such an extra ordinary event when
it is just another bull sale of many sales. That's a short question which requires a lifetime
of my reflections to answer. This post has been difficult and challenging for me to write, .
I've drafted it several times in an attempt to consolidate my hundreds of thoughts to
prevent any misinterpretations...while trying to keep things in the proper perspective with
some semblance of order. The content may be boring but it is of importance to me for it represents
somewhat of a story behind my life's ambitions.

I first wondered how many viewers actually focus, heed or ignore each and every word
under the title of Keeney's Corner - A Reflective and Futuristic View of
Cattle Breeding from Outside the Registered Mainstream. For me, this is not just a chat room,
a class room nor a therapeutic room for breeding cattle, but it is a room that connects it all
to a philosophy of life that we each live in our own daily routines. I have said a man's cattle
are a reflection of the one who own's them and I laughed when Craig said "that's scary". Smile

I do thank you all for your interest, comments and questions. I will try to cover individual concerns
over time. I think most of you already know the answers but are seeking affirmation. I do that every
day in order to reach greater understanding. I always think about connecting common examples or
symbolism that apply to everything.

Symbolism is defined as "the art or practice of using symbols esp. by investing things with a symbolic
meaning or by expressing the INVISIBLE or intangible by means of VISIBLE or sensuous representations.
" We might think of them as pictures that represent thousands of words where each of us can imagine
the invisible message to fit our own situations.

When I asked that we take a walk together for contemplation on the still waters so calmly portrayed
in my last post, I would like each of you to keep that visual in the back of your minds as you read this
entire post. When I personally pictured our invisible troubled minds gathered together on this boardwalk,
I visualized us looking towards the heavens and seeing the answers perfectly reflected in the still waters
from the basic simplicity of the message in our Father's prayer "....thy will be done on earth as it is in the
heavens...and lead us not into temptation of the evils...". I related this to two current bulls calves,
Peter and Paul, their full sister and a unique closely related maternal sister. I do wish you all could "see" all
the ancestry and close relatives for many generations like I have. It should be no surprise to anyone that
the principles of genetics does parallel the doctrines of Christianity in many ways.

I don't know what anyone else sees, but staring into that reflection I had thousands of thoughts, first
thinking how Dennis said he did not want to be a teacher, and I certainly don't want to be a preacher.
Yet indirectly he is and I suppose I am, both having been "victims" of our environment before making
our transition. I did not name John's two bulls Peter and Paul nor did I want to sell my #6157 cow to John,
so I priced her at $6000 and after much anxiety he bought her. I did not set out to meet Jack a few short
years ago to hear his story of why he paid upwards to $20,000 for a couple of HBR's somewhat
related "Shoshone" bulls. I did not set out to cause John's "Shoshone" bred bull to bring $16,000 at his
sale last year when the same germ plasm in these two real examples is commonly available here for $2000....
with pedigrees but without public papers....or at Mike's with public registration papers.

So, of course I experienced the invisible short term pangs of jealousy which lead to temptation but I also
enjoyed the overriding simultaneous immeasurable gratitude that my type of cattle were finally being
accepted out of NEED, not just from our own wants. As a visible side effect from these two examples, I
sold Bill B about 40 bulls the last few years for $80,000, half of what he normally paid for disappointments
in other bulls......and Tyler two potloads of cows for about a couple hundred dollars each over commercial
prices. Pretty simple, my NEEDED "daily bread" is provided when the microcosm of what I do helps others
along the way by following the Golden Rule rather than following the gold. I had to laugh over the invisibility
I saw when Mike told me of his exhuberance over being able to buy a $10,000 manure spreader for $5000...
who needs one to spread out the BS more than he, for everyone else to see : )

My real concerns do not end here, they just begin. Just two days ago, Ed Oliver, a lifetime close friend where
anyone can buy cattle basically the same type and germ plasm as mine, shared his thoughts saying how
everything we have done is water over the dam and we cannot change the past. He added "Larry, when
our kids were little, Jo and I said, "If we can just get them out of diapers, things will get easier"....When they
were in high school, we said," If we can just them out of college, things will be easier"...When they finished
college, we said, "When they are married, things will be easier", Well, aint none of that true....It don't get any easier!".

It sure doesn't. I did not ask Craig to appear at my door a coupla years ago, or Monte, Bob's, Jay, Ray's,
Skip, Hip, Ben's, Bill's, Darwin, LeRoy, Mark's, George's, Tom's, Leo, Brian, Tyler, Jeff's, Henry, Owen, Dale's,
Fred's, Perry, Dean, Charles, Chris, all the John's, Dave's, Pete, Theo, Ted's, Travis, Don, Ken, Joe's, Robert's,
Gary's, Neil, Mike's, Greg's, Roger's, Marshall, Ed's, Paul's, Helen, Georgette, Annette, Carroll's, Harrison
and others....all real people producing commercial beef in the real world who have come to me without special invitations.

I suddenly realized and was completely overwhelmed with what a monumental responsibility I have in the
influence of their success. I do not want that responsibility and I did not want to be completely immersed
in deep reflective thoughts for the last 30 days reliving the thousands of thoughts of the last 30 years.
I thought about how I did not want the gruelling hardships of trying to develop a more responsible way
of breeding cattle, a concept I called Tru-Line which was the fruition that evolved for that objective.

The reason I posted the picture of the #6157 cow's bull calf and two pedigrees of the same germ plasm
was so I could demonstrate that Princeton, very similar in stature to Peter based on pictures, was sold
as a calf. I don't even remember what that very average price was. In any event Princeton was returned
to me after a year or so from dis-satisfaction reportedly for too large of birth weights for the buyers heifers.
Princeton became a dominant bull I used for 5 years in natural mob service. From my experience, there may
be some slight short term differences just by chance between Peter, Paul, Princeton or Pyus, but over the
long term I doubt there is a nickels worth of difference for their specific intended functional purpose.

Bootheel, Craig and others had several questions about commercial values but the only difference there
should be is that it would eliminate the registered breeders from competing with the commercial breeders.
I don't think anyone would argue with the simple fact that commercial cow/calf men breed their own cattle
similar to all the rest of us, just a different market. The traditional eye usually prevails and that makes it
tougher to sell "purebred" stock. It is a very difficult marketing road with or without registration papers.
Everyone knows customers won't come back unless they're pleased with the progeny, and sometimes that
may take five or ten years for them to realize the "true" value.

I wish I could be very optimistic that Peter or Paul would bring John lots of money, that the demand for
their rare uniqueness would be an indicator for a transformation of the registered industry back to breeding
purebreds. But I won't hold my breathe since there are no shortcuts in any races to improve
chasing the gold beyond commercial value. In my herd a super cow is an ordinary cow that is a consistant
producer, not the top producer, has the ability to renew herself with fewer problems and lasts alot longer
than most. From this standpoint, I would hope that whoever ends up owning Peter or Paul, that any semen i
s restricted EXCLUSIVELY to commercial producers with the RARE possibility of selling a half million dollars of
semen for genuine worthwhile benefit to the cow/calf man.

This is the primary and only purpose of TRU-LINE, to offer genetics exclusively for direct application to
commercial beef production absent of any public pedigrees. The design is to prevent the temptation of
chasing fool's gold by establishing genetic truths. SYMBOLISM....The top of the cover is black, the
hidden genome, blending from dark to lighter shades of grey, and finally to white, the color of light.
The invisible white light becomes visible when a prism or rainbow reveals all the HIDDEN colors therein.
The inside back cover ends by essentially summarizing the content and I'll start on that with the next post.

In additon to the information I have provided above, to either improve or drop the odds for any bet of who
will be the gamblers and what size the pot will be on Dec 4th, I will reveal that the shaded cow on the back
inside cover of the Tru-Line booklet shown below is the maternal great grandam born in 1976 of the sire of Cow #6157.....In any event I bet the house wins : )

Well Mark, I hope this answers your question of why
I think John's sale will be an extra ordinary event.

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:49 am

Mark, my shoes have walked down the different roads seeking greater rewards out of something always appearing greater. We'd all enjoy the fantasy of winning a lottery for instant wealth, but we've also heard how often that initial excitement of winning wanes to disparity over time......whether its money or cattle. It is odd how some people want to reach famousness and then later seek solace in anonymity or solitude....the mysteries of the rise and fall of everything Smile

Your comments hit home about having things simple so we could enjoy raising cattle again. I smiled when you mention the memories of the good ole days with small family farms. It reminded me how some are going back to using the old bulls of yesterday. I wonder if its nostalgic memories or maybe we're just looking for a simpler life of decency and morality, where a nod or a hand shake sufficed over a complex long or legal document. Some have the perception that cattle were more dependable or better back then, or that breeding "grass" cattle again will be easier. Like life getting easier, none of this is entirely true. I don't think human nature has changed much throughout the last few thousand years, however, accumulated technology has created benefits but also more complications and stress so we make our individual choices always facing peer pressure.

When you ended your post with "I also wish that you continue to find the energy to share with us in hopes that you not hand us a fish to eat but teach us to fish so that we can feed ourselves for a lifetime." , my first thought was that we have been shown the basic principles and design long before me, we just have trouble with the details. Maybe we all just have to get older before we can begin to appreciate the more important values of life than just money and the material things it can buy. Using my age as an excuse, I tend to forget what I said before and often repeat myself. So, I went back and read the very first post I made on this topic of my "reflections".

That general overview seemed pretty comprehensive but lacks details. Beyond that there isn't much I can say to help The reason is Mark, that I cannot teach you experience, all I can do is share mine. I'm reminded of a TV commercial ..."we have all the elements but it is the human element that develops the products, the employees with experience, research and development." I've always enjoyed the science channel's programs like "How its Made or How do they do it", but I still don't know how to make or do the things they show me in a 15 minute clip.

When you said you have never walked in my shoes, I laughed as I thought few people have, they are too busy running. I've thought about how if we could make transparent shoes of many sizes, we could clearly see how they fit for comfort...the fabled glass slippers so we can live happily ever after.. or, maybe at least a lifetime is enough Smile . The suppliers of the elements and finickiness are factors that forestall the development of "Tru-Line" purebreds for direct exclusive commercial usage....seedstock to produce production stock, not necessarily be it.

Mike and I have thoroughly enjoyed making our work our play but the ever after part is not so easy, or it would have already been done. Many of us are familiar with Mike's rebellious nature which can be a rare and valuable virtue. We enjoy laughing at our problems and I enjoyed teasing him about his bargain on the manure spreader he bought which will help him spread out all the BS in this business for everyone to see what's really in the pile....he needed a larger and improved newer model just in order to keep current with the supply. Smile There is no miracle to be had in either inbreeding or outbreeding, it simply and surely takes the two to tango in systems to optimize beef production efficiencies.

Transparency...I do have complacence with where Mike and I are in this never ending process which is life in itself. K.A. Clark once told me in order for a breeder to successfully merchandise his cattle, he has to have a story. I have accumulated hundreds of stories, and by telling them, I suppose they become my story. Some people tell me they want to pick my brain, but I don't have any magic answers. As we all know, organizing genetics in a beef production system is a slow methodical process. And that is the only reason seedstock for beef remains in a static position where breeding values are based on conjecture. We want instant answers and quick rewards. There are no long term objectives that I am aware of to create a semblance of order out of the chaos in accordance with genetic principles simply because of our prioritized goals....self wealth.

Bootheel, your descriptive writing abilities make me wish you would rewrite all my previous posts to turn them into a more creative and entertaining story. And Mike has not only been my right arm, but both arms as we're reaching out for a little more sanity in this business with logical common sense. He is a witty creative visionalist who must see before he believes while I am a visionary, a dreamer who thinks I can see it before it happens. So all I do is sit and dream while Mike does all the work making everything happen, demonstrated so well when he portrayed the cow who is "her own grandma" along with the video of "I'm my own grandpa". Smile

Thank you too Scott for your post. But I laughed as my first thought was, oh no, Scott's got it all wrong just as others might, I've got to try harder to say things right. There seems to be so much misunderstanding that to me seems so clear. This is not about registered cattle vs. non registered cattle, it is about exposing the fallacies of what too many registered people do, whether anyone keeps private or public pedigrees is entirely up to any of you. I view the registered industry as a training ground, a boot camp, where sub divisions of special forces could be trained and graduated to do specific jobs as professional specialists to fulfill a mission.....but it isn't.

Scott, I am nothing like a father in a breeder's parable, I see myself more like a slave that has been chained to a tradition where capturing dollars is the main mission and have escaped from bondage, free for the last 30 years. In an industry based on conjectured values, I see loyalty to a breed as a bunch of foot soldiers marching to the drums of King Midas.

I am just another son of the many along the way, hopefully more likely a parallel to the son with a "coat of many colors". Smile Joseph, the first son from Jacob's favorite wife, was the one his jealous step brothers sold as a slave, kinda like Cinderella and her wicked step sisters. The slave who later won favor with the pharaoh by interpreting his dream and prophesying the "seven" years of prosperity to be followed by "seven" years of famine. The pharaoh put Joseph in charge with collecting food to be used during the coming famine years, and when it came, the Egyptians were able to survive as a result of Joseph's foresight. I laughed thinking about the differences between a dreamer, an interpreter and foresight or predictability.

During the famine, Joseph's step brothers came to Egypt for supplies, Joseph revealed himself to them, they reconciled and Joseph's step brothers moved to Egypt. Joseph represents one of the many tribes of the Hebrew confederacy, and how the coalition of the other tribes allied against the tribe of Joseph, which is believed to stem from the enmities of his step brothers. Joseph's tribe later split into other tribes. According to some accounts, the later Joseph, the carpenter from Nazareth, the 80 year old nominal husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, is said to be a descendant of Joseph's tribe. A carpenter is one who takes the elements and constructs putting things together, a builder or fixer of things one piece at a time according to a plan.

Getting close to 80 myself, I can easily see why Joseph the carpenter, who had other wives and children, would qualify as a safe babysitter for a virgin Smile The point I want to make here is it was the difference in the mothers that made the difference in the paternal half-sibs of Joseph, that Joseph's mother was Jacob's favorite wife. And it was the "King of Jews" without riches who went into and disrupted the temple of high priests blasting the blasphemy of the money changers selling commodities and turning his Father's house into a den of thieves.....breaking the basic inviolable rules that were given to Moses.

I really don't understand how those rules are considered a religion. I don't see them as for heaven or damnation, but for our own collective well-being, otherwise, I have to laugh when someone says this is a dog eat dog world. Sure 'nuff is, we just can't make enough laws fast enough to control ourselves. I once heard a registered promoter say if we're free, white, and over 21, anything goes.

I thought of how Wright said the principles of the successful breeder are exceedingly simple, the difficulty is in the application...paralleling this first to his name, then to the money changers in this chaotic registered business who gauge their success by dollar values unto themselves. I remembered even as a child when I would hear the preachers say for every dollar we give God, we will get ten in return and watched as the collection plates were passed around, sometimes even twice in one service. Wondering why God needed money, I didn't understand what His "works" were and I think even today how most people still don't ....selective hearing, Too many things are taken in the literal sense rather than the symbolic intent.

This is not the end of the story, there are no endings, only new beginnings which reminded me of this picture my wife has hanging on the wall of this little girl standing there, somewhat apologizing for her immature looks, innocently looking up at her pretty mother saying "God isn't finished with me yet, is he?".

In a post several days ago someone said they liked stories cause their wasn't too much information. I wondered then why from a simple tablet with ten guidelines to improve a societies own well being, was it necessary to have thousands of pages of words and stories been written to help people understand their simplicity. I think these frigid wintery days releasing me from my usual daily pressures have frozen my mind to fixation on reviewing the past rather than doing my daily jobs, seeking refuge trying to keep things in my own life into the proper perspective.

There isn't a single thing that can be changed in the past but for some reason, man is very interested in the past, he even carbon dates everything. He wants to know where we've been and where we're going.. I suppose we are obsessed with time because we're aware of our own time always looking for that fountain of youth when youth is all around us every's the renewal process. .

My wife has little interest in breeding cattle, she is a worrier always worried about crossing bridges before they arrive and most of them never do. When I showed her the video of "I am my own Grandpa", she laughed, shaking her head and said "now I know why you're crazy". The crazy thing is she doesn't believe this video could be all true like with Mike's 53% IBC cow Smile But crazy people doing crazy different things is sure alot more fun and easier than trying to breed $100,000 bulls by the numbers or pedigrees.....especially when it works, eh Mike? We do enjoy our successes greater because of the disappointments.

From the onset, "Tru Line" was and is to reinforce the need to have many types and that whatever each does, each type should offer more dependability for any commercial producer's DIRECT usage. That is a MAJOR difference to the traditional systems where many may think the commercial guys are just getting the leftovers. That may not quite be true from a genetic sense and I believe that is why the commercial guys have fewer genetic wrecks. "Tru Line" is really nothing more than an ongoing refining process to improve the CONSISTENT predictability of the seeds for commercial straightbreeding, outcrossing, linecrossing or whatever in accordance with the "degrees" of purity to improve THEIR economics of beef production. It is as important that a buyer of a bull know what he doesn't want as well as what he wants. And this is where the chaos begins when we want reliability for more than we can have.

The facts of life are that it is impossible to get all the registered breeders to work towards a single purebred type, perhaps a few......we also face the seemingly invisible barriers of trait interactions. Tru-Line removes these traditional barriers by using colors to represent strains rather than breeds. About 25 years ago when my three boys were in their early 20's playing basketball with local teams, I bought their team's uniforms in grey trimmed in black with the Tru Line one really knew or cared what Tru Line symbolized, what they liked was that the iniforms were both free and unique to serve their purpose ..... TO SERVE THEIR PURPOSE Smile

Today, I visualize a group photo of a group of breeders wearing "Think'n TruLine" caps each in your own "color". But then I foresee that many might think multi-colored "rainbow" caps would be both prettier and more uniform than a bunch of guys all wearing different single colored caps. It would be OK if some of you cowboys wore pink hats, and I thought the multi-colored hats that commercial cowboys wore would sure distinguish them as different from the usual crowd, we could call them the modern "smart hats". Smile

I have been using real names and places in my examples simply because I am describing factual history to add reality. Some examples of what spurred me on in the TruLine direction began back in the early EPD days of the 80's. I was at the Denver stock show and Dave Nichols exhibited about a 2100 lb. fat bull and there were a few other tall rangy ones there weighing close to 3000 lbs.... yet they had similar EPD. We can call that "look" difference anything we want but I call it the phenotypic illusions from the top end of the sorted distributions. Based on my experience from those "top" ends, we have an equal number of "bottom" enders. And the races of change continue where lots of things can be learned by logically analyzing sire summaries in piecemeal groups when marketing is removed from our mindset.

Well, the idea of Tru-Line is one thing, but I don't need to tell anyone how difficult the logistics are from this point on. Nevertheless, I had started in this direction a few years before that reasoning why support all those problems and additional costs encountered when trying to sustain these phenotypic illusions who fail to renew themselves adequately. And when they begin doing just that, we don't like what we don't get along with it.

I have observed so many things to know that the basic concept is accurate and simple, but the application can be more difficult because of our obsession with time AND MONEY. Just look how difficult it is for any of you to really grasp it to become a "true" believer of my philosophy, it took Mike over 20 years time,... he has the money for his needs, not wants Smile Our experimental research was self-subsidized and the rewards for all those years of efforts were rather limited. Mike and I are both diversified in the balance of our farming operations, we do all that we can afford to do, perhaps more. I read the posts and everyone is concerned not just about time, but money......that is an individual decision anyone has to determine for themselves.

Roadblocks and barriers, I reasoned that making a little genetic progress after 30 years was still better than breeding 30 years and making no genetic progress at all. Just imagine if I could have gotten 100 breeders started back then, where we would be today....when is the right time to start? I look back now and realize the time wasn't yet ripe, too many happy people all on their way up to new and better things, not enough worriers to think about what lies ahead based on the past. I just might mention that for the last 30 years of closer breeding seeking the truth, I never looked at each bull's progeny with eager anticipation to see how great they were, I looked at them with anxiety to see how bad they could be. Smile

What is genetic progress....Not many people today would be aware that Martin Jorgensen was one of the instrumental figures that filed suit against the monopolistic rules of AAA many years ago in order to allow open AI and register that progeny without being an owner of a particular bull. AAA was concerned that there would be so many good bulls, they would lose their value. The AAA lost, AI certificates were born. I've often wondered if that helped or hurt "improvement" thing it did do is speed up the process of change.

Martin was one of the pioneers of the performance movement and formed the Ideal Beef Group, members from several breeds, to promote increased performance. I suppose turnabout is fair play, since several years later I heard Martin talk about the possibilities of genetic patents. We all know how that works in other worlds. These are movements driven to propel and protect monetary values, the more important value in life for most people. I'm reminded that to competitively protect research and development costs in the plant world, private pedigrees are kept a strictly guarded secret.

All that aside, I am openly explaining my way to reveal genetic truths. It is certainly not meant to be the only way, nor do I think I have an only superior type, it is a type that is emerging from my directional purpose whether I or anyone else likes it or not. Until we can accept that the simple fact of form following functional selection, the more we want of everything in one type, the greater the distributions as nature gives us exactly what we think we want along with what we don't want. I have to laugh because we're never really satisfied. So as it is, Mike and I really have had no direct competition in developing special purpose types, and also not much demand ....YET.

Most of the production problems in this business stem from haphazardly mongrelizing genotypes and yet the benefits of crossing this way appear OK, but it becomes harder rather than easier over time to sustain the benefits. I simply chose a course on what I think is a step in the right direction, not necessarily expedient nor without wavering when criticized. My disappoitments turned into strengths to help build character in recognizing the importance of honesty and integrity to build trust and faith. I learned that life is an endless journey in self-discovery and personal fulfillment.

With all our own flaws, I learned how to enjoy the process together one by one, not at the expense of one another. I learned how people get themselves into trouble wasting money and then want someone else to solve their problems without spending any. And so yes Craig, I learned about the differences between true and superfluous values, hopefully without arrogance but with humility.

At days end, I decided that I could not measure any success by what I do in dollars, but the excitement is in the challenge of thinking about what we could all do...something much bigger than ourselves. The difficulty is not with nature, but human nature's inherent individual self-preservation. Being somewhat of a philosopher, I have seen my own transition when I moved from individualism in cattle selection to population genetics for the good of the whole. Gavin has a similar philosophy for his closed herd. I want to move on to the next steps.

I don't describe either Gavin or I as linebreeders in the typical sense of concentrating on lineage from some superior individual, rather a concentration of certain functional characters. So for now, I'd rather be called a Tru-Line breeder Smile I have tried to break the self-imposed barriers that we each tend to erect which seem to always stop us and cause so many go beyond those traditional barriers to increase benefits is my dream....without being bound by the archaic rules and regulations of selection.


Man looked up and dreamed of flying like a bird, first strapping wings on his back, turned it into a jet airplane, and into rockets to discover the limitless unknowns of space. Goethe said whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Someone else said all truly wise thoughts HAVE BEEN THOUGHT ALREADY THOUSANDS OF TIMES, but to make them ours, we must think them over and over again HONESTLY, till they take root in our personal experiences. How many thousands of hours have I thought about how to apply this simple Tru-Line concept to turn it into a simple process.....and the single largest barrier is people's own short sighted, self-serving greed.


I have thought how man harnesses the invisible powers in the universe for his usage, and much more specifically, thousands of times how we could harness the mysteries of visible hybrid power for better usage. Man learned how to build transformers to control the invisible electrical energy from the visible lightening for our own personal usage in so many things we use and take for granted today.... that all began with a simple lighbulb. My thousands of thoughts grew when one light turned on another, and then another and another, til here I am .....simply trying to enlighten the path for others to follow if they so choose. Without doubt, their will be many better lights evolving to brighten this path along the way. That is the nature of man. I have said the marketing and money will take care of itself in its own time....finding the true value of something over time......but we'll stumble around in the meantime Smile


But before all else, we are dealing with flesh and blood, unlike building solids. Here we have a fish, certainly not a trophy fish, a single fish when Mike mentioned two fish to feed the multitudes. Certainly one little fish won't feed but one. And I am sure that Mike and Joe threw that little but pretty fish back in the creek to grow larger....if it were the biggest pretty fish in the stream, they might have even had it mounted to hang on their walls of admiration for catching the biggest fish. Where is the invisible second fish and magic needed to feed the multitude.

For me, the symbolic parallels I see in the second fish is that from the same rock we can systematize the simple genetic principles the same way Paul systematized the simple doctrines of Christianity. Man is flesh and blood, and it is only the mindset of the man that we can change. Yet, we have seen how the simple guidelines laid out to follow the doctrines of Christianity have produced the volumes of dateless parables and stories to help us understand a way to lead a more harmoniius life. This seems to parallel the countless volumes of genetic studies to help us understand a way to breed more harmonius cattle. I laugh thinking for whatever reasons, why is it so hard for us to just follow the simple basic rules Smile

In high school I had no interest in the subject of history simply because it was all about the details of learning dates, names, events and places. I couldn't see the relevance, it is only when the thousands of thoughts take root in our personal experiences that they mean something. In my upbringing, I couldn't stand the bickering between the different denominations of the churches who all have essentially the same goal just as I cannot stand the bickering between cattle breeds and breeders when we all SHOULD have the same goal. And so I guess I am non-denominational in everything, there is no bickering or conjecture with the truth. When I was on the sugarbeet research committee years ago, the breeders would call an established character a genetic truth.

The problem with cattle breeding, it's all conjecture, little wonder we bicker. In registered cattle breeding, who can cast the first stone that hasn't broken the intent of the first commandment by putting dollars as the god before all else, a parable that tells us we are distracted from our first purpose, the same as the one about the eye of the needle, or the one about the love of money is the root of all evil. I call religion a philosophy of wisdom and who can respect a hypercritical man who is himself a deceitful hypocrite... if the glass shoe fits, we must wear it for all to see.

All that the Christian religion does is pass on the wisdom of how to live a life of heaven on earth for man's own benefit, the wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong. The Jews are still waiting for their messiah, I think we have had thousands of messiahs who pass on wisdom, why we even have one today now as president of the USA Smile

Now that I have finished my short career in preaching and go back to teaching simplicity by example, I want to quit using the words of genotype and phenotype, or homozygosity and heterozygosity, big A's and little a's with all the intricate detailed ramifications which become meaningless. I want to simply call it the visible and the invisible. All I want to do is bring forth the invisible to be the visible the simplest way I know how. Then and only then can we begin to more successfully use the visible to recreate and restore the magic of the visible illusion for our benefit with a much greater improvement in predictable consistency.....the sole purpose of a Tru-Line purebred is to improve the efficiency in beef production, not to save the world, but to help one person at a time.

So, in order to compete with the entertainment provided by Mike's post "I am my own grandma", I want all of you to click on Search by typing in the words " I'm my ow grandpa" and click on ALL the different ones and from those various renditions, perhaps we can design some new type simple "Tru-Line Pedigrees" describing each of our own purebred cattle with pictures or whatever that say more than a thousand words or piles of complex meaningless data Smile

Mike and I will continue to go beyond the self-imposed barriers the industry limits themselves to today. For me it is exciting because we have observed the magic of the phenomenons and the restorations....and we want you to visualize them too which we intend to do. Of course there will certainly be many trying to capitalize on anything considered "rare", they always have and always will, but just as this country has the first amendment, we understand the real reason for the first commandment and have the rules and wisdom of the second fish to guide us Smile

Mark, I don't know whether this long post will teach you how to fish to feed yourself for a lifetime or not, I gave it my all and I wish you and everyone a happy turkey day, I have so much to be thankful for, much more than enough.....don't we all !!!

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:50 am

In response to Ben and Mike's posts and also to their visit last Tuesday, time spent was summarizing the next steps moving on up the ladder of economic improvement in beef production. In response to my Thanksgiving Day post, Craig commented in part :

This particular quote brought to mind another concept from the 7 Habits book, of a maturity continuum were the graduated steps...
1)dependence, where life revolves around what you can do for me...
2)independence, where I can do it and I accept responsibility...
3)interdependence where we can work together to achieve “something much bigger than ourselves.”

The thought provoking point to me is you cannot become interdependent until you have first become independent
Individualism... to individual populations... then on to the next step

COWS may come and cows may go but the BULL in the cow business goes on forever

The next step?....dependence, independence, Interdependence?.....Traditional habits?..... Every year the commercial sector is beseiged with a blitz of hyped up promotions from the bull business. Competitive claims abound, many types are often purported to do everything better than ever before. In this fast paced business, production numbers have become king. In order to separate exaggerated half truths from most of the non-additive illusions of the visible types, estimated progeny differences were developed out of sheer necessity from the unintended consequences of changing directions.

With all the variables, in an effort to seek or prevent the whole truth, these many EPD measures are reduced into three basic groups to assist in bull selection ....growth, carcass and maternal values. From emphasis on increasing individual output in all categories for every segment, some cow/calf producers are finallly beginning to recognize that their inputs have also increased accordingly ....... in addition to expanding problems and uncertainties. Consequently, the newest fashionable trend seems to be focused on improving EFFICIENCY. {efficiency of production}

The oldest fashionable practice that never goes out of style is that the cow/calf man continues to be bombarded with experts exerting pressures on him to satisfy the demands of all the other segments of beef production.... as well as his own needs. The only one in the multi-faceted beef business that is actually concerned about OVERALL cow efficiency is the commerical cow/calf man. While improving consistency and/or predictability has always been a concern to all segments, it has been overshadowed by the focus on increasing individual production, feed conversion, yield, carcass & consumer satisfaction. The associated marketplaces determine values based on the average of "populations". The range of those averages are often described in many different ways but are largely fact, often pursued

When we move from inidividualism in registered herds to individual populations of commercial herds, we consider the average annual production value of that herd and of course anything left after costs is the net profitability. We're all aware that many of these hidden costs lie in the genetics of the herd. Technological advances to increase both productivity and predictability involving DNA genomics are underway to help identify the invisible from the visible..... that theoretical invisible or latent half of the genome that is not necessarily expressed in the visible animal(s).... believed to account for the variation from generation to generation.

In a world of the survival of the fittest, man's inherent need is to measure differences from some average centerpoint. To identify the differences in IBC percentages among the population of a breed, the average of a breed is often used as the centerpoint. Genomic DNA preliminary data is reaffirming what most of us have observed, that the actual inbreeding percentages of the individually selected visibly superior animals is significantly less than the pedigree would indicate. This natural barrier prevents the improvement of both productivity and predictable consistency during the renewal process at the same time.

Further comments on this new technology should probably be deferred to the topics of "Inbred selection" authored by keystone and "Genomics, sexed semen, maternal and terminal" authored by patb on Keeney's Corner's breeding philosophy. In the meantime, the elusive search for a more efficient beef cow goes on. Mike has often asked the question of what would the EPD be of an ideal beef cow. Without ever receiving a response, I might suggest an example of a cow born in 1959, one of the few identified to have produced more pounds of calf {18 calves weighing over 11,000 lbs} over a lifespan of about 20 years than nearly all others since that time....her EPD is as of 12/1/10.

As of 12/02/2010 Production Maternal
CED.... 1.......36
BW... -2.5....52
WW... -3.....47
YW... -26....42
YH.... -.5....27
SC... -.34
Milk.... 5.....47
$EN $44.59

$W...... $F.... $G... $QG. $YG.. $B
16.29 -45.53 12.67 7.38 5.29 14.04

This would hardly be a cow that would be sought after today. From my Oct 20 post on page 4, I want to repeat that "Our basic objective here is to present ideas to stimulate the development of parent stock that can REGULARLY produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns. Not just for ourselves, but moreso for the commercial producers. This is a mighty undertaking that requires alot of breeder cooperation, dedication. thought and time.... and yes, one step at a time. There is no greater enjoyment for Mike and I than a satisfied commercial customer and how that makes all our frustrating efforts worthwhile. We laugh about how rare it is that we can satisfy a registered breeder. "

Interdependence.....Instead of remaining dependent on the complex expertise offered by science and everything else, to separate fact from fiction from all the rhetoric and self-created delusions of grandeur in this business, some time ago I resolved myself to rely on what cows have told me. Independence.... Instead of using nutritional exercises, extra management care and all the other methodologies in order to sell prettier illusions, I made the choice to breed in a reverse direction towards the goal of my basic objective as described in the previous paragraph. The traditional "eye" simply cannot seem to understand how inferiority can produce superiority, nor does it want to. That failure to not want to is the largest barrier to overcome simply because it goes against the grains or habits of what we're accustomed to doing.

For every 10,000 bulls sold, the industry wastes at least about 10,000,000 dollars at a thousand dollars each just on the purchase price alone from the consequences of a combination of traditional habits in the beef business....the superfluous values and all the related costs to authenticate what we produce and sell. Without a hesitation of doubt, I believe that the most economic improvement that can be achieved will be created from population genetics of primary parent strains rather than the continued pursuit of individual outliers.

I talk about seeking the whole truth, to bringing forth the invisible to be visible so we can more successfully create the more beneficial visible illusions of the "fruit" from our labors. There is not one person I have ever met whose "eye" will like the visibility of the "whole truth". It is only when we see the restoration of the "seedless fruit" that we can learn to appreciate the visibility of the whole truth.

How we do this requires a greater understanding of the principles of nature. Scientific technology tries to explain how things happen, not fully understanding why things happen. From observing what happens, in my 1983 Tru-Line booklet, I state what was written here in bold, and a current update or revisions are written in red.

"Tru-Line does not have a commercial supply of intensely inbred maternal units available for direct transfer or sale as working commercial units. Therefore, a single cross is not available for immediate implementation (meaning for the production of the seedless fruit).
To most rapidly expand that germ plasm base, super ovulation and/or embryo splitting (ET) can assist in the multiplication of numbers (of animals). However, that is not yet cost efficient for commercial application (in the beginning to start establishing genetic uniformity in a commercial cow herd, AI would be required from the relatively few prepotent bulls available, for example breeding the entire cow herd to one bull, then all those F1's to another bull to build a herd of 3/4 sisters similar to the EPD pedigree shown above). Currently, the double or triple crossing procedures may maximize (optimize) heterosis (complimentarity) for increased production with stability.(semen from these bulls is not available to the existing registered industry)

In the near future, a single SPECIFIC cross using extreme pure line strains as diverse parentage, both maternally and paternally, may be the MOST EFFICIENT (offer more efficiency) as shown below in Exhibit 5.

However, ongoing research relative to overall basic maintenance comparisons along with the hardiness of these kind of maternal units first needs to be thoroughly evaluated. This will determine if hybrid vigor is necessary in the cow to compliment her functioning ability. Also the prepotency of the germ plasm needs to be multiplied by many succeeding generations of inbred matings. (I have spent the last 30 years towards this ambition)
Tru-Line will greatly intensify research in this direction based on the preliminary work already experienced.(which began in 1971) It is indeed forseeable that these highly inbred maternal units may wean 80 percent of their weight with progeny weighing 600-700 lbs at seven months without creep, or, with creep if the environment is very limited to sparse vegetation.(Of course, this would be dependent on what type of "seedless fruit" was preferred, which allows flexibility of year by year production without disrupting the genetics of the basic cow herd)

The skeletal extension in the hybrid progeny allows them to be finished efficiently at the preferred weight and grade. (Dependent on the paternal genetic complimentarity) Yet, these maternal units have a modest volume of milk, perhaps Angus breed average (or below today's moving averages), which enhances minimum overall year around maintenance and sustains the ability to reproduce on a timely schedule.

It is highly conceivable that they may one day be the ultimate for hybrid economic efficiency in the beef industry and might be compared with the improved "Leghorn" of the poultry industry. (prolificacy) A single cross with tight genetic control probably has the potential for the most uniformity.(not necessarily in the parents, but in the hybrid progeny)

Now, I'm aware most of you might think this is a pipe dream but it is not for I have seen the visible realities in varying degrees. In varying degrees I intend to demonstrate my observations with examples over time for clarification . In my Tru-Line booklet, I also said:

To pursue a goal towards setting a record or seeking some individual championships, using individual appearance as criteria for parental selection can be a haphazard approach if continuing predictability is desired. Optimistic races toward instant breeding accomplishment may be a reason some breeders place high values on embryos who have not yet been conceived.(born) High monetary reward on idolized super individuality probably causes many detours in direction and may account for the average span of a registered breeder being approximately seven years.

Genetic principle indicates little enduring accomplishment can be made in so short a time. To hasten the establishment of increased genetic order so that one can arrive at a given objective, inbreeding is the tool available to breeders to enable them to establish a specific gene frequency. (characters)

This provides for more purity of purpose because the pool of genes are common by descent. However, before an inbreeding project is considered or undertaken, it seems imperative to know the end product, and the combinations used to get it, before developing a direction to produce it......history shows good intentions may end up to be a short-lived project and accounts for some of the predicated fears of inbreeding among most breeders.(the least of which is the natural loss of production levels, more noticeable when we go beyond the 50% level as shown in the following chart

From my many observations and also reaffirmed from research data at MARC, this table would very much correlate to the rise and fall of first generation visual production values. From a centerpoint, over time in either direction, without selection the first generation will revert to the average of their parents. The magic of harnessing hybrid power is knowing what that reversion or restoration process will produce. This is difficult to explain and is the part where we need "faith", that the genes are still there and not lost

Until a commercial producer satisfies himself with "faith" or confidence, he may elect to just breed his replacement heifers to either a bull or AI them. Most of the female progeny should be kept as replacements, culling should not be made for lack of optimum performance or by other traditional methods. Of course, the culling percentage will be dependent upon the base cow herd. In beef production the cow is actually more important than the bull since they must work all year, year after year while the bull loafs most of the time.

Historically, the bull gets more emphasis simply because he produces several calves per year as opposed to only one per cow. Yet, the cow herd contributes half the genetics to the progeny and for improved consistency of that progeny, it would seem logical to consider the entire cow herd as a unit of "one". It is much more economical to have a cow herd of 100 cows that are genotypically uniform than it is to flush one cow to get 100 progeny....which requires 100 recipient cows.

By careful and responsible service to the initial cornerstone of the beef industry, the beef cow, all other segments are simultaneously benefitted in direct competition with the existing registered industry. I have stated that [b]"Tru-Line is not in the crossbreeding business, rather in the production of pure lines for subsequent crossing (of complimentarity) by the producers." Rather than issue public pedigrees, in 1983 I stated "A certificate of (purposeful) merit will be issued....."

It seems that there are some misunderstandings in the industry, EPD is a parental transmitting value, not necessarily the individuality of the parents . For example, the above cow's $B value is 14.04, if mated to a paternal sire with a $B value of 70.00, the complimentarity of the two could produce animals worth 80.00 or significantly more, but the parental value of those progeny would have an interim EPD parent value of 42.02. Of course, the range of distributions of those averages is what can be so confusing in visual selection. These are why the stabilization of the parents becomes so important and why I think in terms of producing "seedless fruit" harvest the efficiency of the one time complementarity without having to worry about their parent value. Believe it or not, the paternal parent of the heifer calf nursing in Exhibit 5 shown above was not genetically any larger than the cow.
Sooooo (to use Linda's now famous response to a dilemma), Ben, Craig, Mike and anyone else, I hope this post will help us all to reach a better understanding, especially the underlying messages before JAD's sale this Saturday, December 4th. [b]

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:55 am

Basics 101---Natural Law
The subtitle of Keeney's Corner "A reflective and futuristic view of cattle breeding from outside the registered mainstream" reminded me that for the last 200 years, the registered mainstream has never changed from pursuing an extreme regardless of direction. Looking for greatness always results in the consequential natural cycles of change going in circular motions.

For the last half of my life, I have watched how the "mainstream" of only about 5% of the breeders have such a large effect on the other 95%. It is similar to chasing cattle that are in the very top percentiles. Greater understanding of the simple genetic principles explains why cycles of change from our selection actions are inevitable and unavoidable.

Some of you might think I have injected religion in my posts. The genius of the natural laws of nature and its creation are hard to describe, not to be denied for they are the truth as it exists, what is Often misunderstood and therefore mystifying, it is the stuff that makes sense, common sense. Natural law is self-evident, unchangeable and therefore valid for all peoples and all times, referred to hundreds of times throughout history.

Much of our Constitution is based on natural law thought by some to be Christian in origin.These are not Christian, Buddha, Jewish, Confucius or other laws. The philosophy of religion is the accumulation of wisdom of man's responsibility to obey these natural laws or suffer the consequences. Pretty simple. but the difficulty is in the application Smile

And so going down memory lane, one day I had a couple of visitors and while we were driving out to look at my first calf heifers, I explained that I just have average Angus cattle. Walking among a group, one of the guys stopped and looking at my #878 heifer with her new calf nursing exclaimed "that's the best damn average Angus heifer I've ever seen" Smile

Superlatives....we're always looking for the best in comparison to something else. I hope my philosophical views are not construed as just promoting Shoshone cattle, they are but the examples to verify my breeding philosophy. I do appreciate the ongoing interest in my "reflections" and stories about real people and events. Average goodness does have a pattern in cattle....and people. Looking around us, we can see how the rise and fall of everything revolves by natural laws.

From a few comments I've read on KC, I've sensed a need to clarify the difference between "Shoshone" and "Tru-Line". Shoshone Angus is an experimental herd of trial and error, just like all herds are, but ours is a relatively closed herd slowly evolving with somewhat of a different set of selection priorities geared more towards an optimum kind of animal....looking for functional goodness, not greatness, applying the principles of population genetics, not superlative individualism.

However, the "X" maternal strain is a branch within the Shoshone herd which began as a very small side project to reaffirm natural laws with a bull and a cow born in 1978. This project started out from the unintended consequences of selection that I had observed in both my herd and the Wye herd ...along with the study of other prominent herds in that time period....and what has transpired throughout cattle breeding history. After 30 years, this small side project has grown to be the bulk of the herd today consisting of several hundred cows. It is the preparatory identification processes necessary for the NEXT STEPS using the natural laws of genetic principle.

We never get done learning. Being an experimental herd, when our entire herd of cattle is all mixed together, from a general outside overview, overall it doesn't look much different than many other herds....consisting of bigger and smaller ones, better and poorer ones. Like a messy kitchen with utensils and ingredients scattered everywhere in the process of trying different recipes to make a cake, we haven't cleaned up the kitchen yet. There has been very little culling and so the number of cows has rapidly increased these last half dozen years or so to improve the identification of what we really have.

My boys always say "dad, you never want to sell anything, even with our neglect not enough die as hard as we try"...., maybe we ought to just sell hunting permits for $2000 and let the hunters kill off all the bigger fatter cows who eat too much for what they produce. I think there's a parallel somewhere here how hunters in the registered business spend fortunes on the sport compared to the actual worth of the game seeking trophy animals....and so do many commercial producers Smile

From out of the chaos, the Tru-Line concept was born. It is the application from what we've learned. It is a non-denominational transcendent entity, a visible representation of a formulated plan for a particular action, brought to mind by reflective meditation of the problems of the old era to overcome the imperious problems being transferred to the new era. That defines it as sounding more professional and scientific than it really is. Smile

In simple terms, it is a systematic approach to improve the ECONOMICS of "hybrid"`beef production...for is out with the old traditions and in with the new, using old known established principles. I think there is another parallel here, something like the way we measure from the centerpoint of the BC and AD years. The beginning of the 21st century seems to be a good time to start putting our cards in order playing solitaire instead of blackjack where the house always wins.

When I read comments of trademarks, property rights, wow effects, values based on rarity, genomics, multiple measures, how to raise better fish...we seem to get lost in a sea of confusion with science contributing to make the simple even more complicated . To avoid getting side tracked with all these other associated concerns, perhaps I ought to have my basic objective here as a footnote to my every post for a reminder to everyone of my SOLE purpose here, which is:

To present ideas to stimulate the development of parent stock that can REGULARLY produce beef animals which at the LOWEST POSSIBLE COST and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns. Not just for ourselves, but beginning with the commercial producers....NOT WHERE "ONE MAN'S GAIN IS ANOTHER'S LOSS".

On page 7 of my Nov 8th post, I restated what Gavin Falloon wrote me in a personal email - repeated here as another reminder:

I follow with much interest your effort to set up a new outlook for cattle breeding. I have of course been through that with a singular lack of success. For I think that it was 40 years ago that Dr. Keith Gregory and I toured New Zealand trying to change the direction of animal breeding. Not one person either understood what we were talking about, let alone thought to try the principles. Not one ! THE ONLY WAY IS TO DEMONSTRATE....
So I am trying to do just that, by example, to create a competitive LEVEL PLAYING FIELD by acknowledging and exposing the whole S I M P L E genetic truth!!!! Another simple phrase for this might be "coming clean". To save Mike the time to look up the origin of this phrase like he did with "robbing Peter to pay Paul", I suppose it originated from the term "cleanliness is godliness"....but my wife takes this term literally and her poor dog "Mister" gets his hated baths every few days whether he needs them or not, summer or winter. We often take things in the literal sense instead of the common sense of natural laws. If we want to go back further, I suppose the term 'coming clean' could have been a derivative of being 'born again' to obtain the free gift.

On Nov 23rd, I received a personal email from Ed Oliver, a very close personal friend. We have shared thousands of thoughts along with our frustrations over the past 40 years. I first met Ed walking the Wye pastures back when Bill Hodge, the current USA rep for Waigroup NZ cattle, was a young man working at Wye in the very early '70's. Ed is another example of the lack of success in changing the mindsets of animal breeding. Living on farms in GA and longtime "neighbors", both Bill and Ed have had outside jobs as a reliable source of income while raising purebred cattle and are near that retirement age, not often so golden. Ed wrote:

When I went to your place the first time, I came home and told Martha Jo that I had finally met a man that shared my passion for the things I couldn't even discuss with friends.....Why, because most were so shallow thinking that they thought I was crazy...AND..probably they were right..Anyway, I am still struggling daily to figure out the why's and why not's within the gene pool that I work. I get kicked in the ass often but sometimes I don't.... AND.... when it comes together, WHAT A WONDERFUL FEELING! Why? Because I can do it again with a little understanding of why it happened.....Not something that fell out of the sky from bull of the month matings.....Anyway, you know all that so will not go there.

It amazes me what I go through with a closed herd and I often wonder what it must be like trying to breed cattle with one of everything that ever walked to deal with.... Yes Larry, stupidity (genetic) is abundant AND it is wonderful! It amuses me to the extent that, rather than get upset, I find it entertaining...I come into contact with those who ride in high places that can't even comprehend the things you talk about. Hell, I ain't never going to change those folks and if I did, they would be competition.... often you are preaching to the choir in Mike's corner. THE FOLKS WHO COULD BENEFIT THE MOST FROM IT DON'T HANG OUT IN KEENEY'S CORNER. You need to do a story of your life and your cattle.

I ain't gonna change "those folks" either Ed, and we certainly can't sell our cattle to them. Isn't it ironic that "those folks" tell me they cannot afford to do what we do. And when I counter with saying we cannot afford to keep doing what you do, they walk away. Ed and I don't want to become a pair of grumpy old men as we made our choices. He's written an entertaining book recently published...not about cattle can contact him at and get an autographed copy for 29.95 plus S & H....he needs the money to help pay the registry fees and work to maintain the papers on his average best cattle Smile

Ed, I can offer young breeders another option to consider, a few older ones something to reconsider, and hopefully begin to influence the improvement of the economics of an entire commercial industry by reducing the superfluous values in the traditional exposing the fallacies to one man at a time in order to stop feeding that archaic value system that remains so prevalent in this business. And this is the free story of my life and cattle Ed, and I'm sticking to it. Can you imagine the look on my wife's face when I tell her a little country farmer is trying to help save the world. Smile

One man at a time....On Tuesday, November 30th, Mike and I spent about 12 hours visiting with Ben Loyning, a young 3rd generation commercial rancher about 25 miles north of Cowley or less as the bird flies. Ben's a real life cowboy and is the 1st generation interested in breeding registered cattle primarily for commercial merit. His home sits at the foot of the Prior Mountains near Warren, MT....where not too long ago the town consisted of one building, a bar with a pool table and some poker tables on one side and a cafe on the other side of the building, the 7 digit telephone number was "Warren 1".

Having gone out of business, that vacant building burned down several years ago and there is only a rock quarry at Warren now, along the RR siding where crushed rocks are shipped out, mined from the base of Prior Mountain. The road goes through "Loyning country" which is adjacent to the Crow Indian Reservation and other government land....lots of open country which changes from a desert at the base to the short season grass on top of the mountain. No 900# weaners possible here. The change within his environment is more radical than Dennis and Erica's Horse Butte Ranch.

Ben left my house rather starry eyed after being bombarded all day by Mike with stuff to think about ...with my dementia, I don't remember saying one word all day !!!! Smile That's why Ben had to tell me many times how he marveled at the amazing uniformity of the Longhorn cross calves we saw last summer at HBR, sired by a bunch of different looking Longhorn bulls who had only been selected for length of horns.

I wish I would've taken pictures of those, the groups of productive Angus first calf heifers, each group just over the next hill, the variation of the Longhorn bulls, and the consistency of those good AxL calves. Dennis, you ought to send Mike some pictures for some free advertising here on Keeney's Corner Smile

While some may credit the Longhorn bulls, it does take two to either tango or tangle and I can't help but think how much Dennis and Erica's cow herd contributed to that consistant tango in near perfect harmony.....who now calve their heifers out on the range the easy and cheaper way, and lost but 1 calf out of 130 first calf 2 yr old heifers. I know right off the bat here people will think, yeh but, he will take a beaten in the market place. The facts are that he nets more easier or he wouldn't do it....a perfect example of what I described in "my objective" repeated above in the real world.

I'm going to have to urge Mike to order two more Tru-Line "smart hats" on the internet for Dennis and Erica as Christmas presents.....with decorative rainbow bands and feathers....or better yet, from the Tru-Line "tax" on all the money the simple principles will be saving people, we could order smart cars, the Smorvette for Dennis and the Smaudi A3 AWD for Erica...but for now just a picture and imagination will have to do...courtesy of Mike Lorig.

look at all of the 'great new choices' we will have evolving from 'The SMART Car'....
The Smorvette! ....................................................................The Smaudi A3 AWD!

I have never seen Dennis so happy as he loaded up an old couch in the back of his pick-up for Ben, Mike, Jack and his daughter, Joe and I to take turns sitting in it while driving through his cattle giving us an all day VIP treatment.... my most unforgettable moment was when Dennis even hugged me when we left that serene summer evening . Smile We didn't run out of things to talk about on the 150+ mile trip back to Red Lodge, leaving Jack and his daughter off at Laurel to travel back to Miles City and Ben at the junction at Rockvale back to Warren.

So, the foregoing is the prelude to further explain Ben's response to my last post and the points I want to make in this one to further justify my views:
My only concern with Tru-Line is that to my customers/neighbors AI is not and will not be an option. It is hard to AI cattle from June-August when they are scattered all about Gods creation doing what cows are supposed to do. It has to be done with bulls. What to do? Its just getting the rest of ours to that point and it takes a lot of time. It is certainly time that I am willing to put in. There are however cattle available to shorten that amount of time. Nebraska is chilly this time of year. Smile

Ben, I looked at the picture of the bull you just purchased in chilly NE, his overall conformation is certainly indicative of his ancestry. For your direction, I am very comfortable with your selection to complement your already existing herd and goals. While you were reluctant to tell me what you paid for him, surely the purchase price was worth a couple average bulls in some traditional concern beforehand was that you might have to start "hunting" for your livelihood. Smile

I had a great sense of contentment when you told me who your contending bidder was, thinking I wondered what you and Jack know that so many others remain oblivious to..."what can they be thinking"...a reference to that long discussion a while back on 5barx. Smile

In regards to the heifer you purchased, being an ET calf, it is more difficult to know what portion of the ancestry she individually inherited. From the very top of her 3rd generation pedigree, please note bull #1714. If you extend that pedigree on back several generations, her interim BW EPD may be carrying through as a result of selection. That bull was an experimental crossing to determine complementarity with the base cow of my "X" strain....I'll go into this more on a later post.

Ben mentioned cattle available to shorten the amount of time. I have several reasons for this long post in which I will go into intimate details relative to selection and pedigree. This post may take some time to analyze, but it may help reduce a lifetime of visible selection errors which we're all subjected to. We all tend to spend too little time on things with spur of the moment judgements that may have an effect over many years.

Ed mentioned getting kicked in the ass often and I chuckled thinking back of my pictured illustrations on my Nov 8th post on page 7.... we have all been kicked in the ass in this business and do not know enough about what lies ahead. It is important to me that the real meaning of Ed's email to me be understood in its' proper context. Ed & I have a common relationship with the Wye herd. I also had to chuckle thinking back when Ed once told me he doesn't want the Wye herd to get unaffordable again from growing popularity. I'm working more on the affordable parts, and these consultations are worth what they cost. Smile

These remarks tie in with my beneficial visit from another Ed on November 11th...Eddie Draper, the program manager of the Wye herd of cattle for the Wye Research and Education Center's Experiment Station. Eddie brought with him a 10 page Research Report on the Consequences of Long-term Inbreeding Accumulation on Preweaning Traits in a Closed Nucleus Angus Herd. Beyond the long title, I am still waiting for Eddie to interpret that complex scientific report to me in layman`s language. Smile

Thankfully, I am not a geneticist, which would only confound me more. I suspect that complex 10 page report only reaffirms what Eddie and I have already observed. I had to smile thinking back how Eddie said he hadn't had time to evaluate it yet. Mike started a topic on this report on Keeney's Corner but has never received any responses. Having been exposed to many renown geneticists with all their expertise, it took me some time before I understood why these geneticists were not the ones who actually breed parent stock for the registered industry, or even the commercial segment....kinda like fighting city hall.

I do want to point out here that this post does not apply just to Wye based cattle, they just happen to be the one's I am familiar with to serve as an example of forms (in the plural) following functional selection. Fixed functional types seem to come in similar sizes and shapes in response and in accordance with the selection criteria regardless of breed. Otherwise, there would've been no need for isolating breeds.....and yet we continually see breeds imitating one another, along with a mixing of them all. while seeking higher levels of individual production. The primary goal for the first 40 years of the Wye herd was to increase individual production.

Eddie has been active with the Wye herd since 1986 and I am still around to help fill in any blanks prior to that time, being familiar with many so called vintage animals born back as early as the 50's. I had the rare opportunity to ask Eddie many questions I had regarding his observations of the consequential results of selection since 1986.

For example, has restricting the breeding period to 30 days improved the fertility of the Wye herd since 1978; or what is the trend of year by year weaning weights since that time without creep; why did they go back and reintroduce several old Wye sires; why do they use so many bulls each year; how have they changed the selection criteria; etc. This was all very useful information for me to help reaffirm my own observations over time.

On November 16th, Eddie wrote me a letter. I was in the process of answering Eddie's letter to fill in some of the blanks of Wye's earlier history when the thought occurred to me that it could also be beneficial to anyone to share my experiences with the Wye herd in this public forum. My deep gratitude and allegiance to the success of the Wye herd remains. And by going into greater detail, I hope it will help Eddie and anyone else interested to reflect in order to better understand the relationships between pedigree and visual selection with ACTUAL EXAMPLES.

I almost feel like Eddie and I are an extension of the old Wye Advisory Panel of nearly 30 years ago which was formed to determine the long term goals of the Wye herd. My old "WV hillbilly" and close comrade, Dwight Riggleman, caretaker of the Wye herd for 21 years until 1989, recently died. Three years younger than I, we spent lots of time together over the years exhanging our intimate familiarities with the Wye cattle herd and other related ones.

So,when Eddie implied that the mountains of very detailed data accumulated since 1938 was stored away in boxes somewhere in a barn or shed, initially I was disturbed, thinking history lost. My own first thought was that those records ought to be stored in a museum somewhere for public display at this institution of higher education, or at least put on organized computer disks for posterity...but then I reconciled that we all die, realizing that cows aren't too important to most people, money always is . Smile

Thinking back to the guilt I felt of improper etiquette when I honestly responded to Tom Burkes personal letter on this public forum, nevertheless, hopefully it was with sound judgment. With Eddie's permission here's the relevant content of Eddie's personal letter to me after his visit. My ulterior motives parallel it to the registered society's insistance on public pedigrees.....where we must hang out all our laundry for everyone to see with methodology stifling more lasting true genetic improvement by the mis-use of natural laws:

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed our visit last week. It was really nice catching up and re-establishing a line of communication between Shoshone and Wye. It seemed like we just sat down for a casual conversation and the next thing you know it is four hours later.

To be honest with you, when you said we were not going to look at cattle, I was a little disappointed. Wondered what the heck are we going to do. I didn't understand until the early afternoon that we don't need to look at your cows, we were getting something much more. We really don't have to see the herd to validate the principles that you have followed over the last 35 years.

I tried to re-educate myself in preparation for our talk. Re-read your letters, familiarized myself with some of your talks that you've given, and read the tru-line book you put out some years ago. It fascinated me that what we do in the so called "purebred business" is try to produce the most efficient, economical and functional female that we can on a consistant basis. Sounds pretty simple.

While we have a long way to go, I like to think we have made progress in our herd since Kevin and I took over the breeding in 1997. Our objectives were pretty simple, improve the balance on consistency of the udders, improve the toplines, and not sacrifice production. We still have to have adequate data to satisfy ourselves. While performance data has somewhat been de-emphasized (lack of four pound gainers) it is still important.

I have realized that maybe I put too much emphasis on pedigree, and should evaluate an animal on visual appraisal, performance and then pedigree. There is much to sort out keep you abreast of what we are doing from time to time, I figured that best way is to occasionally write you a letter or send an email.....If nothing else it should stimulate thought provoking questions.....

Thanking you Eddie for your rare honest approach, I often think about how to sort out thought provoking questions. I want to go into many details over time, preferably here on this public forum for broader educational purposes rather than promotional. This would be in regards to selection emphasis involving what you alluded to...visual appraisal, performance and pedigree in that order. Selection priorities are always dependent on the objectives, often rearranged as needed.

Your unique and enviable position allows accesss to many pictures and individual records in the archives of the Wye herd to analyze what constitutes the genetic makeup and type of the "more efficient, economical and functional females" that grazed the pastures of Wye. I have some records and pictures prior to 1982 but you have access to them all. I only have living images stored in my mind of many of those earlier vintages together with their relatives....which is often more useful than a snapshot of one, just one moment in time.

When we talk about stabilizing a functional type, the million dollar question is always but what type is a more efficient, economical and functional female, what do we need her to do rather than what we want or expect her all to do....higher and higher expectations or practical economic realism. I wish someone could tell me a logical reason why the Wye cows I describe below like Quija and Luria or Blythe's usefulness would ever go out of style....I think how great it would be to have thousands of these fixed types today grazing our pastures to produce the "seedless hybrid fruit" for production values at the least cost for more lasting net returns.

And finally, what does her male counterpart "look like" when we try to visually select a bull to produce those same kind of cows more often....or, will the visibility of the male be absolute. Lots of questions, too few answers, all dependent on selection directions. A breed is an isolated population. We should remember that closed herds, linebreeding and finally intensive inbreeding are continual roads to smaller isolated germ plasm pools. Science worries about losing variation, I never do since there is always enough variation in the men who raise them. Nature takes care of its own without man with natural laws...what we call survival of the fittest.

When I decided to look beyond what is just visibly standing before me....pedigree became the invisible means to see via visible relatives...pounds of performance became largely dependent on what a cow was mated much cow do we need for efficient functionality... and then the seemingly difficult task of how to create them more often. Selection priorities for me became reproduction, disposition, longevity and their conformational relationships were paramount far overriding production by the numbers.

Eddie, we have seen what emphasis on continued increases in individual production has produced, both in closed and open herds. Wye was measuring metabolic efficiency on bulls well before I first went there in the 60's. We have seen the adverse effects when this same selection is applied to the female...what I call the differences between selfish and generous cows. We have seen how the consequential animal forms change and the interrelationships from increased appetites to achieve more individual pounds of production. You have personally seen the consequences when Dwight tried to restore the growing losses of efficient maternal function or values in the Wye herd which were based largely on pedigree bias that conflicted with pounds of individual performance from closer breeding.

There was always much debate over whether or not to keep the Wye herd closed. You were there when Wye introduced outside "carcass bulls" and saw the results. You have seen the consequences of inbreeding. The vintage cows I mentioned were a result of crossing which included the base of the 25 different imported bulls brought in for different reasons until 1959 when the herd was closed. The vintage cows I saw in the 60's & 70's that earned their way into the "point field" for production values were a sorted group of outcrosses who lacked the genetic ability to renew themselves with continuity. I also saw their relatives, many who ended up in the "other Wye herd in WV" of surplus females.....a word we prefer over "culls".

Mr. Lingle was very successful in achieving his objective of increased performance and you have seen the results left behind in the cow herd since 1978. Otherwise, you would not tell me that "performance has been somewhat de-emphasized (lack of 4# gainers), but it is still important". My question then becomes what kind of performance are we seeking....could it be some type of compromised optimum for one overall kind. And if so, it all goes back to my questions I posed during your visit.....thought provoking questions about selection and pedigree.

In my own case seeking answers back then, I finally only looked at the visible cows in the pedigrees of the Wye herd....disregarding the entirety of the males. After much study, I purchased Qualton of Wye born in 1974. His dam was visibly what I sought in conformation, some of her visible ancestors were not so similarly desireable but acceptable. We all have to start somewhere and so Eddie, like Ben is doing now, this is where I started my long journey towards the "X" strain with "cattle available to shorten the time" supplement and improve the existing Wye based cattle I had in my herd in order to gain more "genetic depth or reach"....for my own objectives.

Ben has a distinct advantage now over my beginning simply because we have seen many things that were still hidden from me back in that time period. I am no stranger to being different from the mainstream. When I began my project for the Tru-Line concept breeding smaller more functional cows, keep in mind that was during the era where frame score 9 and 10 bulls was the catastrophic direction of the registered mainstream being promoted with the ability to hang more weight on a bigger frame...going from midgets to giants....from fat puds to lean machines....from no milk to lots of milk....from small birthweights to large birthweights now back to small ones....from small fat unproductive cows to large bony cows back to downsizing with smaller fatter "easy keepers" rectify poor reproduction rates from bigger high performance cows that demand more than we're willing to give them and the reproductive fallacies of "easy keepers", prompting the beginning of measuring stayability....comparing SC of big bulls with that of littler bulls with disregard for maturity differences and calling that a fertility measure of a cow.

And today to uphold individual weight performance, the mainstream is moving back to bigger fat puds with more volume but less muscle per hundred weight, which results from chasing light birthweight by shortening gestation with earlier maturity to shorten gestation lengths for calving ease while trying to maintain or increase individual production by pounds of weight on a smaller frame....and of course we went through the pelvic measuring era to discover that bigger frames have bigger pelvics.

And science measures the differences of all this chaos and ignores the distributions saying they find no differences among the individual averages while the breed averages continue to widen....and no one seems to wonder why as AAA promotes the beneficial variance within the breed. But now we will have genomics to add to our costs to tell us what we should already know from historic observations. Many look back today and wonder why we did so many stupid crazy things back then. And I think how the next generations will look back and wonder why we did so many stupid things that we are still doing today.

Eddie, I know I sound like a crazy old grouchy man who doesn't want to go around looking at cattle anymore simply because we don't even know what we're looking at beyond what is in front of us. And now everyone can better understand why Ed Oliver said genetic stupidity is abundant..... but Ed seems to have given up and I haven't since I don't find it too entertaining......because it is my sole livelihood and that of most commercial herds in this western area who depend on what bull sellers do. People that just like to raise animals for love tend to prefer horses, llamas, goats, peakcocks or dogs, people like Ted Turner prefer buffalos cuz their "natural" investments. The registered cattle industry has always courted the rich and famous...and AAA chooses to serve all of these different people with all kinds of cattle with one for everyone, and none with economic renewability.

So now that I've vented again, here's the story and pedigree of Qualton and the detailed production data of his dam and paternal dam Luria....old Wye data sheets only through 1981, I do not have production records available since that time. I think Dwight told me they sold Quija at 17 due to mastitis and Qualton was still breeding cows naturally beyond 10 when he injured his back and died about a week later, unable to stand.

Ben, you got a comparative bargain for your bull, in 1975 dollars when all Wye bull's were individually priced, Qualton out of a 1st calf heifer was one of the cheaper at $5000 (actual 225 da WW 596# ratio 110, 365 da YW 1078# ratio 104) and we also paid $12,500 for Memo of Wye (WR 108, YR 110)that same year. Memo sired the dam of Beauigan (born '78) out of my triple inbred Beaufort of Wye daughter (born in 76, her dam and grandam were also 1st calf heifers) and Qualton sired the dam (born in '78, tag #1701) of what became the singular base cow of my "X" strain who was born in '80 (the center cow pictured below when she was 7. tag #1702) and her first son inbred son sired by her sire, Balboa was born in '82 with an IBC of 28.37(the bottom picture is Balboa as a yearling on summer pasture while breeding about 40 yearling heifers). These two original base animals born in 1978 were selected based on relative ancestry and what they expressed as yearlings.

All the animals pictured above were born from first calf heifers as was Qualton and Beauigan's dam without seeing what they would produce over time. Eddie, perhaps I was crazy but I placed all my faith in my in depth study of ancestry available at Wye for my new direction to breed a more efficient, economical and functional cow....based on conformation and what I had observed over time at Wye and in natural laws and the importance of familiarity of ancestry beyond names and numbers....which geneticists seem to lack beyond averages. These few animals pictured above were the beginning nucleus of my experimental "X" strain project.

I am sharing all these details but first I want to share Craig Hilman's personal email to me on Dec 4th. Craig is perhaps one of the deepest thinkers I have ever met, a hockey player who "regressed or progressed" back to his family farming operation, who learned in hockey how to focus ahead on the goal, who grew up with an intense pedigree interest in their dairy business, and who pours water to make an ice skating rink for his small boys, 7 & 5, when it is a minus 37 below

"I have read your last post four times as slowly as I can and I just don’t see how you could lay everything out any better.... I marvel at the reality and simplicity of basic truths, what"

I want to lay out things better Craig, if we'd all just take the time to stop, look and listen like you do, I wouldn't need to, but few do. There is no substitute for experienced hindsight to develop foresight, "the principles are exceedingly simple, the difficulty is in the application". Seeing is believing but the basic problem is we all want quick success with immediate results. One day commercial producers might enjoy the benefits of this phenomenon of quick success with immediate results just as we do today in our day to day farming of crops. What I regret is the dilemma that the technology costs have significantly outstripped my per acre increases in production while negating or reducing my profit margins.

The speed on the road Ben and Craig are traveling down is limited, but it is a practical one. I am deeply grateful to others for what I learned beginning with the Wye herd in the 60's, and I hope I can pass some things on to the next generations to save them time. Few are as willing as Ben to put in the time as we all tend to forget commercial cow/calf producers are breeders too.

DILEMMA's..And that leads me to Mike's recent posts, I always have to chuckle how he says so many things just to stimulate provocative thought. I try to get even with him but he's always one step ahead of now, I guess I'll just have to change all my ear tags again to prevent genetic rustling in response to what he posted :

....and since turn about is fair play; and just to give Larry something to think about as he does us; while he still wastes time nicely explaining his "non-registered route", I think he will soon face a dilemna whether or not to sell Shoshone x-strain cows into the industry; or follow Falloon`s practice of sending every excess female to as to prevent , to quote Falloon, making it too easy for someone to catch them...and to keep control of the purpose of the x-strain herd.

SOOOOO??? , I'm still "wasting time" eh, have I ever denied selling anyone any of my cows according to MY terms. At least I no longer need to have approval of AAA first for things I do. I honestly shouldn't care if anyone wants to waste their money, it's just not my way and I know it's not Mikes. Smile And besides that, Mike has already given away my former pedigree "mysterious secrets" along with his own on the other KC topics like "inbred selection"....soooo,who is the one who will soon face a dilemma....touche Mike.

MYSTERIOUS SECRETS summarized by Sewall Wright -

"The breeders of the time of Bakewell suspected him of possessing and concealing special principles of breeding. It is often believed that successful breeders have some MYSTERIOUS method of which others are IGNORANT. Instead, the principles have been exceedingly SIMPLE...He ISOLATES and fixes a good type by careful selecton and close breeding..... The difficulty lies not so much in knowing the principles as in APPLYING them."

To get even with Mike, I'm going to give everyone the rest of the story and mysterious secrets behind Mike's #1707 inbred cow he posted and pictured on the topic "inbred selection" along with some of her "restored" progeny. This is a long story that transpired over many years from my affordable experimental side a direction to breed a strain of MORE EFFICIENT, ECONOMICAL and FUNCTIONAL cows.

What I need to remind everyone is that these kind of cattle have not been generally acceptable even today due to their lack of EPD pounds of production values.....more pounds per individual was not the intent. Eddie D. mentioned in 1996 their objectives were "not to sacrifice production".... indeed understandable, since the entire mainstream momentum seems to have a production oriented mindset as reflected in the marketplaces.

Nevertheless, when I saw the first generation conformational characters transmitted by Balboa from observing the consistency of his first daughters and their average breedback from 2's to 3's of 356 days, in '86 with natural service I bred him back to his dam, herd order to intensify those desireable characters expressed by the cow pictured above. Therefrom, she had a bull born in 1987 five years after Balboa, Shoshone Echo 1702, an appropriate name. Balboa was so named after Balboa the reputed discoverer of the Pacific Ocean, remindful that he discovered an ocean that had always been there but not seen before . Smile

Echo was not regressed at all, in fact his 83# BW and WR of 105 was in comparison to his sire's BW of 55# and WR of 90....but of course the cow was now 7 instead of 2 years old. Echo's progeny in my herd by the numbers were very similar to Balboa's, but the conformational type of his progeny leaned more towards Beauigan, the original sire....which was not surprising. Echo and Balboa were never selected from a group based on visible appraisal, they were whatever they would be. I measured distribution ranges between inbreds and different degrees of outcrosses over time. I also implemented structured carcass evaluations on these nucleus sires in Owen Jones commercial herd in SD.

What was surprising was that the milk increased instead of what the scientists told us from their research that milk, reproduction and stamina suffers from inbreeding....that we have got to have an F1 cow for longevity, reproduction, vigor and production. I have come to have very little faith in scientific "average findings" of distributions based on what we have done rather than what could be done. About the only thing all the data proves is that we have become dependent on hybrid vigor.

The dam of Peter and Paul and several others like her were a result of this narrow gene pool developed without visible selection subsequent to the 1978 parentage.....the invisible also becomes the visible in the progeny distributions. Over time I will talk more about the relatives produced from this small gene pool, the longevity, disposition, reproduction, etc.

To continue this story, in 1983, the next year after Balboa, I had a full brother born to this base cow who's herd number was #1702 from her dam tag #1701 born in 1978 pictured above. He was named Shoshone Eric 1701...named after his dam Shoshone Erica. He was sent to my old friend Bill Hodge in GA for evaluation. Sometime in the later 80's, I saw a few of his daughters in Bill's herd, to me they appeared to be his smaller cows and expressed the conformational characters I prefer. Being the smaller cows, I received an affirmative response when I asked Bill if their production was above average

I don't have any mature pictures of Eric available, perhaps Bill or Mike do, but these two pictures below are when he was a calf at about 4 or 5 months old and as a yearling before he was sent to GA. Some of you know that Eric 1701 is the natural service sire of Shoshone Felix 6310, who was bred and born in Joe Dunkum's herd in KY in Dec 1993 from natural service out of Shoshone Encore 6310's dam, who Joe had purchased from me in 1991 and was sired by Laveron of Wye, who was sired by Favour out of the productive 1708 cow, a smaller cow who produced several visually popular herd bulls like the $250,000 dollar Lundell, Lyndell, Lucan etc., who was a maternal grandaughter of Luria of Wye, the 1022 cow described above, the dam of Lonestar who sired Banjo of Wye born in 1989, a bull who contributed to the success of DeBoo's herd in MT.....the same Lonestar that sired Qualton, born in 1974. The random chance from the variables of inheritance is reduced by selection from close breeding ...."He ISOLATES and fixes a good type by careful selecton and close breeding and fixes the ideal through continued use of prepotent sires of the SAME type..." .....Eric was 10 years old when he naturally bred his full increase PREPOTENCY or FREQUENCY of the same GENES.

What do maternal bulls look like.....What many of you do not know is Mike, the ambitious visualist vs. me the lazy visionary, approached me about flushing the 1702 cow back to Echo in 1991. I said no, from what I observed the last several years, I would rather breed her back to her full brother, more likely to maintain a 50/50 relationship between the two original parents....but Eric was in GA. Since I still owned a part of the bull, Mike called Bill Hodge to see if the bull was still around. I think Bill told him he was breeding cows in a commercial herd somewhere. Long story short, I sent the 1702 cow to KY, Mike picked up Eric in GA, prepared the cow for flushing and Eric bred his sister with natural service to fertilize the eggs. Come hell or high water, this is what Mike did. Smile

From that flush, according to the records Mike sent me, he got 3 heifers, two were born on 9/9/94, one on 9/10/94 and one bull born on 9/10/94, the one he named Shoshone Eros 1702, reg #12385979. He also sent me a pedigree and partial ownership in a bull calf that was born 9/7/94 out of the 1702 cow sired by Favour of Wye, reg #12385644, named Shoshone Enoch 1702. Being a visualist, I'll let Mike tell you the story of Enoch and what mysterious secrets have been revealed to him over the last 16 years. Mike sent me a picture of Eros as a calf, pictured below.

Breeders that expect instant success in one generation often fail to realize that today it is 30+ years later from the beginning of this visionary project. It has not been a high investment cost project, the monetary rewards have been minimal for both Mike and I. Felix had been sold to Gary Keeney when I first saw him as a coming 2 year old, and about a 10 yr old still sound bull at Mike's field day....and the sire of JAD's $16,000 high selling bull in his 2009 sale out of a now famous close bred "Shoshone" cow that descended from the small nucleus above and JAD's Peter who brought $12,500 in this year's sale - No, Ben wasn't the buyer...and Mike and I are still envious of our customer's monetary success compared to our own.....only consoled by the fact that it does prove the natural laws of simple genetic principles. Smile Smile

This is the story and background of the narrow gene pool that produced the 53% IBC cow, pedigree below, for Mike that he pictured on the KC topic of "Inbred Selection" and some of her "restored" progeny....manipulating the natural laws of simple genetic principles for man's benefit. The application was not difficult since the cost was not excessive and the expectations were to establish the whole genetic truths, the invisible becomes the visible to create the the option of the visible illusion of the "seedless hybrid fruit", we reap what we sow because we know assisted from breeder cooperation rather than fight it. The mysterious illusions of harnessing hybrid power are not a phenomenal secret after all.

Eddie D, these are the events of what transpired without visual appraisal or selection from several large groups of progeny. Based on real practice, I have come to believe that the natural laws of nature are unchangeable, that every action does have a reaction. And that is why I asked you to breed me a Blythemaker bull for $5000 so I can sell the commercial industry $500,000 dollars of genuine worth with sexed semen $20.00 at a time, however, he better be very fertile and live a long time like Blythe did

Ed Oliver, you know who I am talking about when I say you have "semen connections" with David, and I'm not talking about the one who slew Goliath.

And finally Mike, I do not face a DILEMMA, only visualists do. Natural laws are like looking at an egg and seeing the eagle...or maybe I should say looking at Cow 1707 and seeing an ugly duckling slowly and surely growing into a swan.....what we need is lots more eggs. I have the things I need, not what I all to repeat Dennis's statement...An ugly little Shoshone bull with 4 functioning feet, a stick, 2 nuts and a nose, that's packed tight genetically accomplishes a great deal round here. But most of its value for me is in creating females.....Raising cattle for me is a life fulfilling dream. Raising cattle that I have had a hand in genetically makes it even better. Paying the bills with these cattle by the pound really is the frosting.
Thank you Dennis, this statement is my "hug" back to you.

So, I'll just keep selling cheaper bulls and let the commercial buyers build their own cow herds with more dependability like I have over the last several years. This post has been but a small part of my hundreds of stories. I do not have any comments in response to the posts who consider cull cows to be part of their production....forms follow functional selection, every producer has his own circmstances to consider.

I perhaps more than anyone can understand why the industry does what it time consuming it is to extract the preferred genes from all the variance to fix prepotent types in the infinity of life for man's benefit in accordance with natural law. And few can really understand what Gavin Falloon truly means when he says he has just begun after 40 years and that at 80+ years of age he would do it all over again despite having it cost him alot in all ways.....that how lucky he is just to be able to reach greater understanding from his intensive interest and study in genetics.....and why after 200 years he and I both agree that what the industry is doing will never "work" satisfactorily to improve endurance for lasting progess in animal breeding.

We should have learned by now, but that is the fault of our human condition. Trial and error.... J. B. Lingle bred Angus cattle at Wye Plantation for 40 years from 1938 to 1978, it is hard for me to believe that I have been breeding cattle longer for 45 years. He left at a time when his efforts reached the peak of popularity with the associated monetary values that come with it. I began riding on his coat tail producing cattle with popular high monetary value and have regressed or progressed to this point, learning from the trials and errors of the formulate the NEXT STEPS for someone else to take in accordance with natural laws. Pretty simple, no regrets, no wishing I could do things over again; at last, just contentment from doing the best that I can do by sharing it all with you.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:58 am

Mark Day wrote:
Mr. Larry,

This may be an unfair question by being too personal but you have spilled your guts already but I will still leave it up to you if you want to answer. I do not know all of your personal history and it may not really matter but when you were buying these fairly expensive bulls (I have heard my grandfather speak of spending as much on a bull as he would a car and you were doing more than that) did you ever wonder how you would pay for them and all the other bills or was the high dollar selling really that easy for you so that it was never in question? Did you get a rush from it? Just consider it a part of doing business? For you to turn your back on that kind of money would be like giving a winning lottery ticket to the church. I am guessing most folks on here have never spent the kind of money you spent or would have access to do that but that is largely what drove you out of the game, to be a common cattleman doing your own thing for the betterment of the common cattleman's herd and making it available in a way only the common cattleman could ever afford - no papers. You are a very reluctant leader in my estimation but when you start writing books (even it only a small paperback) and having a website you are held to a different standard. Glad your knees are not buckling to the pressure like some golfer's do staring at that 10 foot putt.
Larry has a general post coming answering specific questions/comments that have been will take me a little bit to organize it since it contains, first the easy posted answer to Mark`s above questions...

Mark, the post that Grassfarmer wrote following yours about the sheep business in Scotland was the normal business of the registered societies when I began and still prevails today. I was born in the depression of '34, a family of immigrant sharecroppers, never had any money, but never was hungry being rich in family and relatives. The two houses I grew up in never had electric power until I was in the 5th grade and no indoor plumbing until after I graduated from high school. I know what it is like to make do with very little and I still straighten out old bent nails to reuse.

To make a long story short , when I got out of the service in 1957, we moved to Wyoming and my father had to borrow $1000.00 from my grandfather to move his machinery here to began sharecropping in a new area. My application for a GI loan to start farming on my own was turned down so I began farming in partnership with my father. The two tractors we had were a 1949 DC Case and a 1938 John Deere Model A that Dad had bought new and a 1950 ton and a half Ford truck.

We had some poor land that really wasn't fit for farming. We planted it to grass and soon figured out that a registered cow eats no more than a commercial cow, and offered an opportunity to sell their progeny for 3 or 4 times a commercial calf which was worth about $100. Caught up in the promotional sales at the Denver Stock Show, we talked our banker into lending us the money to buy some fancy pedigreed bred heifers for a $1000 sired by imported bulls....which were the rage of the Angus societies, glamourized throughout the Angus Journal, which became our Bible.

The first bull we purchased was Moles Hill Enzort for $4000 from Schearbrook Farms in Ohio financed for 3 years - he was a 3 or 4 year old bull that stood 4th in class at the Chicago Livestock Show, the daddy of 'em all. He couldn't breed cows naturally so in our naivete we learned how to AI and had him collected at IBB just north of Denver traveling down the road of disaster. When we sold that bull, as fat as he could be his slaughter payweight was 1260#. The rapid change going on due from the importation of the new Exotics breeds, suddenly the Angus Journal was filled with ton bulls, Canadian Colossal the biggest of them all, I still have old photographs of CC taken at the IBB stud near Denver.

The 2nd bull we bought was Ankonian Jarapo born in 1966, a son of Jingo 2, one of the most popular bulls promoted to be 10 years ahead of his time, his top mature weight was about 15-1600 lbs. The show strings of that era were surrounded by Holstein nurse cows to the 2 year old bulls being shown. The 3rd bull we bought was Beaufort of Wye for $5000 in 1969 and we financed him with Wye for 3 years and started AI'ing to several notable Wye bulls. I bought the 4th bull, Eston of A L F 13D, #8003385 born in 1972, a big bull but probably one of the most erratic sires I ever used. Qualton and Memo of Wye were the next two bulls I purchased in 1975...and as the money started flowing in, I spent more on bulls, much more over the next few years....easy come, easy go Smile

I didn't get a rush from selling high priced bulls, I was overwhelmed, nor did I give my winnings to church....I never once traded high priced cattle between breeders like many still do, the cattle I sold were in real dollars and I used the money to finally get out of debt, deciding I would never go in debt again by not spending more than I make. I can't condense my life's history in a few paragraphs, but I can tell you I have paid my dues and have my reasons for my despicable views for much that goes on in the mainstream of the registered industry....a con artists paradise. Whatever standard I am held to is whatever I stand for, nothing more, nothing less

Quote :
Grassfarmer asked : Why does being an ET calf make it more difficult to know what proportion of the ancestry she has inherited? I am assuming the difficulty might be because the animal's individual performance may be altered by effectively having a "foster mum". But surely that doesn't affect her genotype and the predetermined genes she possess which she will pass onto her offspring? Or is there something I'm not aware of with the ET process that results in greater randomization of gene distribution in resulting offspring?
Quote :
Mike responded : think you are on Ithe right track Iain; just environmental influence, surely no genetic effect of the heifer because she is an ET...I'm not so sure, I have pondering questions about this as described later in this post.
I'm not so sure, I have pondering questions about this as described later in this post.

Quote :
Mark wondered: Larry, I have to wonder if the Shoshone history books would have been much different if you had not been able to make a couple of those purchases? Why is Wye needing to go back and use old bulls ...

Quote :
Mike responded to Mark and also said: ....Larry says he has no clue which bull is "best"; prices them all the same; first come; first served...given that I believe that most still pick bulls on criteria similiar to mine, I believe that many who pick last may pick best to make cows...
Not necessarily so, I simply do not know what the random half of the genotypes that they transmit will be with certainty, of what portion of the ancestry was inherited individually, but put them all together, and they will give you the AVERAGE of their ancestry...with certainty...SO YOU WILL NEED TO BUY SEVERAL's that as a commotional, promotional way to sell more than one at a time Smile

Quote :
Robert Mac quoted Mike and said:
Remember inbreeding is the purpose of breeds; if you don`t believe in inbreeding, there is no point in much "breed" do you want?
Well said, Mike...this should be flashed to all of academia and breed asso. whose focus is "black with no visible horns". Of course, the "money issue" starts with the packers who keep the commercial man chasing carrots.
Quote :
In a private email, Craig Hilman stated for now: Natural Law will provide the boundaries if we are inside them, I would think there will come a point where you can have faith in the foundational principals that got you there So my mind wonders if the “Mysterious Secret” is to align your foundational principals with natural truths and then BELIEVE.

Quote :
And Mike wrote me and said: watching with no money invested... Larry, Laurent daughters here suited me ok...Egans suited me well...yet, you culled both...why?

Mean Spirit's post is exceptionally worthwhile as it applies to all breeds .....
Quote :
purebred breeders needed to decide what kind of cattle were needed-- without this decision "a breeder cannot select the best nor discard the worst", Then, he needed to find the animals that have the genes needed to produce the desired animal. Then, the author stated as follows re: purebred herdsire selection: "Through herd sire selection, keep the herd closely related to the best present and past animals in the herd. Select outcross sires ONLY to prevent serious defects from being fixed in the herd or to get genetic variation for a needed economic trait. The higher the average individual merit in a linebreeding program, the milder the outcross should be."

I've enlarged and emboldened certain words for emphasis. Mike, I did not cull ALL MY DAUGHTERS of all my Laurent's (#10564700 born in '84, you are familiar with Cow #2304 his dam and his sire, Lundell of Wye)....and my Egan's (#12846142 born in '96,
you are also familiar with his long proven dam but not his outcross sire -
too much milk and BW are not my desire,
from the distributions I did keep,
all those that fit the rest of my sheep.
Mean Spirit's post shall end this matter,
Santa left without a clatter,
with gifts just for you and me,
not to hang out all our laundry for everyone to see,
but a beacon of light to guide us through the perils of the stormy sea,
in order to reach an ideal with genetic tranquility Smile
From outcrosses and crossbreds there is certain to be,
some individuals who do OK or well for you, me and others,
but Robert Mac questions how many for those chasing the money tree for carrots where OK or well is never good enough. I laughed thinking carrots don't grow on trees and neither does money Smile

Mark, I am always reluctant to name individuals, my history would have not changed, the only difference would have been the names. I would have sought those same characteristics from somewhere else. You can imagine how difficult that would've been during that era, but there were others with the same characteristics somewhere. It was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, but since it tis the season to be jolly, and thinking about how Mike looks up the origin of phrases, I thought about turning BS into the origin of the phrase when someone gives you "a snow job".

As I looked at the impending storms approaching again, I remembered digging through the snow to find what I needed

To reach my goals that were still somewhat hidden,......exposing the icy hand to melt the cold reality of natural law

.....................To clear the pathway of all the debris hidden beneath the snow.....

From all the promotional snow jobs we're bombarded with, near the end of my last post, I said in the plural... forms follow functional selection, every producer has his own circmstances to consider. I perhaps more than anyone can understand why the industry does what it time consuming it is to extract the preferred genes from all the variance to fix prepotent types .... in accordance with natural law. And few can really understand.....I should have said "want to" understand the time it takes.

We have all heard the expression that we "can't see forest for the trees"..... the performance movement, like all historic mainstream movements, has been one big tree with the results of cutting down too many trees....I think this picture is worth a thousand words to explain the inevitable and unavoidable revolving cycles of change as we fertilize the singular money tree with its many branches.

Fair values, which dog is more valuable to you as you consider your own circumstances, each dog has its own specific problems and natural limitations.

We talk about family trees, the branching of tribes, and hear how "the apples don't fall too far from the tree". Natural law evolves into adaptable species with natural selection. With man's selection, look at this long line of different dogs that can still interbreed. Eddie and I entered into a discussion of selection priorities, visual appraisal, performance and pedigree and how our herds branched trying to do too many things better.....the universal difficulties we all encounter when we try to improve all "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" rearranging our selection priorities as needed.....similar to what most all cattle breeders do...and finally it all gets down to grease cheaper than high quality greaseless sealed bearings which last much longer.

I am a lazy person who hates greasing machinery, and I built my house out of bricks cause I hate painting to keep it looking nice and protect it from the elements.
I hate machinery that wears out too quickly and requires high maintenance and frequent replacement. I hate trying to keep up with the Jones and their shiny, fancy new tractors and equipment with all their gadgets that require a special diagnostic technician costing $500.00 to fix a $20.00 part, with more and more complex parts to break and fix.

I hate to keep trying to keep my cattle in perfect condition with their appearance just to please myself or someone else. I know how much different they would be with proper care and grooming. And I know what a fundamental work and wear cow and bull's clothes look like at different times in the seasons.....often a difference of lightness of day and darkness of night of what others cannot possibly see. I told you about my wife's obsession with cleanliness with "Mister", who she gets groomed every month or so for $50.00.

What I didn't tell you is that I haven't had a town bought haircut in 40 years, every month or so I cut my own hair that's turned from black to white with the same clipper I've always had. She also doesn't want me to wear "good clothes" for work cause I ruin them with grease and dirt, too much for the washing machine to handle. And I hate shaving which only takes about a coupla minutes. I can imagine what I'd look like if I didn't have a wife to take care of me....I do understand the importance of a female.

So yes Grassfarmer, there is a difference in an ET calf because we tend to make our selections on visual appearance. Reminded that science has always told us that the more we select for, the slower will be the progress....yet, because of our inherent concern about time, we tend to hastily practice single trait selection in three primary categories, growth, carcass and maternal values, trying to combine the best of them all in one kind, often with trait leaders.

Gavin has said that when selecting to improve everything, progress is slowed by the square roots, and he continues to explain his purposeful direction. Yet many of us tend to critique his program for what the limitations of natural law will not also permit rather than praise it for what it can do. The higher our standards, the more we select for, the more we will cull simply because of the limitations or genetic boundaries of natural law. For every gene we lose from genetic drift or whatever, it is replaced with another.

Environment stimulates the turning on and off of genes and so does the genetic composition of the whole animal. I am not smart enough to know what causes all this interaction, or, an animals growth patterns to spurt at certain times, what triggers puberty and mature is all a simply amazing machine of genes working together like a well coordinated army following the rules of the General. I only know what I have observed from the positive and negative consequences of selection.... I don't need to know how it happens, but to know what happens and try to understand why it happens. As Ed Oliver stated in his message...Why? Because I can do it again with a little understanding of why it happened.....Not something that fell out of the sky from bull of the month matings...

We have all seen how environmental factors like nutrition and climate effects both plants and animals. Back in the 60's I saw how the show string cattle being sprinkled with water controlling the atmosphere to stimulate hair growth in the summer for grooming and showing purposes with special secretive nutritional recipes among the best show jocks....the special trainers for horses....and the Wye herd creep fed and bulls fed special rations in order to stimulate the "growth genes" to be fully expressed. We see how the hair coats of calves born at different times of the year are born with haircoats to match the season even though they are from an intrauterine relatively constant environment whose BW is effected by nutritional effects.

Luther Burbank stated that genes are nothing more than stored environment from natural adaptive selection. Yes, natural law is much smarter than us which I suppose prompted the phrase - "we can't fool Mother Nature". All we can do is manipulate what we can for our benefit. I wanted to keep current on the comments to my last post.

Gavin Falloon had this to say
"We both know that we are dominated by Nature. No one could farm all their lives and not realise that she is life. Any thought to cross her or bypass her is doomed to failure. Anytime that you step outside her she makes the cost very high. So realising her demands we work with her because she also can be benign. I suspect that there are only a few ways to breed anything and that progress is bounded by those rules. I have said that what most of the registered industry is doing does not work. They can thrash around all they want to their hearts content but they sure aren't going anywhere, and they never will. You can make them bigger, or smaller or longer or shorter but doing these things carries with it a cost. Bigger they just eat more. Smaller they just eat less and so on. All these things they look on as progress , but of course they are not. Efficiency is the measure of progress and when they can demonstrate that to me , I shall applaude their progress.'."

In my next post, with your patience, I will elaborate on the progeny results of selection from the few base cows that I have mentioned in my last post.

Bootheel, during the 70's and into the early eighties, I used about 35 bulls from the Wye Herd, about two thirds of them were non-owned, and also used semen from the Jorgensen Herd and a few others, via A. I. My references to the perils of machinery were also indirectly paralled to cattle .... guess you noticed I like to use parallels....Mike told me his breeding plans were unimportant compared to figuring out how to post pictures of Russian winters and dogs pissing on trees on the internet Smile

Mark, I've never been addressed as Mr. Larry before, you must've learned that as a kid playing at the Chicago livestock shows....saving money, I quit oiling the blade on my Oster over 20 years ago, hair has enough oil in it if you don't shampoo but once a month right after the haircut Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:00 am

The Wheels of Life

Some things that we can't recover:

The stone........after the throw.
The sound.......after the bell
The occasion........after it's missed.
The time.........after it's gone.
The word.........after it's said.
The good cows .......after they died

But we can try to rectify our mistakes.

Double D's thought of the week.

As a group we like simple things, but we are not simple, so we simply try
to simplify the simple out of boredom.

I smiled and thought ....and out of boredom we make the simple complicated again,
like Bootheel being aggravated as to whether or not the "Y" chromosome changes or not....
I thought I'd taunt Bootheel a little more, according to folklore, baldness in a man can come
from his mother's father Smile

Gavin Falloon recently wrote me in regards to questions on Keeney's Corner about "genetic drift"
and I asked him to respond directly on KC. He also said in part:

I am constantly surprised how our concepts keep coming together but it is only
with Nature always on our mind . The acceptance of her domination, to work with her and to
accept anything that she hands us with gratitude, that we make any progress. Upon studying
your reflections yesterday and thinking about them I “think” that I have discovered a great truth.
That your objectives are “to stabilize phenotype and to breed in prepotency" and of course that
is our objectives too.I envy your chance to go back to the Wye herd., after all you have been
there before? Jim Lingle must have been a remarkable man and well ahead of his time.
I find it fascinating that the University saw the error of its ways and returned to the Wye Plan.
I wonder whether it has made them think and changed their way of teaching animal breeding?

In keeping up with AAA's policies of keeping everything public, responding to Gavin's
reference to the Wye herd along with Eddie Draper's recent visit.....Eddie provided me with a copy
of a public list of 17 Wye cows identified having weaned in excess of 8000 pounds of calf since 1938
thru 1981 during this period of over 40 years. The top cow Blythe #857 produced 11,010# with
18 calves at 20 years of age, the 2nd is Lobelle #585 who produced 9,379# with 16 calves at 19,
and the 3rd cow is Luria #1022 produced 9,371# with 16 calves in l7 years, born in 1963 and was
still in production at that time. Luria's picture is shown on Page 16 of my Dec 11th post opposite
Qualton's pedigree wherein she is the dam of Lonestar. Below are pedigrees and the only pictures
I have available of the other two:

GOODNESS HAS A PATTERN.....a Lingle Wyism.

From the beginning of this series of reflections, I have tried to describe how the Tru-Line concept
was an effort to improve efficiency by harnessing hybrid power....Remindful that it is way to genetically
produce more from less, to seek the genetic truths of natural law, not to romanticize or embellish
the process. Digging through the "snow" to uncover the debris, my efforts here are to make the
invisible visible, to enlighten the darkness, to see why what We have all made many visual
selection errors and of course that will not change, we can only try to make fewer of them.

It is often said that the only way to avoid making mistakes is not to do anything. I have learned to
view differences of opinions to be very constructive to broaden the mind, the truth cannot be denied.
We all may have different objectives and selection directions but we deal with natural law whether
we like it or not. I have stated my own personal objectives which may or may not coincide with
others.....and my choices may not fit other's circumstances.

With that in mind, the total pounds these 17 Wye cows produced was not nearly as important to me
as the trouble free years of production efficiency from their maternal function...what I call ideal work
and wear cows for my purposes. A friend of mine told me his ole #1 cow had 14 in 15 years and never
weaned over a 600# calf.....that there is a pattern to the good ones and wondered how many did Wye
go through to get the 17 listed. Clarice of Wye is an exception among those 17 cows, Conans mother,
who's top weight is listed at 1506# and is the least desirable for me in an affordable environment.
I think we can safely presume breeding cows for longevity and efficiency was secondary to
Wye's primary objectives.

In the primary movement to increase individual performance, these cows were mated to more bull
than what they were. The pedigrees reveal they are crosses of the imported bulls on the concentrated,
linebred cows Jim Lingle spent working with the first quarter of his career. The cow was always important
to Lingle and was a primary reason the Wye herd became so popular when the industry desperately
needed "better cows" as a result of the extreme "baby beef" era. The influential Bonsma years
reinforced that need.

A few months before Lingle died, Dwight and I spent several hours visiting with Lingle in his office
and he had become aware of the unintended consequences of selection, finally recognizing what was
happening to the cows in the Wye herd. Few people know that Dwight Riggleman consulted with Lingle
on a regular, almost daily basis after the herd was given to the UMF in 1978...... during Dwight's tenure
and efforts to reconstruct the maternal values in the Wye herd until 1989....when he moved on to other
phases of his life.

Yes, ahead of his time, Lingle fell into the same "trap" of modern times, just like I did......Bigger is better
and the sequential lineage from his largest bull Conan born in 1963, to Franchester (1971) and his son,
the $250,000 Linebacker bull born in 1975, these were the height of his ambition and the begining of
the decline of all he had worked to build...."the typical rise and fall of things". Lingle was brought up in
the dairy business in pursuits to increase production and I was brought up as a farmer where emphasis
is alway on increasing production per acre. Craig HIlman can relate to this and his upbringing in the dairy
industry....I laugh when he refers to these modern dairy cows as walking udders, who only last a
couple lactations.....the normalcy of man's actions.

Applying those practices in the beef business is somewhat different. I had to smile when my friend
recently expressed his opinions, a man who always says things bluntly and to the point, that universities
and committies can screw up most good work in the name of research...that Maryland tax payers don't
have a clue. These opinions are based on our joint first hand experience Smile He also said Eddie Draper
has brought stability to the Wye program but wondered how long they will let him use common sense
in the breeding of the cattle.

I hadn't been to Wye since Dwight left. My friend tells me that "Eddie had very, very little
to work with when he was given the job in '96, that I visited Wye a few years after Eddie got the job
and the udders in the herd were terrible....I mean bad. Dean Bryant (the former manager) was about
raising EPDs and did a good job of moving them up....IF THAT BLOWS YOUR DRESS UP!! I met Dean
only once and I guess he was under pressure to generate cash flow. In that short visit, I thought I
met a man with absolutely no vision, one of his cash flo plans was to dump volumes of the old semen
to save storage cost!"

I might add that Eddie wrote me several years ago and told me he had a hard time finding a bull good
enough to use when he took over the herd during that period of time when the popularity of the Wye
herd had waned from the peak of popularity in the late 70's when the rest of the industry blew right on
past them with EPD measures...and in a sense I did too with Shannon and Shanigan....
Franchester descendants Smile

But all did not bode well with me. I've described some of the invisible things we don't see visibly publicized,
genetic realities hidden under the "snow". My friend also told me this story about an interesting bull born
at Wye, the legendary Fabron concentrated, how Dwight called him the day he first saw him and said
"I just saw ole Fabron" again. Telling it like it is, he told me this particular bull "is the best
and worst of Wye....I probably know more about him than Eddie does....I have some of the oldest daughters.
Just sold two....His bull calves have a spread of acceptable nuts, twisted nuts, little nuts, all the way to
no nuts! I have had some of the above....Certainly they were out of my cows also so don't think it don't
take two to make one...His daughters are good cows with good udders and more size than you would
expect from the frame score of his mother...She was just a little knot of a cow...the epitome of self denial..
She put it all into her progeny and the perfect example of the IDEAL COMMERCIAL COW that produces 12
or 13 calves of average weight and dies un noticed!!!

I thought about this when Bootheel said he was antagonized over the "Y" chromosme, how it must change
the shape of things to come. A male with no nuts would save castration of the "seedless fruit" Smile
Thinking positive instead of negative, I had a very hardy laugh when my friend proceeded with saying
"so often, the best comes early and efforts to improve them often take us backward rather than
into an improved future.....Think about your own herd and see if I'm on a dead end thought!! Wye's cow
#1708 was my ideal cow....I simply loved to look at her and her grandam 1022 (Luria)......Yet, 1479, her dam,
didn't intrigue me....Wonder if 1479 was the link that broke the chain....Anyway, 1708 broke my heart......She
may as well have been a steer.....Dwight spent his better years trying to use her as an no
1708 was a smaller framed than the average cow in the Wye herd, as was Franchester and
Linebacker's dams. Linebacker was born in 1975 out of a smaller dau born in 1963 sired by an imported bull
from the "L" family of names like Luria and Lobelle.

I want to interject a comment here about this picture of #1708. It does not look like
the same work and wear cow I always saw gracefully walking the Wye pastures. It is not a "natural" picture,
it is a professional photo authorized by Dick Beck, the Wye "promotional" manager at that time, prepared at
an angle and pose to mimic the show standards of the day....notice her nicely trimmed tail with a neck that
looks like a stallion those days they trimmed all cattle both males and females to look like the
IDEAL STEER OF THE DAY...just thought it would be a good example for some who don't know how stupid
some things we do...actually are Smile

I also tried to bring forth her goodness through her progeny as an owner of Lundell and the use of her other male progeny. Disappointed, it took several years for me to recognize it was not the cow's fault, it was the TYPE OF BULLS 1708 WAS MATED TO that caused her progeny to have the inability to renew her kind......AND to recognize that her individual production records ratioing W 7-109 and Y-108 as of 1981 would not have occurred making her a "super cow" who produced four popular "herd bulls".....
AND to recognize that her individual production records ratioing W 7-109 and Y-108 as of 1981 would not have occurred making her a "super cow" who produced four popular "herd bulls", by our traditional visual definition of a herd bull, IF SHE WOULD'VE BEEN MATED BACK TO HER OWN KIND. The last information I have on this cows daus avg progeny weanig ratios was - 95, thinking if her daus were poor producers, why would I think her sons would produce high producing cows like their dam Smile

And so I thought alot about the similarity of Gavin's 86/96 cow, who told me she was the 2nd outlier cow
his herd produced in 40 years, the first one born in '74, and how he said he warned his son William to stop
using multiple sons out of those two cows. I wonder and suspect his reasons are different than mine.
Whether we close breed or outcross, we get both the best and worst of a gene pool. Unless you
understand natural law, we simply cannot get the best without the worst of something else.... and most
often the best isn't worth the worst unless you are in the registered business selling illusions. I expect
a lot of static out of this statement, so read it carefully ...everything has an opposite and equal reaction...
and then believe it or not Smile

Being straightforward here I want to repeat for emphasis what Gavin previously said that I quoted at
the end of my last post which I think sums things up pretty well ....."We both know that we
are dominated by Nature. No one could farm all their lives and not realise that she is life. Any thought to
cross her or bypass her is doomed to failure. Anytime that you step outside her she makes the cost
very high. So realising her demands we work with her because she also can be benign. I suspect that
there are only a few ways to breed anything and that progress is bounded by those rules. I have said
that what most of the registered industry is doing does not work. They can thrash around all they want
to their hearts content but they sure aren't going anywhere, and they never will. You can make them
bigger, or smaller or longer or shorter but doing these things carries with it a cost. Bigger they just
eat more. Smaller they just eat less and so on. All these things they look on as progress , but of course
they are not. Efficiency is the measure of progress and when they can demonstrate that to me , I shall
applaude their progress.'"

We work with her because as Gavin says Nature also can be BENIGN. We know how Nature protects
herself with variance in her distributions for survival of the fittest with distinct unchangeable roles for the
male and female. To better understand the simplicity of WHY things happen during our selection
processes, it allows us the means to enjoy the benefits of what Nature hands us with gratitude....
another parallel here to that old saying that "God helps those who help themselves"....meaning only in
accordance with the creation of natural law, or the costs can be very high.

The infinity of life in Nature is not concerned with efficiency, but with man's time constraints and cost
values, as Gavin says, improving beef production EFFICIENCY is finally the only important measure
of progress. Mean Spirit posted a quote which said "purebred breeders (not necessarily registered)
needed to decide what kind of cattle were needed (not wanted) to achieve his objective - without this
decision a breeder cannot select the best nor discard the worst". The conundrum here is that if we
get what we needed, we don't need it any more, we then need something else....good never seems
good enough Smile

Thinking of that long line of dogs pictured in my last post, digging through the snow to find the animals
that have the genes needed to produce the desired animal isn't the difficult part, the difficult part is
efficiently sustaining the kind of needed animal as described by the example of the few Wye cows above.
As I said above, there are many very popular animals born that transmit both the best and worst of
a herd and thusly we remain confounded....and sort

Repetition of talking about our problems over and over again hasn't solved the problems as our
"thrashing around changing cattle" hasn't changed the long term way we breed cattle for beef production.
I cannot see how selecting the best and discarding the rest has worked too improve efficiency over the
long term. Sustainability ....We get what we want and then we lose it. It is interesting to watch how the
ongoing search for that great bull or cow goes on trying to RECOVER some of the more desirable qualities
that certain bulls or cows left behind in the past.

So, I'll quit lecturing here, present my past and you decide. Slim writes - I've been following the
foundation cow families, like 6157,3128,6159. I would like to know more about the 6357 #11154945 cow.
I see her showing up alot . Thanks. The commonality of these four cows Slim mentioned is their close
relationship in pedigree, longevity and conformational similarities to the above Wye cows.

The 6357 cow pictured above was sold to Monte about 10 years ago One of his favorite cows,
I believe she was about 20 years old when she died. The pedigree below is another cow that
I sold to Joe Dunkum and Mike who was also born in 1988 from the same base cow family, and
they also purchased a bull Shoshone Fraser 6357 out of the above cow. The picture to the right
of 6354's pedigree below is Bob as a mature bull who was later sold to Gary Funk. Bob is also
shown above as a yearling. I suggest anyone contact these buyers to provide any additional
progeny information and each person can decide whether or not selection has been progression
or regression from cow #6357 ....dependent on selection objectives. Smile

reprinted from a 1985 semen offering

In order to provide Slim with the type of conformational characters of the ancestry of the cows
6157, 3128, 6159 and 6357, the following pictures are offered.

SHOSHONE FRASER 6357 #11637249 born 1991

BEAUFORT OF WYE born 1968.....the name of the Beauigan bull represented the "B" of my
Barbara cow family and Beau - again represented the male heritage. Bob is the male name
for Barbara Smile The "63" Frances cow family name was a derivative from the Franchester
dau #E63 and the Francis of Wye bull, perhaps the largest cow family I have had over 600
female descendants born from the base #63 cow purchased in 1971 - the last cows we purchased
except for those Craigie cows transferred to me by K.A. Clark in 1984.

SHOSHONE BARBARA GECA27 #8805971 born 1976, dam of Shoshone Beauigan
born in 1978, her first calf

SHOSHONE EILEEN GD20 #8806007 born 1976 , maternal grandam of the sire
Shoshone 99-2028, who sired Cow #6157

SHOSHONE EUSTON 3131 #12706458 born 1996, out of the maternal sister
to Cow #3128

SHOSHONE PIVOT 6159 #13746428 born 1999. a maternal combination of cow
#6157 on top and Cow #6159

SHOSHONE PRIDE A792, not registered born 2004, sired by HBR 1126, sire/dau mating of
Cow #3128

These are a few of my "un-embellished" pictures, don't take pictures of the
"good" ones, don't know if I'm regressing or progressing by staying constant Smile Standing still
where I am, my ancestoral grand parents, great grandparents, great, great grandparents are all
"greater and grander" than I am and so are my grandchildren, great grandchildren, great,
great here I am only average in the wheels of life

..............NEITHER THE BEST NOR THE WORST !!! .......... Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:12 am

Superlatives and Smiley Faces

Some of the best things in life are free, like my participation on Keeney's Corner...thanks to Mike's generosity Smile
Taking our turns going through the seasons of life, it's been said, "You don't stop laughing when you die, you die
when you stop laughing"....that laughter is the best medicine....And having good friends to share our ups and
downs is priceless. From the top of the mainstream of the registered business on down to the bottom, we select
the "BEST" of whatever and we often pay the highest prices for the best to get something free in this business....
and the quest goes on and on and never dies Smile

So Mike and I laugh till our cheeks get numb,
of things we did that now seem so dumb,
He doesn't quite know which way he'll go,
looking for the right cows under the snow.
Mike says he's ET'ing just to have fun,
I tell him cows are just cows when its all said and done,
and with bulls like 'sniff the wind' and 'unwanted',
I laugh at how many Mike has taunted,
and we laugh at all our own naivety,
that our progress is moving backwardly,
laughing so we can live for all eternity

Robert Mac asked Mr. Falloon how should we define 'progress' in a breeding program. Since man must measure
starting from some comparative average, I think of all the charts and graphs we make to measure change and
I've often wondered how high is up and how low is down.

And Bootheel says, "The ol' Blythe cow I guess would be pretty hard to improve upon, production wise, not much
accuraccy in the EPD's to say, yay or nay, but her numbers would have you banished, whipped, dragged, tarred
and feathered by the mainstream mafia these days. Chances are she would still sell dang good at a commercial
sale though......hummmmm. Ah well, good story once again, nice pictures, seemed liked I might have laughed even
.....continue on.

Reflecting on what my good friend Ed Oliver said "so often, the BEST comes early and efforts to improve them often
take us backward rather than into an improved future".
So, in comparison to what I received in the mail yesterday,
I laughed thinking of my "unimbellished pictures" of cattle on pasture in their work clothes in comparison with a
picture of an Angus "male" on "pasture" who was featured on the cover of ANGUS The Magazine, December 2010.

Progress going round and round in the show circuit over the last 160 years can be described by the following pictures....
the one pictured on the bottom is the California 2010 "velvet model" featured on the cover of this months FREE Angus Magazine, "serving the west and beyond".

I remember being so embarrassed with my 4-H fat heifer named Tessie, placed near the end of her class cause she was the largest framed heifer there. Smile Looking at these pictures, I noticed people sure were small in the late 80's and how tall they were in the 50's and in New Zealand now.... and I thought what a gorgeous lawn ornament that 2010 model would make for my front yard pasture at Red Lodge Smile

And then when I opened the magazine, on the inside front cover I had to smile again. I shouldn't be so tacky but I can't pass up an opportunity to make a point of how we might measure progress in maternal efficiency.. ....using Lobelle of Wye born in 1954 as a basic comparative starting point....Mike prefers Blythe but I wanted to go back another five years....could go back to the 1900's but cattle were too big then and we don't have EPD's on cattle born back then.

Select Sires has an ad promoting a semen offering, proclaiming a 10 year old bull to have "the most balanced EPD profiles in the business, calving ease with disposition, feed efficiency and performance, $Values are ALL high, his proven genetic offering fits now more than ever !" Hmmmm, they seem to have forgotten to highlight his MATERNAL $EN of a minus 13.03 .... which is $65.48 less than Lobelle's in order to produce $56.54 more $B (75.07 - 18.53, these numbers change a bit almost daily) I smiled about how we're going forward "NOW MORE THAN EVER" to go backwards by producing cows with a negative dollar beef value of 8.94 over the past 50 years...or if my math is wrong, someone please enlighten me Smile

EPD Percentiles The best of this bull is promoted to be in the top 5 percentiles for the categories - highlighted in green, I highlighted the worst in red
As of 12/22/2010 Production__________________________________________ Maternal
+9____+1.0___+56__+108__+.26____+.3___-.26___+38___+9___+36____103___316___+53___+.7___ -13.03

_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+34___+.78____+.82__+.025____15________22____ 1139_______3007

____ $W______ $F_____ $G______ $QG_____ $YG_____ $B
__+35.58___ +45.28__ +38.12__ +31.04___ +7.08____ +75.07 Rank top 1%

Of course, we could say this proven 10 year old bull is a very useful terminal sire, but that is not enough to attract "Angus people" who always want superlatives in everything Smile So, the ad also displays four professionally signed photos of four pretty, silky smooth daughters , one from each of four herds to exemplify the uniform quality of this bull's daughters ....I've just shown one, the pictures are all similar.....the power of advertising Smile

I wondered how far and wide they searched to find these four out of 103 herds...and I smiled thinking of Gavins statement "All these things they look on as progress , but of course they are not. Efficiency is the measure of progress and when they can demonstrate that to me , I shall applaude their progress". So, I wondered if this ad demonstrated progress in efficiency or deficiencies, dependent on how we'd use this bull. Someone once told me that Roy Wallace said Select Sires has the right bulls, we just use them wrongly.....I certainly can't argue with that last part, but I question whether this is the "right bull" to improve efficiency.

Having been down that path before, first I wondered how much fat (marbling) is in the RE expanding the "muscle", and since calves are born without fat, I understand the light BW. I shouldn't be a doubting Thomas, but if this bull was used for efficient maternal function, I wondered what these cows would look like working in "western environments and beyond" with a +36 milk with their bones showing after they lost their fat, or how they could ever breed back...and how "dairy" cows need nutrition to milk and are poor converters of roughage to beef....but somehow large "beef" cows don't and aren't, like they're another species Smile And for the size of these cattle at YW, I also wondered about the SC.

So, IF it would be wrong to use this bull to produce maternal work and wear cows to improve efficiency, would it be our own fault that we were disappointed? Perhaps we should know better, but I'm sure Select Sires has another bull in the wings whose top percentiles that "fits now more than ever" to fix the deficiencies of this one in one generation.....I can quickly think of some right off the top of my head to reduce the milk and frame while adding "natural" thickness, but then ......oh my, how the truth hurts Smile

Ah well, I suppose "what we don't know won't hurt us", to each their own, Nature has one for everyone. While I tend to wonder alot, my mind drifts back to how amazingly different that long line of differing breeds of dogs are who are all waiting to pee on a single tree....and how much a lazy St. Bernard eats compared to a Chihuahua....and neckless elephants need trunks while giraffes have long necks and skinny legs....and camel's humps....and how the ugly moose is said to be made out of all the leftover parts of other animals....and Santa Claus is fat and jolly giving free gifts Smile

Warned to never look a gift horse in the mouth, from the traditions of emphasizing the positives while ignoring the negatives, many years ago I became spellbound by the awesome distributions of types within averages. Infatuated and intrigued by Nature's variation, borrowing data from the advent of EPD measures, I made a crude effort to describe these spherical distributions by breed and each isolated population's limitations and common genetic interactions within each sub group. I guess I was bored going up and down the fields on tractors where I did most of my thinking....thinking always gets us in trouble. Smile

The initial idea evolved from my study of Wright's multi-year guineau pig inbreeding research project....sub populations of isolated families. But guineau pigs aren't like cattle. Well, I also had visited with a researcher from England who provided me with some data about the distributions within breeds of cattle. I was surprised that Simmental's had the greatest variation - a dual purpose large breed, who branched off into other breeds like Fleckvich and Gelbvich. Extracted from what I printed in 1987, this "homemade" chart is submitted here just to test your own imaginative skills Smile

Whether understood or not isn't important since this was done over 20 years ago and the accuracy may be off a bit from changing times. I perceived this in order to mentally measure the whole rather than measure distributions trait by trait as is customary using the "bell curve". I laughed thinking we might use the superlatives from these single trait measures of parts to create a "mooing moose" rather than a bugling one made from leftover parts. It was just a means to describe how the limitations of each subsequent isolated population of any whole becomes less within their parameters of variance and we could move way down to the genetic limitations of each individual.

One day several years ago Dr. Robert Taylor of CSU and I were talking about the changes in the ideal steer...and about Max, the Denver champion steer who was dyed black, presented as an Angus. We laughed concluding that even with all the exotic imports, it was still hard to beat the cross of a "good" Angus cow with a "good" moderate Charolais bull....but alas, again good is never good enough Smile

Concerned with the continuing expansion of the distributions of the Angus breed as documented by the national sire summaries, I had read a July 2003 Angus Journal article written by John Crouch. John and I have been friends associated in this business for about 40 years. I had written John a brief letter the fall of 2003 expressing some concerns about the continual chaotic directions of the breed...and he responded with the following letter, which is preceded first by API's 2002 article on "Beef Cow Efficiency" and then the article John had written earlier in the Angus Journal, July of 2003:

Sometimes each of us are stuck in the rut of our positions. From the resolutions John alluded to in his letter, I thought alot about how the AAA has grown into a huge political promotional society always led by the traditional mainstream of self serving members....that we lack the discipline to learn together. I finally realized that trying to improve the efficiency of beef production as one tiny player within the Angus breed was an uncontrollable futile effort which required supporting all its contrary hyperbole. This realization was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's hump, or should I say that takes alot considering the shape of the starting point. Smile

I quit registering cattle in 2004 and continue to help myself reach my simple objectives....which I have clearly stated here on Keeney's Corner serve that reality tempered cowboy that John talked about in his article.

I could not rightfully serve two masters once I learned the genetic truths about cattle....damn, I should've known thinking would get me in trouble, ignorance surely is bliss. Smile Damn my upbringing, I also learned to despise the phoniness in the registered business. And so I presented the detailed production pedigree of Shoshone Bob 2712 in my last post for many reasons.

There is a wealth of information in that pedigree that reveals the consequences of selection if you each had intimate familiarity with each individual animal and their progeny therein like I do. I told MIke for those interested in the nitty gritty details of every one of those animals and each of their progeny, I would provide all the information I know about them in later posts to serve as selection examples of what happens.....but maybe it would be better if what we don't know won't hurt us Smile

For example, you might notice that Shoshone Barbara 2 GEA27's first calf, sired by her own sire had a BW of 60# and a NR 97. her next four calves ratioed an average of 118, each listed specifically the same way I listed Luria's and Quija's progeny, which turned GEA27 into a "super cow"....maybe even more super than Wye's cow #1708, at least I know lots better than Mike's idolistic Blythe Smile

Being familiar with the natural limiting factors and consequential trade-offs within the Wye herd, I knew I had to go outside that herd to introduce more growth. One I chose was Nichols Landmark L56, born in 1979, who was being promoted as one of the greatest, most comprehensive bulls in the breed. Notice his individual record, weaned with a 136 ratio, yearling 137, with a maternal EBV of 102 in 1981....and notice his "first cross" progeny records up thru 1984, five years after he was born....without doubt, a true superlative Smile

Simply outstanding, but now look at his current EPD and I've highlighted in red how his worst was much worse than his best, from a herd that promoted nuts, butts and guts by all VISIBLE appearances with good intentions, certainly not from deliberate deceit on the part of the breeder(s), but from the HAZARDS OF NOT UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES of NATURAL LAW Smile

As of 12/22/2010 Production Maternal
_CED____BW___WW____YW____RADG____YH____SC____Doc____CEM____Milk____MkH____MkD____ MW____MH____$EN
_-5____+6.1___+36___+65____+.10____+.3____-.47____+17____+6_____+4____ 438____1437____+67____+.7___+14.51

_CW___Marb___RE___Fat___Carc Grp___Carc Pg___ Usnd Grp___Usnd Pg
+21___-.32__-.46__+.060___ 15_______142_______ 3_______5

__$W____ $F____ $G____ $QG____ $YG____ $B
+1.36_ +10.55_ -28.24__ -10.40__ -17.84__ -4.34

Making the INVISIBLE VISIBLE, compare the profitability of Landmark with Blythe or Lobelle's EPD....and from my actual experiences, I could almost guarantee that if this bull were mated back to his daughters, you would get big fat, milkless, subfertile cows like I did...the EPD of his genome's random HALF have a high accuracy....the whole gets even worse Smile

Superlatives....As an additional example from an extreme from my own turf, to prevent bias, here is Shoshone Shanigan's pedigree and current EPD, a bull that was progeny proven No. 1 for growth in the entire Angus breed's National Sire Summary....who was born in 1979, the same year as Landmark, who in 1982 was projected to have a maternal EBV of 107....well, so much for scientific "PROJECTIONS" based on averages in the real world of natural law Smile

EPD Percentiles
As of 12/23/2010 Production Maternal
_CED___ BW___WW___YW___RADG___YH____SC___Doc___CEM___Milk___MkH___MkD___MW___MH___$EN

_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg____ Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+12____+.34___ -.12___.008

_$W_____ $F_____ $G_____ $QG_____ $YG_____ $B
-13.01_ +23.59_ +19.96__ +19.22____ +.74___ +39.75

Note the CED compared to the CEM and MW & MH, bigger frames do have bigger pelvics, who says EPD aren't worthwhile Smile In our pursuits of seeking something greater than ever before, it is water over the dam. I don't wish things to be the way they are and I laugh thinking we have to be careful what we wish for because we may get it Smile Shanigan topped the Midland bull test with a final weight of over 1400# if I remember right. He was one of three bull calves for the pick of my bull calves during the early summer of 1979, offered by the current owners for which I was to be paid $75,000.00 at weaning. It didn't take me but a split second to accept the offer Smile

They picked out the three bull calves in late September and took delivery. Shanigan had a BW if 86#, WR of 120 @ 682#(149 contempories), they entered him into the Midland bull test in late October and he earned a YR 122, adj @ 1265# (Midland contemporaries)....simply an outstanding superlative at that time.

In Leachman's sale featuring the first progeny of Shanigan, I have a record that indicates his first 25 bull calves in their herd had a BW of 81#, weaned at 654#, WR 108...and 24 heifer calves had a BW of 79#, WR 105. The other two bull calves they picked had 18 bull calves, both with a WR of 96. They sold five of his first yearling sons for over $10,000 each. If I remember correctly, I think Jay Leachman told me that Shanigan died at about 3 or 4 while on a foot trimming table....a common structural problem for cattle that carry too much weight......they're kinda like people too....perhaps someday we'll have EPD's for problems Smile

Incidently, I might mention that my Landmark heifer calves born in my herd averaged 4# heavier than his bull calves, but he did leave me three productive F1 cows when he was mated to Qualton daughters.....I suppose it has something to do with Nature restoring the proper hormone levels, or something... Smile

Anyway like me, my associates and friends Les and Jay Leachman had some super high dollar sales. They also bred a bull named Leachman Hoss, #10654079 born in 1985, out of the infamous Leachman Lass 1004 cow. His current EPD is very similar to Landmarks only with "better" carcass values...but his $W value of a minus $1.85 is $11.16 "better" than Shanigan's...but that, plus a dollar more for his $B (40.75 - 39.75), comes at a MATERNAL cost increase in $EN of 23.52 more FOR a commercial cow/calf producer (34.40 - 10.88) when comparing Hoss to Shanigan.....but this is just the price of progress Smile

Measuring net production of beef in EPD dollars, for another non-related example, Leachman's also bred the $150,000 Leachman Right Time #11750711, born in 1992, one of the more popular sons of the infamous EXT, with much better, more balanced EPD which "fits NOW MORE THAN EVER", yet RT's $B at 5.45 higher than Lobelle of Wye's comes at an additional MATERNAL EN$ cost of 46.21. Now I don't make this stuff up, we need to believe in the numbers Smile

Natural law....someone wins and someone loses and the loser is usually the commercial cow/calf producer. Leachman's sold their Bozeman herd privately a few years ago and I have not heard much about that herd of cattle since as time marches on....I'm still here stupidly plugging along, I suppose one of the reasons we earned the reputed nickname of being "dumb farmers". Smile

FAITH IN NUMBERS....two years after John Crouch wrote me that Dec 2003 letter, he wrote the following article in the November 2005 Angus Journal in regards to SUPERLATIVES. The people he went hunting with, Roy Wallace died a couple of years ago and I'm not sure whether Doug and Molly Hoff are still in business or not....I'm rather uninformed since I quit subscribing to the Angus Journal. As most of you know the Hoff herd became very famous for big cattle promoting light birthweights with 1400+ yearling weights, extra ordinary curve benders. Doug and Molly visited my herd several years ago and I could feel that they were very disappointed in my "ordinary" cattle.....and I wasn't interested in their extra-ordinary ones either. Smile

I do want to remind you all that the subject of this post is all about "smiley faces" and laughing at all the dumb things we do..."smile and the world smiles with you". I am not being critical of breeders or animals. My sole purpose for the above examples is to demonstrate why I became so infatuated with distributions within a gene pool. I can't even begin to imagine how the randomized process of genes gathered together to produce a Shanigan from his ancestry while in my presence. And when I sold Viking for $50,000 at the Midland test sale, I can tell you I did begin to believe in the gift of miracles, like pots of gold at the end of the rainbow Smile

And when the sky cleared, what a let down to see all the debris left behind from the storms after the rainbow disappeared with its pot of gold along with the miracle bulls and cows. Sobering up from my drunken spree, I had to learn the humdrum of how to increase the frequency of the characters being sought in accordance with the limitations of natural law.....rather fascinating how a clear mind can simplify things. Smile

So, when Mike posted this statement in reference to his purchased OCC Kalispel bull.....and that precipitated my little foray into the fat cow, bad feet, no milk, infertile genetics so prepotent that I saw it immediately with little damage to the cow herd; just my pocket book and ego.....I laughed thinking of all my own bad experiences and was reminded of what Ed Oliver said "I often wonder what it must be like trying to breed cattle with one of everything that ever walked to deal with" ....and when Gavin says "...Any thought to cross her or bypass her is doomed to failure. Anytime that you step outside her she makes the cost very high" .....and how we all must wonder if someday a breed will ever try to breed more consistency into our "good" cattle, or wait for someone else to do it.

Goodness has a pattern, and so does greatness...which one is more beneficial - "to be or not to be, that is the question". Smile None of us can change a single mistake we all made during the yesterdays. We've seen how one bad "apple" can spoil a whole barrel....and that is why Gavin told me he closed his herd. The more we do going round and round in this crazy world, I have never been so convinced that the Tru-Line concept is the only way to truly improve the economics of beef production for every improving the "consistant goodness" of the parts, not consistently changing them into superlatives of something else.

When I selected the base animals for my experimental project, please notice on Bob's detailed pedigree that Beauigan had a BW of 70#, a NR of 99, a progeny record from 6 herds with a NR of 100, a YR of 101 and a limited number of daus had a progeny NR of 102. Qualton, in the Wye herd had a BW of 75#, a NR of 110, 153 progeny from 6 herds had a NR of 100, a YR of 100 and 37 daus from 3 herds had a progeny NR of 101. No greatness is evident here Smile

NEITHER THE BEST NOR THE WORST.....And I truly believe that is in rythm with natural law, that that is why Nature gives us more of her distributions around the center.....and why I chose this center of balance for my preferred maternal REproduction level in a moderate environment. I do believe I have the needed genes in this smaller sphere of this isolated population to achieve my objectives. I've had my flings with extremes. I've had experiences with inbreeding regression and restoration. I am aware of much more of the invisible in my own cattle than I am of others.....never perfect, but slowly improving for their purpose....I think!!!! Smile

Eddie Martin says: I still drift back to the thought about the genes turning on and off. If the males seem to exhibit the "off" position in their youth and the females do not exhibit any "off" traits, is it something of or including the Y genes that are the ones that turn off? Poor question, but you can probably make a silk purse out of it! Of the bulls pictured in this most recent chapter, how many/which were "on" and which were "off"? I have observed no differences in sexual "regression", it seems to generally occur individually, in both sexes.

Not being a geneticist, perhaps I view things this way Eddie. When we have a simple recessive or latent allele like dwarfism or other detrimentals, how do we explain that a single pair of these alleles or genes can predominate and disrupt the entire anatomy of an animal. As defined, prepotent animals have the unusual ability of an individual or strain to transmit its characters to offspring because of homozygosity for numerous dominant genes. That predominance can either be favorable or unfavorable, a double edged sword Smile So when that random half is transmitted to the next generation, I have observed that a similar mating of inbred animals produces a similar result and remains predominant, good or bad, favorable or unfavorable.

The way a layman like me tries to understand the process, when mated to a complementary outcross, that "unfavorable or favorable" predominance can be changed into a LATENT position, what I call a "turned off" condition that is still there. It can be turned on and become predominant again in the ABSENCE of other dominant alleles or other predominating genetic arrangements. We all know that in Angus color, "C" (black) is dominant over "c" (red) but in the ABSENCE of "C", two latent "c's" become dominant and are prepotent in red....and we have observed that some characters are linked to the "horned or polled genes".

With multiple alleles affecting or linked to the overall genome, I have used the following theoretical example to explain complementarity if the big "A's" are favorable and the little "a's" are unfavorable. No one knows for sure about how all the interrelationships of genes all work together beyond theory....and genomic science cannot change natural I don't expect any "miracles", even gene splicing will have an effect overall : ) I recall a discussion between Dr. Willham and Dr. Brinks while riding with them in a car about splicing a gene into a cat to cause it to have a bob tail....and it also caused the cat to have one less whisker on the other end Smile

Prepotent Genotype of one animal or strain.............crossed with...........the prepotent type of another
AA AA AA aa aa aa aa ----------------------- aa aa aa AA AA AA AA

In a perfect world Smile the resulting first cross progeny would = Aa Aa Aa Aa Aa Aa Aa = and we would have perfect consistency of only the favorable, however, the next generation of the progeny we are back to the real world, trying to increase the favorable gene frequency of what we visibly see.....the simple but time consuming difficulty....and so Eddie, I don't know if this makes a silk purse out of it or not in the confounding links of the new whole Smile

I think I have been calloused from my obsessions for a long time now, having this incurable plague that's toxic to the traditional mainstream Smile From the archives of my files, the themes of my 1982 sale catalog described my thoughts about the sale offering being "The End of the Beginning for Fundamental Accomplishment Towards Prepotency.....Efficiency from Consistency....Genetic Stupidity Must be the Supreme Cosmetic..... Chasing Rainbows". My preface in that catalog was concluded with the following "editorial" written in 1926.

The above article corrects my previous post where I talked about my visit with J.B. Lingle shortly before his death, I thought it was about 1983 when in fact when I reread this, I noticed he passed away Dec 4th, l981.

As long as Keeney Corner posters and lurkers are willing to be gluttons for punishment Smile , in my next post I can furnish additional information on 6357's relatives in regards to Keystones comments of - "My 6357 is looking better all the time, Powell Eli 6254 KReg: AAA +15505435. He will likely be the dominant bull next year. I like him more and more as he matures"...and to Slims comment about wanting more information on Shoshone Ester 3116. I can get into more detail about the invisible relatives of that group's ancestry. I have nothing to hide from the past public documents, they are what they are...however, the details of what I'm doing now and in the future will remain relatively private....the "mysterious secrets" are greater than reality Razz Smile Smile

Mark, I don't have a full semen tank but I do have a fair amount of significant pictures of the past. In regards to older semen, I might just say that some bulls become greater in death than they were in life, like some people Smile I have no need to go back in time, I don't think I lost anything valuable from genetic drift, but there's some stuff I hope I lost somewhere along the way and it won't come back to haunt me again Smile

And Craig, I hope the seasons will help you melt your boys snow fort, maybe instead of peppering them, you might try salt.....pouring it in their wounds. Smile

Heres hoping we all have a good New Year, just be careful of what you wish for in your New Year's resolutions Smile I've put lots of smiley faces in this post to keep things in perspective, where birds of a feather on the Keeneys Corner clothesline can sit and happily chirp together .... not to laugh so as to never die, but just doing what we can while we can, cows are just cows....remembering that Bootheel always signs off with "life is GOOD"....not great Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:15 am

Mike wrote:

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer,
let it be, let it be...

Mark Day wrote:
Mr. Larry,
You are amazing. Can't help but wonder what do your customer's cattle look like that for years have done nothing more than tell you to send them 5-10 bulls or whatever and never agonized over any decisions and bit of information because they never collected any info. They would just turn the bulls out and keep a group of heifers when needed.

Mike responded :
Taylor Orr described the commercial herd across the fence from a set of his cows where "for years have done nothing more than tell you to send them 5-10 bulls or whatever and never agonized over any decisions and bit of information " as the kind of herd he would like to have" or "the best cows around" or something to that effect...anyway, the statement was glowing enough that Larry said it was worth the trip over the roughassed roads just to hear that statement alone Smile

Mark, the real amazing thing is how life itself works and gets along so well despite man. You may not realize what a vast and open country this is out here so asking me what my customers cattle look like without furnishing them with a bit of information is like asking me what a herd of Buffalo look like. Smile They're moderate work and wear cows where the outliers on both sides of the spectrum with problems eliminate customers tend to follow JAD's slogan "less problems, more profit".

For example, the 500 head commercial herd Mike is referring to is the Owen McKeith Ranch at Reedpoint, MT, typical of many in this area. Owen, his wife Catherine and son-in-law Matt operated that ranch by themselves and in addition to the cows, farmed several hundred acres of mostly dryland grains and hay. Owen bought his first two bulls from me in my 1984 sale. It was common in those days that most of the bulls sold for prices based on their size. That sale averaged $1654, Owen paid 1800 for a non papered bull and 2500 for another, both smaller bulls. That was the beginning of a long relationship. He bought most of his bulls from me over the years, never the bigger bulls. I price all my bulls the same, double the average price of commercial bred cows.

McKeith's started their calving at the end of Feb in order to get that job out of the way before they needed to start farming each spring. Their steers always wgh'd from 630 to 650 lbs in the forepart of Nov and they would sell their surplus heifers for replacements after the first of the year for more money per head than the steers brought. When the buyers of the heifers would ask Owen where he bought the bulls that produced those quality heifers, it never really helped my bull sales cause my bulls generally weren't big enough to suit 'em. Owen told me about how his neighbors using big bulls or exotic crosses had these piles of dead calves each spring and shaking his head wanted no part of that.

Owen died, Matt and Catherine continued running the ranch for about three more years, but Matt was diagnosed with Lou Gerhig's disease and Catherine had just entered a nursing home when Mike and I visited Taylor a few years ago. The end of an honest, no nonsense, practical, low cost, profitable working operation that avoided extremes and egoism. I always tried to provide him with "just enough" genetic variation to avoid phenotypic regression without disruption.

In my previous post I talked about the pursuits of superlatives and how mainstream registered breeders tend to create their own problems and pass them on down. I regret thinking back how often I was responsible for unknowlngly doing this very same thing. This post involves some of the animals that contributed to the current gene pool of the herd as it is evolving from selection with primary emphasis on maternal values. For my objectives, most of you know by now that maternal is more about reducing problems than it is quantitative production.

Most of the data, pictures etc. I submit may be of little interest to most of you but for those who may have some of the related bloodlines may be interested in the sequential selection processes of the types of the ancestry. Since I am a proponent of stabilizing types, Mike and I have often talked about how neat it would be to have "ordinary unembellished" picture pedigrees in lieu of standard ones to demonstrate the depth and CONTINUITY of TYPE SELECTION rather than how much the cattle have been changed.....the purpose of a breed as presented by that article in the Breeder's Gazette at the end of my last post. I think most everyone on Keeneys Corner enjoys the ordinary pictures that are posted by everyone.

From a genetic standpoint, I think most of us struggle with the opposite effects between outbreeding and inbreeding during selection. I have been told that the positive phenotypic effects of heterosis are NON- ADDITIVE.....and how many of us stop and think that the negative phenotypic effects of homozygosis would also be NON- ADDITIVE since both revert to their basic average over time. Hybrid vigor/heterosis is explained as a "phenomenon" resulting from hybridization wherein offspring display greater vigor, size, etc than the parents....obviously homozygousity would have the reverse effect from any given centerpoint.

So, learning from history from an example of a closed herd, the below chart is the year by year trend of the PHENOTYPIC weaning weights of the Wye herd that Eddie Draper sent me in 2006. In response to Wye's overall comprehensive selection criteria, the distributions seem to indicate that the results are neither significant progression nor regression, but a rearrangement of the same gene pool over and over again

I want to remind everyone that when I use real live examples, it is to provide some evidence of the modes of inheritance and what happens.....not to praise or condemn any herd or individual animals, nor to opine the positive or negative merits of a breeding program, but to describe the results of breeding and selection methodologies. The primary purpose here is to learn from the past in order to reach a greater understanding, to help each of us to make more realistic selection decisions in each of our own herds of cattle with fewer disappointments. I am not the judge or jury, Nature is. Smile

MARC research has demonstrated how we must maintain the percent of heterosis lest we "regress" back down to the average of the parents, whatever that was.....BUT, I have not heard much talk about how we must maintain the percent of homozygousity lest we "progress" back up to the average of the parents, whatever that was. I think the above chart offers a good example of this. So, the simple mysterious secret to all this is that we must know what the average of the parents are in order to know what ANY PHENOTYPIC PROGRESSION OR REGRESSION WILL REVERT TO....and we measure that by averages of the distributions with EPD.

To help keep things straight in my own simple mind, whatever that average is or was, GENETICS IS A NUMBERS AND PROBABILITIES GAME OF PERCENTAGES as selection begins to increase or decrease the gene frequency for whatever characters we emphasize or prefer. When I described the averages of Landmark and Shanigan, they represented the visible characters we were preferring or emphasizing at that point in time....and of course much to our dismay, we also decreased the frequency of other characters. I am certainly not qualified to scientifically explain how all this happens .

Most of us know all this but we tend to ignore the fact that looks may only be skin deep. What I can try to explain is what we do. We see the phenotypic benefits of a cross. To sustain the non-additive effects of heterosis, we seek another outcross usually to newer and higher levels, and another, and another, most often with extremes or the "best" from the distributions. The continuum of trade-offs and correctional processes fuel this timeless perpetual motion machine in our pursuits of more and more comprehensive perfection.....and the higher our standards, the more we cull.

In my previous post, I talked about the importance of distributions within an average AND SAID I did have three useful productive cows from Landmark when mated to Qualton daus...somewhat genetic opposites....but then what happens next is dependent on the next mating or selection emphasis....the give and take of genetic trade-offs. I've often wondered why anyone would want the headaches and stress of trying to breed better and better cattle, I'd rather just turn the job over to Nature and be a spectator watching the genes fight their invisible battles for predominance with their available forces as commanded by their generals.

Bootheel said ....I do remember the days of Shannigan, and remember thinking, how it must be impossible for something to have that little amount of milk. My Dad had similar experience with the 60E son, so widely used in the late 70's and early 80's, as he would breed the bag off of a very milky cow, in one generation, but of course not all, and the ones left behind, for me to observe, were pretty good. I smiled when he said "the ones left behind were pretty good".....percentages.....I did have one productive Franchester cow, the dam of Shoshone Pied Piper KFD20, registration #9563705 born in 1979, an outcross sired by Rito "149", one of the most popular "total performance" bulls and herds of that time period.

I also remember much later seeing a flush of five full brothers to Rito 149 being exhibited at the Denver Stock Show one year, but I never heard anything about them since....perhaps it was because that was during the races for frame era and those cattle didn't fit that fashion of the day. I have come to believe that most of our confoundment stems from these distributions and our subsequent selection emphasis from those natural distributions. Any herd, breed or composite is a pool of genes and I prefer to think of any individual therefrom as an isolated population of those genes....that random half from each parent. To just look at a pedigree can be very misleading and I wondered why a poster was trying to trace the Eileenmere cattle back beyond the 50's with all the selection changes that have transpired since.

For example, from selection emphasis on increasing performance, as an individual, Pied Piper expressed a BW of 98#, ratio 128, born 3/22/79, on 9/27 he had a WW of 592#, adj 205 day by MBPA IPR of 666# with a NR of 116, 83 contemporaries. He was placed on the MIdland Bull Test and had a GR of 113 with 218 Midland contemporaries, a final weight of 1165#, a YR of 111 with an adj. YW of 1148#, an IPR index of 111. Beyond his individuality, we know his current EPD represent measures of what he transmits on average to his progeny in comparison to breed average, which is constantly changing.

For a layman like me, it would be much simpler if the base from wherever the measures started remained at zero and any changes would be plus or minus therefrom...but for whatever scientific or marketing reasons, they're not, which necessitates carrying a computer around with us to stay current. Anyway, here are his current EPD and his phenotype pictured as a two and a half year old.

As of 12/30/2010 Production Maternal
CED___BW____WW____YW___RADG____YH____SC___Doc___CEM___Milk___MkH___MkD___MW___MH___ $EN

-1___+3.4___+24____+32___+.12____+.4___-.24___+9____+3____+5___ 60____179___+48___+.6___+25.98

_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg____ Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+12____+.26___+.09__+.016____ 2_________5

__$W______ $F______ $G______ $QG______ $YG______ $B
+11.34___ -13.38__ +19.00___ +16.21_____ +2.79___ +34.14

What is not shown by these averages is the distributions from which we make our selections. This bull was and transmitted VERY SOUND predominate structural conformation. About 20% of his daughters, the largest in the distribution, were slower breeders. The power of selection, I had to smile from my hindsight when Mike posted his experience with Shoshone Fraser 6357, a son of Pied Piper out of the 6357 Balboa daughter, who would lack the anticipated "total performance" of Pied Piper so we might call Fraser a diluted version on average of the Pied Piper bull's average characters for growth, or....maybe not until after evaluation.
This is what Mike says:

Subject: Re: Reflections from LL Thu 23 Dec 2010, 8:14 am from MIke Keeney

Since I`ve half-assed traipsed along on this journey through the years, recounting
a lot of it is rather painful for me...nothing moreso than failing to capture in renewable form
the goodness of the above cow. Joe mentioned to me this morning how he would like
having a herd of Balboa daughters; the cows I was most impressed with on my first trip to Larrys...but
when I used Balboa a little here AI ON MY COWS; they were not big enough..or so I thought;
they probably were Blythe sized...another brain turn off...
I remember seeing Fraser as a yearling and telling Joe when I got home I had saw a
really nice bull for a future purchase...we didn`t wait long; paid $5000 and bought him as
a two year old. He got pretty big; sired the Rito/Francester birthweight and very
merchandizable bulls...the daughters were big cows with milk in perfect udders.
They happened to be the cows in inventory when Joe had re-breeding problems;
maybe caused by SE defieciency; too much chicken manure, who knows...anyway,
we blamed it on genetics; too big a cow with too much milk, and that precipitated my
little foray into the fat cow, bad feet, no milk, infertile genetics so prepotent that I saw
it immediately with little damage to the cow herd; just my pocket book and ego.
The open Fraser`s moved from Joe`s spring herd to my fall herd, and settled routinely...
typical in this environment. Yes, too big to recreate the 6357 dam, but very problem free...
below is one of the smaller daughters {1300plus) running on nothing but stockpile grass;
hard at work proving how brain dead I`ve been, and what a farce the guru`s of low input
genetics truly are...

I`m sure glad she is stuck in the grand mother slot of a couple of bulls I`m using...
the genes are still here; they need better organization

Mike, from intimate familiarity with the ancestry of this cow pictured on the paternal side, I did notice she had more of a typical "Rito" hip rather than a typical "Shoshone" one as expressed by 6357 as shown above. Whether one type "hip" is preferable over another is a matter of personal judgement, but I did notice you said she was one of the "smaller" Fraser daus. And Mike, I had to smile again in hindsight thinking about how often we pick a bull, like most of us often do, wanting him to be the BEST bull in the pen and produce daughters just like his productive the BEST bulls always seem to be out of good productive, often smaller or moderate mothers compared to the average of a herd.

I'm not sure if this happens from an effect of heterosis or genetic complementarity since they both mean about the same thing.... but this frequent circumstance brings back shades of my memories with Blythe, Luria, Loanda, Leachman Lass 1004, the Jorgensen Skylandmere or Algoma it often takes the difference of the two to produce what we see as "our BEST bulls". For reproductive characters, I am convinced that strong sexual distinction is paramount. I'd rather not try to explain why these "best highest performing bulls" seldom leave daughters as productive as their mothers beyond my own theories, I only know it happens most of the time and have painfully learned to avoid them for my own personal objectives.

Distributions....I thought about the major phenotypic difference between the two full sisters I had sired by Pied Piper out of my base #1702 cow, Shoshone Erica 1707 #10393614 born in 1983 and Shoshone Erica 1714 #11155041 born in 1988.....Mike, I sold the first one (1707) to your neighbor Mike Thomas, and her mature weight was at least 200-300 lbs LESS with a current BW EPD of -.3 compared to her full sister (1714), who I sold to Theo Costas and has a current BW EPD of +3.2, a difference of 3.5. Random gene distributions....I've provided the registry numbers so anyone can look up the entire EPD of both cows, both born from the same cow. Fraser's EPD and phenotype pictured at about the same age as his sire are shown below....and of course higher accuracies would be better but there STILL WILL ALWAYS BE "DISTRIBUTIONS" to select from that ultimately determines a selection direction:

As of 12/30/2010 Production Maternal
CED___BW___WW____YW___RADG___YH____SC___Doc____CEM___Milk___MkH___MkD___ MW___MH___$EN
-4___+4.0___+38___+53___+.11___+.2__+.17____+7____ +1___+13___ 17_____60___ +3____+.2__+19.19

_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg____ Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg

__$W______ $F______ $G______ $QG______ $YG______ $B
+23.66____ -.67___ +18.78___ +15.84_____ +2.94___ +28.28

In my eyes, the phenotypic likeness of Fraser is amazingly similar to Pied Piper's. I don't know how many of you will remember from my previous post, but I know Ben will, that when I told Ben that the full sister to Peter and Paul may have inherited her interim BW EPD from SELECTION from the very top portion of her paternal pedigree....that it would be difficult to visably project simply because she was the result of ET, having been born and raised from a recipient donor cow.... but based on the genetics of probabilities, I would venture to guess that the predicted EPD would be relatively accurate.

However, that particular individual, JAD Prudence 6110, by random chance may have inherited "more" of 6357....I did wonder just what John meant when he said in his catalog "She's going to mature a little later, so take care of her when she is young....", I had to laugh since I was unable to decipher whether John meant she was small....or, bigger and later maturing....we'll know several years from now.

And speaking of Ben's, when Oldtimer said the picture of Shoshone Euston 3131 "caught his eye", he was sired by a bull named Shoshone Ben 1012 of my favorite older bulls who left me a high percentage of the more solid work and wear cows I prefer, ....if anyone wants to look up the very bottom of his extended pedigree, I think you might find the selection processes very interesting going back to the "Y10" cow, born in 1971. I cannot stress enough that the averages of EPD differences are often insignificant. I have often thought that the significance is the selection within the distribution of any average....the direction is whether we select the top outliers, the intermediates or the lowliers Smile

Highpockets asked: Mike, Larry, someone...........please expand on this a little more. I think I understand that when linebreeding, the top and bottom (outliers) should be sold and only the middle/average kept to perpetuate the program but when you talk about variation in phenotype, how much variation before you consider the animal an outlier? As you might guess, until now I've always brushed off linebreeding as something I couldn't afford to experiment with. Now, I'm beginning to think that I can't afford not to.

Linebreeding per se is often defined as having a common lineage to a presumably superior individual. Unless you have an intimate familiarity with the individual(s), I suppose establishing a type would be a form of linebreeding with emphasis for certain characters. Before all else, the preferred type must ultimately be determined. Lofty ambitions for an ideal with high standards is common, but economic practicality often dictates what type is sustainable and also affordable. Perhaps the rest of this post will provide you with some ideas or guidelines to consider.....hindsight is often 20/20.

For example, when Mike said above that "Joe mentioned to me this morning how he would like having a herd of Balboa daughters; the cows I was most impressed with on my first trip to Larrys...but when I used Balboa a little here AI ON MY COWS; they were not big enough..or so I thought; they probably were Blythe sized...another brain turn off..." I have shown a picture before of Balboa as a yearling, an IBC of 28.37 and his immediate ancestry on page 16.....the picture of him below is as a more mature bull at three plus years of age.

Hardly anyone would have selected this bull based on his type nor on the size of his daus at that period in Mike said he liked the type but they weren't large enough in a perrformance oriented society. There was no individual phenotypic selection involved from a group of contemporaries, he was the only one and so I got whatever he happened to based on selected ancestry, I just "let it be... " Smile

So Highpockets, to answer your questions, even if Balboa represented a litter of full brothers to select from, from my experiences I doubt there would have been a significant difference in what those full brothers would transmit in their distributions. Mike and I have been messing around with this narrow gene pool for about 30 years now with varying degrees of IBC's with many individuals in the distributions. Ultimately selection determines direction and for me, the average is still what I would want them to be for me, perhaps not for Mike or thee. Smile

We're all too familiar with how our ideal types and directions may change over time from experience. I recalled a picture of a cow Mike sent me several years ago, believe she was a Balboa dau or somehow connected to his "902" bull. I was amazed how much she looked like a picture I had of my base 1702 cow, Balboa's dam, taken in 1987....even the switching of their tails. The first picture is Balboa's dam, the 2nd picture is Mike's low EPD "Balboa" cow, and the third picture is one he sent me at the same time of his Leachman Tonto high EPD "fescue intolerant" daughter.

The picture of the bottom cow is not meant to be ridicule, but an example to demonstrate the importance of adaptable types beyond numbers. For another example, Tonto #10937839, born in 1987 has an extremely interesting pedigree to demonstrate mixed ancestry. He was another popular bull out of the infamous Leachman Lass 1004 cow, a grandaughter of "Shoshone", sired by the widely used Rito 2100 of GDAR. For those who are interested in the "pursuit of progress" based on pedigrees from multiple mixes of the "best" of the registered breed, may I suggest each of you spend about an hour logging on AAA and trace the pedigrees and EPD of each and every individual back several generations as an example of how genetically "mongrelized" the breed has become.

This mix and match approach to breeding by the numbers seems to be preferable for much of the mainstream and as I said before, it is passed on down to anyone who has been brainwashed to accept this methodology of selection. I don't enjoy being a contrarian but I call these pursuits of progress "pedigreed lotteries" hoping for a more comprehensive big winner. I do not like this popular changing process but I accept the facts of life that it is just part of our Nature to create many games to play like we do in all of life

I am aware that I often become a very obnoxious person to be around, a spoilsport....but I am going into a great amount of detail here for those who are genuinely interested in what happens with real world genetics....not for those who may think I am only promoting my cattle. All this detail consumes alot of time to prepare and for you to properly analyze it for your behalf.... and is of little consequence and likely too boring to those who prefer to "thrash around changing cattle" the same ole traditional way.

So, I had to laugh at J. Bob Hould's sense of humor when he said - There is no possiable way to talk to each other about livestock of any sort without some sort of ID system. Until the livestock is of exact kind. Until then there will always be numbers(ear tags) names(%&@@@() and some sort of ID system. THere has to be, without it what the heck are we talking about. There would be no need for words, because we would not have anything to talk about. THis thread would be pictures and nothing else. Back to Blythe, is there even a chance that in ones lifetime to recreate her consistantly?
Since I've never been short on words or pictures, I also had to laugh thinking of Eddie M wanting me to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, I think we can, I think we can, "Still a chance that they will see, there will be an answer, let it be, let it be" Smile So when J. Bob wonders about recreating a type consistantly in one`s lifetime, I think of the 1926 Breeder's Gazetter article again, how success is not obtained in a season, and I think about how much success have we actually had in "determining that the qualities sought are DEFINITELY FIXED" . I think whenever we do, how then we changed 'em over and over again during these many seasons of the last 200 years of breeding Angus cattle.

And so, when Slim asked for more information on the cow Shoshone Ester 3116, I have often thought about whether my years of efforts to "FIX" the qualities I seek will just be another wasted effort or not....and I wonder at my day's end does it really matter if the improved prepotency of the characters I'm seeking are diluted again. In any event, for those interested besides Slim, the 3116 cow's dam was a typical Balboa daughter. By placing more or less the same isolated gene pool back together again. the sire of 3116 was a bull called Shoshone Quent 7103, #10393682 born in 1983.

I have shown the phenotypic photos of Balboa's ancestry on prior posts, so the phenotypic expressions of the other individuals of 3116's ancestry are shown below. If you look up his AAA pedigree, Quent's sire "Intent" is the first picture below, out of a Qualton dau #GEA27. Quent's dam is the center picture, cow "#7103", one of my preferred types of Qualton daus, and "Quent" is the bottom picture shown as a yearling on summer pasture breeding cows.

Of course, selection at this point in time (mid 80's) had shifted to establishing a preferred type FROM WITHIN A SELECTED PORTION OF THE HERD. Certainly there are many other cattle available besides the ones I have in the world to select characters from whatever ideal someone may prefer. In this regard, I want to address Oldtimers post.

Oldtimer asked: I know talking individual animals is a no-no on here-- but since both Mike and Larry over the time have brought up a number of old Wye and Shoshone bulls- Shoshone Felix 6310 J O D, Shoshone Encore 6310, Shoshone Viking GD-60, Shoshone Bob, Shoshone Eric, etc., etc. that you raised or used-- I was wondering if either of you would comment on if and if so which of the bulls had the biggest impact on your program....

The reason this came to mind was on the 5 Bar X site we were talking about the Black Cedar bull- and I mentioned his sire- the old "Cedar" CH Quantum 6247... Which months ago when talking to one of the fellows that had owned him had commented extremely highly on the Shoshone Intent KGEA27 bull- and that he thought much of the good qualities of 6247 had came from being double bred back to that Intent bull and that he thought he was one of the better Shoshone raised bulls....

First of all I don't mind talking about these individual animals simply because they are real examples of genetic selection processes and the results thereof, they are dead and gone from the scene. Some bulls are rumored to be greater or poorer over time from what was selected from the distributions that they left behind over time . They all have within their distributions their pros and cons. So I suppose my honest answer is that they were all a part of the somewhat related gene pool that had parts of the characters I was trying to extract and organize into a smaller isolated population. Some contributed more than others.

To increase the frequency of my more preferred characters in the absence of others, it is a slow and tedious process of trial and error. Anyone could take any other animals of their preference and do about the same thing to build prepotency for their preferred characters, the difficulty is in determining the type you'd be satisfied with.

Shoshone Intent #9517083 was born in 1979, a NR of 119 and sold to Bill Pope in GA in my 1980 sale for $18,500. Bill was so elated with this bull's first progeny crossed on his Emulous based cows, that he asked me to pick out another Intent son to mate back to his Intent daughters to "INTENSIFY' that goodness. When someone saw Intent's first progeny, Bill told me they offered him $150,000 for the bull. At his request, I sent him an Intent son, a bull named Shoshone Beacon 2005 #10393669, born in 1983, with a NR of 112, who's dam was Shoshone Eileen GD20 #8806007(my idea of a model cow pictured on page 19 of this topic).

What was so very interesting to me is how the confirmation of Natural law prevailed in Bill's close matings.... the temporary complementarity of the first cross "disappeared" in the subsequent close bred progeny, and since Bill was focused on increased performance during that time period, it was natural that Bill would be disappointed. I have no idea what Bill ever did with the Beacon bull....the bull certainly did have the genetic potential to help "FIX" the characters I am seeking. But that is just more water over the dam of wasting another bull for all the different reasons.

Intent's sire, Viking was progeny tested for defects on 35 daus, with the monitoring help of AAA and Ben Lawson the owner and organizer, much of which was done in a herd in ND and a few other herds. I never heard a thing about those inbred progeny from that point on. The same with the progeny testing that Dr. Bartenslager did on Shannon's 35 daus....I offered to buy those inbred cattle but I don't know what they ever did with them, if anything. In my own case with Shanigan, most of those inbred progeny were sub-fertile.

These particular bulls were declared genetic defect free. To critique the process, I suppose infertility is not considered an important defect by AAA members, nor are any of the other commonly accepted more complex problems or defects that we all deal with on a daily basis trying to manage a vast array of more economically important issues. I have learned it is difficult to uphold fertility inbreeding extremes, but fairly easy in properly hormone balanced animals....Not just in my herd, but in others as well. If you don't believe me, try it....I did learn to understand alot about natural law in my lifetime.

The mainstream traditional selection creates more problems than it solves. It is from what we do that science and research concluded that we need to have an F1 cow or heterosis to improve fertility. Science has been measuring the results of our selection and extremes and we sure as hell do need Nature to help straighten us out. We may need an F1 cow to manage latent problems but not to improve fertility, or longevity, or mothering ability, or disposition, or good udders, or increased production, or structural conformation, or increased milk, or built in vigor.....after our last 100 years, we need to rearrange our selection priorities.

It is my own personal problem that I cannot tolerate the misgivings and perfectionists in this business. I have never met a breeder who knowingly wants to increase the incidence of problems but we do in our races for extremes. No one understands more than I how difficult it is to sell close bred cattle lacking the phenotypic effects of heterosis based on visible individual performance.... and why there is so little close breeding practiced to increase prepotency in order to harness hybrid power.

And yet, I have to laugh how increased prepotency of certain over emphasized traits causes continual directional cycles of change in this crazy business over time anyway...but just at a much slower pace...we just can't [color=red]"let it be". /color] Smile I do need to constantly remind everyone that my focus is on a means to IMPROVE the EFFICIENCY of beef production, which definitely includes the management of problems...not the genetically impossibility of eliminating them !!!!

I recently received another email from Gavin Falloon that I thought was appropriate to introduce here since this is a topic on opinions and philosophies. He said in part:
I have , of course not seen tha Wye cows, except in Jim Lingle’s book. But one thing is certain that our plane of nutrition is much lower. Our bulls appear to do well over Wye cows. That is not surprising as it would recover both lots of inbreeding depression and from reading the book , I think that Wyes could be quite high !

The ultimate in animal breeding would be to have a number of breeders each single factor selecting for a single trait. Because you can go much faster that way. Then have a breeder crossing them. Multi factor selection like we are doing is so slow and will take many years to make much progress. But people being just people it could never happen.

At a public forum over here YEARS AGO, our professor of Genetics said that they would like to see Falloon with 100 contributors to his Group not just four. But my reply was that too get four breeders to be disciplined enough to follow a clearly stated plan was hard enough, it would be impossible with more.

At the beginning we had a meeting with T.S. (our geneticist) at my place. Before the meeting we looked over each persons cattle. One of the breeders had a different looking bull , that on performance was ahead. “They” decided that “they” had too have the right not to use that bull because he was not conventional. They got up and made their request. I got up and said either they use unconventional bulls if they are at the top or they can walk out the door right now !.

At one stage I was doing all the calculation for 800 cows, selcting all the bulls that were used after T.S had taught me. I quickly found it was far more valuable for each breeder to do his own cows because it gave them much more knowedge of their cattle.

Even after all this one of the breeders would sneak off and buy a bull. I would turn up to go over the cattle and say what is that bull. He would say that I found that bull and it is just what my herd wants. Every time he fell flat on his face. But he never learn so he fell further and further behind in the programme.

My goodness what a lot of gas! . It is time that I shut up !

The cows shown in Lingle's book were not highly inbred at that time and without a hesitation of doubt, Falloon's bulls would do well over Wye type cows.

I did have to laugh from his story because I think the current primary Waigroup still consists of only 3 people or herds. No one knows more than I how difficult it is after 30 years to accomplish the "ultimate in animal breeding", but somehow I believe it will still happen despite "people being just people". People have distributions too, and there are some people on the other end of the mainstream curve that can make it happen.....certainly not overnite, but over time in a gradual step by step direction, and perhaps special purpose strains could be called flat liners to straighten out the incomprehensive and inefficient fallacies of curve benders.

Beginning where it all starts and that is maternal strains...more prepotent types. Some of you might wonder what a "Wye" type of cow is and I would also describe it as a "Bonsma" type. I reflect back reminded of how I thought Cow 3128 #11303817 was one of my near perfect ideal types. As a first calf heifer, she was so perfectly uddered, so full of feminine grace, so structurally sound, being the 2nd dau born in 1989 from cow #3116...kinda like love at first sight, the same as when I first saw her dam begin production. 3116's first calf, cow 3121 #11154982 was AI sired by Rito "549" and grew into a large volumed 15-1600 lb cow and I certainly didn't expect that my "progressive" attempts to stay up with the mainstream would actually turn out to be "regressive".

According to the current EPD values comparing these two maternal sisters, the most significant difference favoring 3128 was in $EN, $W, $G and $B values in addition to many other unmeasured traits. So I laughed thinking of the phrase "the faster we go the behinder we get". I did get tired of falling "flat on my face" so many times from the unintended consequences of natural law....unlike Gavins one cooperative breeder, I hope I learned and don't fall further and further behind.

HBR sent me a picture of the 3116 cow taken in 1997, and sent a picture of 3128 when she was 14 years old in longer teen aged beauties but both of these "ordinary" matrons lived until about 20 years of age. While it may no longer be pertinent, some of you might want to know what our foundation Ester cow looked like, #4454375 born in '64, who was purchased along with her maternal sister at the Lovald dispersal in '68 for $250 each. My brother bought her dam, who was born in '56.

With our seemingly inability to successfully renew live cows let alone dead ones, the selected genes do live on through their HBR 1116 of 3116, the bull pictured below and full brother to cow #3128 .... thanks to Mike's contribution of some Encore semen. And through Shoshone Extent 3116 #12006859 born in 1993, a bull who produced exceptionally uniform nearly flawless "ordinary" cows, nearly all keepers. I never did get a picture of Extent but his expressed phenotype was nearly identical to Quent's, the bull shown above. Some of the other primary bulls in the ancestry are portrayed below.

No one is more amazed than I am at the similarity of patterns of animals going back to Beaufort of Wye born in '68 when disruptive genes are reduced in frequency and finally can become absent from selection among an isolated gene pool. Notice how Qualton was somewhat uniquely different, pictured at nine and a half years of age still breeding cows....I nicknamed him my little beef Jersey bull since he had so many sound virtues, but too much milk, which isn't reflected in his EPD simply because that is a measure influenced by the growth factors as well.

When a bull is mated back to his close bred progeny reducing the effects of heterosis, the true prepotent genotype is revealed. For example, Echo with an IBC of 39% had an initial milk EPD of about 13, his daus first closebred progeny ratio'd 98 in the overall herd, their next set of outcross calves by C H O54 Rito 0055 #11462259 had a WR of 106 and Echo's milk EPD jumped up to +29 at that point in time.

Some of you might wonder about the name "Schearbrook" of the above pictured bull....his original name was Shoshone Rescuer B32. I sold this bull as a calf at about 3 weeks of age with his dam for $1500 for the pair in 1971. Schearbrook Farms branch in Missoula, MT decided they wanted to show this calf at the Denver Stock Show and requested a name change to include both farm names. At Denver, the pre-show rumor was that he was going to be calf champion and Schearbrook offered me $10,000 for my remaining interest about a coupla hours before the show.

Being a dumb young kid, I didn't take the offer.... he stood 4th in class....."they" said he wasn't thick enough. Schearbrook later leased the bull to Select Sires who I think initially sold about 6,000 units of semen, of which I never received a nickel, claiming I only retained a "within herd use only"...... I lived and finally learned that some people believe that when you're free, white and over 21, anything goes.....much later I learned that what goes around comes around. I later had what they didn't have, some Franchester progeny who were "thicker" and "better", a bull with a 17.6 RE at a year of age and weighed 1400# and was out of this outstandingly nice little perfect Fabron dau #1209, Friona of Wye. Smile And of course, this is the story behind Shoshone Viking GD60, who sold at the Midland Bull test sale for $50,000. I think Schearbrook Farms went out of business some time ago.

I often reflect back to how I once thought "how could we miss", I would live happily ever after with all these great cattle.... after all, we also had Memo of Wye who's dam was the high producing Fabron dau Mieta of Wye, who's progeny weaning ratio was 106 in 1981 and was also the dam of Meteor of Wye, the highest selling bull calf in the Wye bull dispersal of '78 bringing $31,500, a calf sired by the $250,000 Linebacker. What I didn't pay attention to was that Mieta had 4 daughters, presumed to be larger, with 6 progeny WR of 98 over a period of 16 years....where are they all at I wondered. Smile

Yes, we can fool some of the people some of the time.....but, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we need distinct more prepotent maternal strains if we are to ever improve efficiency in beef production. I have gotten very discouraging over the years because I never hear anyone talking about harnessing all this hybrid power. I've never heard anyone ever even utter those three simple words. I wonder what can I ever do or say to convince people of the need for the Tru-Line concept, and now you all know why I can write and write and write to no releases my pent up frustrations Smile

I know this post has a lot of superfluous content to digest and as I write my story, I remain amazed how the industry blindly dances around the issue of improving efficiency.... and it is little wonder that Craig is one of my favorite people here on KC. I have him thoroughly brainwashed. Smile Even though I extracted the following from the preface of my 1983 sale catalog, with some minor word changes, I still believe in the same principles and philosophy as always.

And I will continue onward to the next steps. I suppose it is kind of a ridiculous connotation for me to think that anyone would ever accept a herd of cows that look like the one shown below - extracted from my 1983 Tru-Line booklet. Recently I have taunted Mike over his inquisitive nature to know the proprietary pedigree of the animals pictured in my Exhibit 5. That young inbred cow's heifer calf nursing her was later so admired by an Australian visitor, that he bought her and that calf spent the rest of its life on the other side of the world.

And so I have to laugh to myself when the few visitors I get anymore see animals in my herd that look like that. I'm thinking "they" probably feel sorry for me, that my herd is going to hell in a handbasket.....because "they" usually just ignore these kind of "regressed" animals without saying anything. I can only console myself with thinking "he who laughs last laughs best". This turned out to be quite a long story of my trials and tribulations, its hard to squeeze 40 years into one post but life is swell when we stay well....this is a reflection of my breeding philosophy, cows are just cows and there will be an answer, let it be, let it be Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:17 am

Mike asked: How much larger or smaller than 3116 or 3128 was the base Ester cow, taunting us a little wanting to know how far back he should go to make Blythemakers. As individuals there wasn't any significant difference in mature size, but based on EPD numbers, there would be a always it is the individuality vs. the expected parent value and the two may not be the same. The Lovemere Ester 19 cow would have been considered an individual outlier in her day, the opposite of what was being selected for by the mainstream in her immediate ancestry....and today with her EPD she would be considered a definite lowlier, not necessarily a little NZ Lowliner. Smile

I laughed at how only Dennis could so uniquely tell his story about the Esters "......Survival of the fittest. Nature at work. Somehow I knew those 2 bulls had enough brains and athleticism that they would somehow come out of this, but I never did ask Larry any specifics so to this day I don't know how it all turned out...."

Well Dennis, they survived, some don't Smile ..... the rest of the story is that Owen McKeith called me up late and needed a couple more bulls due to injuries. I was sold out and so I sent those two bulls to him. I wish I could take credit for the so called "Shoshone influence for animal intelligence" but I can't. I laughed reminded of the nursery rhyme that ends with "leave 'em alone and they'll come home waggin their tails behind 'em". While being a poor manager can be tough on the pocketbook, it can have some long term genetic values....I've always enjoyed Dennis's stories of his observations of the antelope, deer and elk herds that roam their ranch without a bit a measured information Smile

But nothing tops his story of his "All Academic" bull and the names of his relatives. Dennis is not only an artist, he also has an artistic ability with words and imagination. Since "mere" is a synonym for "pure", Lovemere is a neater name than Eileenmere or Baroliermere, how about Vossmere.....or Keeneymeres don't sound too bad either.

I am always amazed how Nature preserves the genes that may be needed when we need them through her the virtues of the Angus cow have somehow prevailed despite us. At 14 years of age, Lovemere Ester 19's dam had the biggest framed spring bull calf at Anton Lovald's dispersal in October of 1968, near Bozeman, MT. His dispersal sale was going soooo poorly, that they stopped the sale about midway through the sale....we bought the immediate family of four Ester cows privately after the sale at the cheapest price of any registered cattle we ever bought.

We made more money from that day than if we'd of stayed home and harvested sugarbeets like we were supposed to be doing. I consigned one of the first Beaufort/Ester sons, #B31, to a WY state Angus Sale at Douglas and he was about two frame scores larger than the Black Watch Lodge of Wye sons that were there....Lodge a $250,000 bull. A commercial Hereford rancher bought #B31, used him several years and later sold him to a registered Angus breeder who was impressed with the crossbred calves he produced. Like Dennis, "I don't know how it all turned out" after that.

Another Lovald cow (of eight we purchased that day at commercial prices) was Lovemere Rosemary 11 #3446409, who became our tag #3 cow, who produced the highest performing bull at the 1974 Midland Bull Test Station, and who was also the maternal grandam of Shoshone Shannon HC3 #9034175 GDF, a bull who topped the 1978 Midland Test. I've often wondered about the fickle finger of fate from the distributions and the pros and cons of selection for extremes. Smile

For easier comparisons of the pertinent animals posters have questions about, I've listed the EPD below followed by a copy of an ad we had in the 1978 Angus Herd Reference Edition featuring Shannon. In addition to Shannon's individuality, he was entered into the AAA's structured sire evaluation which was done in commercial herds in those days. His progeny topped all other notable sires, bar none, in the measured traits of beef production with average carcass weights of 746#: I've often wondered if it was his prepotency of genetic difference that "complemented" the commercial cows or not in comparison to his contemporary competition.....I think I know Smile

Differences.....PBray asked: My question is about the 6157 and 3116 cows. Both of these cows share many common ancestors. Phenotypically they are both beautiful cows but very different. To me 6157 looks more refined than 3116 and 3116 looks like a no-nonsense workhorse. How would you evaluate the difference in type between the two? How would you compare the two cows strengths and weaknesses in regards to overall function.
A picture is but one moment in time PBray, and the picture Mike took of 6157 became somewhat famous. I did submit another non-posed picture of her back on page 12 of this topic. Walking thru the pasture one day, I saw her contently standing there chewing her cud staring to see where her calf was at during my approach. The functional differences of these two cows performance-wise are relatively insignificant, but the physical differences you see in the pictures are likely reflected in their EPD quality grade and yield grid values, compared below.

They both lived to be about 20. As I remember, 3116 expressed a little tighter udder attachment, and had an ability to put on more external fat (backfat) while 6157 had the ability to store more of her fat as marbling, which I attributed to a higher concentration of "Balboa genes" in her ancestry. In severe cold weather, 3116 probably has an advantage, in hot weather 6157 would likely have the advantage, which was also reflected in their haircoats.

RobertMac stated: ...Disposition, reproduction and longevity will stay as my functional traits and, so far, have given me the forth necessary trait of beef in my bulls. I believe being a conception to consumer operation makes my goals a little different from breeding for a type for crossbreeding.
RM, I do believe those traits you mentioned are vital to improve efficiency. In determining my type for my maternal goals, I initially wanted a moderate functional type that would stand on their own for profitable beef production, or with their superior genetic beef quality, to complement an endpoint cross with either more quantity or quality.... but not so much emphasis on beef quality or quantity so as to disrupt reproductive or other essential maternal functions. The EPD shown below is about the way I see the cattle. The parent value of the herd today will hover around those current EPD, and while the numbers may change, the cattle won't. The general herd will work producing good usable cattle. These cattle were not selected based on EPD, these measures followed the selection for what I deemed to be my preferred functional type to minimize any counter-productive problems.

Patb stated: "LL The reason I was asking about eileenmere animals from yesteryear I was trying to trace a bull with a challenge back to an earlier ancestor who is rumored to have the same challenge. The link between the 2 bulls was there as with every other documented case of this challenge. ....Could the cows and bulls that leave your desired animals have a tendency to pass their dna on at a higher percentage then others?"
In the full context of your last question, unless proven otherwise, I still believe each parent contributes half its DNA to offspring. I believe it is more a matter of a predominance of the more homozygous gene frequencies that one parent may have over another's random half. Patb, I spent a couple of wasted, or should I say useless years searching pedigrees to find the origin of "challenges". Gavin told me "One of my mottos through life has been: there are no problems in life only challenges".

With today's DNA technology, animals either carry defects or they don't. Beyond identifying simple recessives, DNA is just another identification tool to add more costs and complexity to those measures we already have....the same forms will ultimately follow functional selection no matter now the labs are wanting to use our forms in order to identify the DNA that caused them and have the audacity to charge us for that contribution each his own, but good grief, talk about the tail wagging the dog to add more unnecessary costs to beef production. Smile

From the old to the change of these few four Shoshone cows, I see very little significant difference between them as I highlighted the "tops" in red from the distributions....perhaps IBC's would assist in measuring the distributions, however, IBC's are based on pedigree averages as well with their own actual individual genotype differences in the distributions....measures seldom provide simple quick answers of what to do, they can help in providing simple answers of what not to do Smile

$F___$G__$QG__ $YG__$B

Lovemere Ester 19_____+7____-4.1___-5____-21___-.2___________+0_____+0_____________________+48.93_ +12.61_-42.16_+9.93_+3.58_+6.35_+14.84

Blythe of Wye_________+1____-2.5___-3____-26___-.5___+14____-7______+5____1_____+1___+0___+44.57_+16.27_ -45.53_+12.67_+7.38_+5.29_+14.04

Shoshone Erica #1702_+10____-1.7___+12___+24___-.1___+8____+9______+14____4____-28___-.4___+25.99_+20.28_-15.97_+25.15_+17.75_+7.40_+8.04
Shoshone Ester 3116___+4____+.9___+23____+34___+.1__+9____+6_______+8____2____-14___+.1___+28.50_+21.51_ -13.08_+7.85_+6.95_+ .90__+3.06
Shoshone Ester 3128___+3____+1.6__+26____+40___+.1__+ 3____+4______+10____4____-1____+.2___+24.57_+21.52_ -7.62_+14.66_+12.49_+2.17_+18.17
Shoshone Prud..6157___+6____-.5___+12____+25____-.1_________+7______+8____ 3____-21____-.4___+30.59_+16.41_ -15.20_+20.56_+14.24_+6.32_+10.12

Lovemere Rosemary 11_+6___-4.9___-10____-15____+0____+11___+1______-12___1____+0_____+.1___+53.06_- 4.08__-37.28_+15.58_+9.61_+5.97_+29.41
Shos. Shannon HC3____-7____+4.2__+30____+63___+.6____+11___+1______-26___94___+5_____+.2___+44.46_-11.86_ +10.85_+16.20_+11.67_+4.63_+41.44

I reflect back to how the more we play with extremes, the more we pay for them ...and then with them we pay again from the hidden problematic costs in a cow herd...eventually I learned that bigger isn't always better nor is it always worse Smile Many differences in EPD are highly overvalued and have had little impact overall on commercial profitability, in fact the way we mis-use them, they likely have had a net negative effect. When cattle breed like they look, EPD are not necessary.

The two calves pictured at the bottom of the ad turned out to be Shoshone Vantage JB23 #9250940, a bull sold off the Midland Test to Bill Davis of Rollin Rock Angus, a bull who became noted more for his maternal values than performance.....the other calf turned out to be Shoshone Senturion JD60 #9250938, the bull that turned out to be the excitement of the '79 Midland Test sale bringing $60,000...who's epididymides were examined to be damaged from the winter cold, still producing a large amount of semen but never freezable and so I had to return that money....ah, for the good ole days that didn't turn out so good Smile

Adversity eventually prevails with extremes and of course, these are just some of the events that transpired from some of the unintended consequences of selection which inspired the Tru-Line concept. Improving beef production efficiency via optimum hybrid production systems is more like saying that optimum is wishing you just enough when good might be good enough to be the "BEST" that we can do TO MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY.....but "people just being people" tend to become addicted gamblers in anticipation of winning the lottery.

Rather than join AA, perhaps Tru-Line might be better named to be known from this point on as GA (Gamblers Anonymous) as we seek the cure here on KC Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:18 am

Past, Present, and Future

Reminded that Keeneys Corner is "A reflective and futuristic view of cattle breeding FROM OUTSIDE the
registered mainstream
", much of the debate continues to be centered around the values of registered mainstream
dependency on EPD values and public papers vs. private who organizes, manages, and assumes the
risks of a business or enterpise. This is a choice that anyone is free to make.

Differences of opinions are healthy but facts are facts. While an individual in the registered business owns his own cattle,
they are dependent on the entire AAA membership's cattle that determines the ever changing trait by trait averages of the
entire breed. The humorous content in this topic is always the best parts to help lighten the loads in life where my role is
only to take the present and make any proposed actions for the future feel like they could actually happen for the betterment
of the beef industry. I enjoyed Dennis's story of how the antelopes EPD average zero and I doubt any wolf, eagle or bear
selects the ones they eat based on which one has an above or below the zero EPD average for carcass.

The averages of the fittest antelope within their environment changes very little over time. Dennis, however, wouldn't have
a zero EPD for character, he has a forlorn coyote as a pet which makes him uniquely different, plus or minus from whatever
direction normal is measured as zero. There is that old phrase of when a person has one foot in a bucket of hot water and the
other in ice water, we're comfortable if the average is 98 degrees.

I'm reminded of an article written by Darrh Bullock, a KY geneticist entitled "fire and ice" describing how these opposite EPD
matings can be utilized to make "progressive" genetic changes and how the KY experts set a range of EPD standards on bulls
in order to qualify for "free tobacco money" to subsidize the purchasers for those cattle who qualified, and therefore also
benefitting the pocketbooks of sellers. Mike and I debated the so called merits of this persuasive influential tactic at length.
If a fire and ice mating of a 20 to a 0, Mike initially {mk-ps...still does Very Happy } supported the notion that the progeny would
average a 10, the same as if we had mated a 10 to a 10 to a 10....I questioned why would we have mated a 20 to a O in the
first place, then which would we select from the distributions, a 15 or a 5 or a 10.....And what if there had been a 30 or 40 in
the distributions since the 20 and O's also had distributions that could have ranged from say a +40 to a -20.

This is an unending selection process of a direction and why I submitted the spherical distribution charts in a previous post....
along with all the many individual examples with their EPD and photos from my reflections of my past. At first, it seems
amazing that I "created" a Shannon in two short generations out of the Lovemere Ester 11 cow and that is why I compared
her EPD to that of her grandson. I wondered if anyone noticed she had a minus 11 milk and Shannon a minus 26....and notice
the difference in BW EPD, then think of all the possible ranges that could exist in single trait selection. You all can decide whether
Shannon was a amazing mystery miracle or not, that resulted not necessarily from outcrossing, but closely related selection
of type. I did present all the facts as I know them....Lovemere Ester 11 could easily be described as a very "easy fleshing" cow
as was her daughter, tag number C3. The pictures below are the immediate relatives of this portion of the germ plasm pool.

I hope this helps answer Eddie M's question to Pbray: "PBray, do you think that the EPD's posted by Larry on
some of his "die for" cows were accurate with the single and negative digits? Do you think a fire and ice mating of a
bull with a MM of 36 and a cow with a MM of 4 will give you a pasture full of MM 20 offspring or a huge range of MM values
from 40 to 0?
Is it any wonder that I did not continue on in this selection direction. Smile

These cattle described above did breed true to type like they looked, and the frequency of that type dramatically increased.
Irregardless of how they ultimately ranked in breed EPD, the females would likely be more efficient converters of feed to beef
likely better than most steers, but as their EPD indicates, they would be very inefficient cows.

While Coffelt is concerned without affirmation of a BW EPD. I have experienced that EPD whether its BW or other traits,
that the averages of EPD that descend from a mixed array of animals in a pedigree is a very poor indicator of individual
predictability. And I do want to refute Coffelt's statement that "Identification of defected animal is only
possible in a breed association context".
Our progeny tests were conducted prior to the dates of EPD and the AAA
did not spend one nickel for our testing of animals, it was funded entirely by the participants. With all due respect, I sincerely
do not know exactly what the Angus breed represents other than color and being polled.

Anything can have an average. At some point we need to ascertain what the phenotype of an average Angus animal
symbolizes or represents. I had to laugh at Mike's "stick man ad" of a few years ago, a search of the sire summary will
reveal no animals which are breed average across the board, nor in but a very few single traits.

There still might be some listed with zero EPD in some traits today, but tomorrow they may be plus or minus. If we were
to just compare animals within a population or for example in a closed herd, we can go back and use ratios where the average
is always 100.....and of course, we have been indoctrinated during the performance movement that half the herd is always
presumed to be inferior to the superior half.

I have said that I considered each individual an isolated population of genes and EPD's are a measure of each ones averages...
and I have said for my objectives, I have learned to avoid extremes in my selections. I see where the picture of the dogs has
gained in popularity, and I am reminded what Gavin said in his selection for his preferred type that "Multi factor
selection like we are doing is so slow and will take many years to make much progress."

Breeders of PARENT strains may have a zero as a base for their own population. The only "EPD" that would be
relevant in systematic programs to harness hybrid power would be the EXPECTED PHENOTYPIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN

I am certainly enjoying all the comments and I do think we are making educational progress during these exchanges to
reach a greater understanding of each others concerns. While trying to uncover the invisible to see what lies underneath,
being an old guy much of the anticipated excitement has waned as I had to laugh at Mike's email to me of the AARP eyesight
chart followed by the "sheer nightgown" example that reaffirms that the naked truth in breeding cattle can be hazardous to
our our own well being.

The Sheer Nightgown....

A husband walks into Victoria 's Secret to purchase a sheer negligee for his wife. He is shown several possibilities that range
from $250 to $500 in price -- the more sheer, the higher the price. Naturally, he opts for the most sheer item, pays the $500,
and takes it home. He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him.

Upstairs the wife thinks (she's no dummy), 'I have an idea. It's so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won't put it on,
but I'll do the modelling naked, return it tomorrow, and keep the $500 refund for myself.'

She appears naked on the balcony and strikes a pose.

The husband says, 'Good Grief! You'd think for $500, they'd at least iron it!'

He never heard the shot.

Funeral on Thursday at Noon. Closed coffin.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:19 am

Seeing is Believing

So many questions, so few answers Smile
In regards to Wyes WW Chart, Jack McNamee asked:
Larry do you know if these weights included the calves from their outcross herd they had from 89-96? If so then outcrossing had no real effect....It would make sense to me that both of these things were going on at the same time. I would think that while they would have been selecting for outliers for use as bulls, they would have also be cull lowliers based on phenotypic production levels. It would be interesting to know at what rate both of these things were going on.

Jack, I suppose we each tend to evaluate data in different ways and I think you have the genetic aspects well in hand. While I am somewhat reluctant to discuss other programs beyond my own, I have been personally familiar with the Wye herd until 1990, now a public research herd. You might be interested to know that Dr. Brinks from CSU (who was on TAD at Wye after the herd was donated to the UMF) had prepared an analytical study from the records of the history of the Wye herd prior to 1978. We know what the selection emphasis was and the calves were creep fed prior to '78. Dr. Brinks measured the trends and the actual 225 day weaning weights were steadily increasing. Since that time without creep, if you look at the bar graph closely you will notice what I call a consistant waving trend, a few years up and then fewer down, repeating itself five times over this time period since....guesstimating the last five years from 2005 to 2010 not shown on the graph would be the formation of another wave up.

I call this surfing the waves, our reactions to our selection from the trade-offs within the true genetic level of a population in accordance with the natural laws of inheritance. For whatever Wye's own reasons, their recent bull sale offerings are being selected and tested consisting of two or three from a particular sire, involving many sires, some old and some new. I found Wright's long term guineau pig study of isolated families to parallel the way gene segregation occurs in our breeds of dogs and cattle or whatever. Recent discussions on the merits of different breeds are being debated on this topic.

When I reflect back to my first experiences with beef cattle and milking our own cow(s) at about 8 years of age, on a previous post I pictured my 4-H Hereford heifer Tessie. In those days probably 90% of the commercial herds had Herefords. Every so often they would introduce a Shorthorn to improve the milk. Hereford feeder cattle who had a "white lineback", brocko face or "roanish haircoat" were discounted, suspected of being part Shorthorn. Hereford people criticized Angus bulls for their lack of asses, they liked bulls with a full "twist" between their back legs with full flanks....fat, some liked "mellow yellows" with big bone and wide muzzles...darker reds, the shade of Shorthorn red, were discriminated against. While Dennis and Bootheel talk about roosters, I have plenty of stories about my boyhood days and odd cattle habits....which still prevail : )

When Dennis displayed those pictures of Beetseed, I laughed thinking he is reaffirming the reputation of those finer boned, assless Angus bulls and how Eddie M is concerned about those pictures like Craig submitted ..... how those young Shoshone bulls look awfully regressed. I can't find the picture right now, but Mikek sent me a picture of a Wagyu bull a few years ago and I laughed thinking how much he looked like Beauigan or Balboa. And I also laughed when Henry B. told me his Wagyu half blood bulls looked like damn sorry Angus bulls. No wonder I enjoy breeding cattle, it is so full of laughs from all the silly things we do.

Mikej said: ......"And the highest marbling Wagyu have the least milk. So "milk/marbling type" does not neccesarily equal large milk production. Maybe it's not all so neat and tidy as I'd like to think." Certainly the dairy cow is the ultimate "maternal machine" but the difference in the Jersey and the Holstein or dual purpose Simmentals is their "density"....or size.

Mean Spirit says:
In my dairy cow vet days, lameness was a constant problem. Sometimes hairy warts, sometimes foot rot, but very often plain old laminitis. The modern Holstein, as you guys know, is an extraordinarily delicate flower.
My vet told me ovarian cysts in Holsteins were a major problem, among others. Mark Hannah who operates a 2500 head Jersey dairy told me modern Jersey calves are so frail at birth that without human assistance, few would survive. Ken Clark told me if we could put an Ayrshire udder on an Angus, we'd really have something worthwhile. So, we reap what we sow and the problems come with it.

I watched a science channel show where the only survivors of the larger mammals in Argentina during long droughty periods were those who had the smallest brains since the brain is the biggest user of available energy....and how a small mouselike creature in Australia survives because the male's nuts are as large in proportion to a man having those the size of large watermelons. So I laughed wondering whether Beetseed could "whip a 7 frame Hoffster mobster growth bull in 3 minutes flat" from brain or brawn...reminded of David and couldn't have been from his scrotal size, maybe it was the "female intelligence" Dennis talks about....I noticed he always checks things out first with Erica, learning that from his rooster Fred Frisbee Smile

Bootheel said: I saw a chart somewhere, sometime, that showed a breakdown by breed, and their ability to make prime, choice, etc,.....seemed like Angus, was the only purebred, that could make it to the upper grade, as far as traditional beef breeds go, maybe shorthorn.......yes Wagyu, and a sluece of dairy. I wonder why even beefier Angus have the inate ability to marble.......maybe my memory ain't that good, might have dreamed it....too many exhaust fumes or something.

I cannot spin yarns as well as Dennis or Bootheel, but the rest of the unembellished story behind Beetseed as I remember it goes like this. I came in one day from working in the beetfield, and my wife told me Dennis called and said he thought I would be interested in his ultrasounding results. Most of you know that at one point in time Dennis and Erica were very interested in developing a superior carcass strain of cattle. Dennis told me he had this bull who's ultrasound ratio was about 170 or something near that for marbling, a bull sired by Echo out of 1126's full sister, #1130. A very interesting circumstance if you look up Beetseed's pedigree #14639597....each parent was a highly inbred individual.

Reflecting back at the pictures I submitted on Page 26 of the 1702 cow and Mikes "902" cow, for some reason or another, these cattle tend to switch their tails when they are getting photographed. Not sure what that means, but for those interested in how Beetseed ranks within the breed for individual traits, the following is his EPD percentile graph wherein he is expected to transmit calving ease, near the top for minimum cow maintenance requirements, excellent carcass qualities, a plus 13 milk is enough and I would expect the docility, stayability and longevity could be as good as there is.

Coffelt asked me some valid pertinent questions:

Please find a few questions if you would be so kind to address them. I am interested in your thoughts on a business model.... I AM NOT BREEDING FOR OUTLIERS, BUT PREPOPENT OFFSPRING...... I am interested if LL believes the great things he has done over many years are possible in this day and age. I desired his opinion..... Ranching is a business where economic performance matters...I further asked what genetic variation 5 generations of breeding could be reduced to : This is the second time I have asked and the answer is avoided. The next best source of an answer is the Keeney cows in my herd. The variation is large, and it is my strong opinion that EPD's are needed to make breeding decisions , as the variation is too great....My third question was the genetic significance of a bull excelling on test, and I am interested in LL's answer.

First of all I believe greater things are not only possible in this day and age, more than ever before, they are essential. The business models will take care of themselves from man's own innovative entrepreneurship. The entire beef business is based on economic performance by the per pound marketplace. If the variation is too great in the Keeney cows, it is still not as great as the EPD and phenotypic variation in the Angus breed from which EPD averages are ascertained. I provided an example of the significance of bulls excelling on test as dominance for those measures are increased. The constant additive selection was a step by step process from one through three generations to reach Shanigan...from Franchester to Titan to Shannon to Shanigan with single trait selection. Multi-trait selection would be much slower.

If our single trait selection is to improve the economics of beef production, then certainly prepotency or predictability in the parent stock seems vital. If it is your strong opinion that EPD''s are needed to make breeding decisions, I totally agree with you if you are a commercial producer who must have more reliance on the expected progeny difference FROM THE COMPLEMENTARITY OF THE CROSS of specific parent lines, but I have questioned the necessity for EPD for the development of the functional parent lines or strains. I thought I explained that with the hand holding the crystal ball of pre-evaluated linecrossing systems. The entire cow herd NEEDS to be considered as a genotypic population of one....if we begin with an Angus cow herd....we need to determine which one type of the many types do we prefer. Some breeders may prefer "open pollinated" varieties, but Wright claims successful breeders use closely related prepotent sires of the same type if the objective is to fix characteristics or establish an ideal.

Surely a type like Beetseed and any other similar types would reduce input costs and you could run more animals per acre of feedstuffs or per unit of available energy to offset lower per individual production. There will always be debates over which type of animal people prefer but reliability in nearly anything we purchase is generally an important consideration....whether it is a John Deere or Case IH tractor, who have different competitive models for their own purpose. New technology enhances marketing strategies and I often wonder if the additional costs are worth the convenience of the benefits. It all boils down to each of our own's affordability, when times get tough, we make do with what we have and then reliability becomes more important.
We all know how we tend to become complacent or extravagant when things go well.

If you remain a PCC cooperator, over time your experience will reveal whether or not both you and your customers improve production efficiency as compared to something else.....particularly if you want to improve the prepotency of your offspring without breeding for outliers. Would you also be so kind to address my questions to you. Do the PCC sale prices tend to hinge on the degree of any outlier's own individual performance? Does their individuality override EPD in the marketplace? Someone told me that the sale bulls must pass Kit's comparative standards or are rejected and sold for slaughter. Please explain to me how the PCC program is improving predictability/consistency and profitability not to the cooperators, but to the commercial beef producers with factual data rather than testimonials or opined rhetoric.

I do not want to debate the pros and cons of anyone's breeding program, it is like arguing over which breed is best. About the only thing I can do is to enlighten us all with genetic principles repeating the following paragraph from a previous post and continue providing my personal experiences as examples herein, as JBob says, the ultimate decisions we make are our own and we will either enjoy or despair over these independent decisions.

From a genetic standpoint, I think most of us struggle with the opposite effects between outbreeding and inbreeding during selection. I have been told that the positive phenotypic effects of heterosis are NON- ADDITIVE.....and how many of us stop and think that the negative phenotypic effects of homozygosis would also be NON- ADDITIVE since both revert to their basic average over time. Hybrid vigor/heterosis is explained as a "phenomenon" resulting from hybridization wherein offspring display greater vigor, size, etc than the parents....obviously homozygousity would have the reverse effect from any given centerpoint.

When I use Shannon and Beetseed as examples, their individuality or "looks" is what their EPD truly represents whether we like it or not. The continued predominance of the random half of their genotype depends on the other half they are mated to. Beetseed's individual carcass qualities and his EPD are not a fluke of nature that just happened by mating fire and ice to change an average. Whether these additive results of close breeding are preferred or not, his sire carries an EPD $G value of +31.38, his dam a +22.70 and he has a +32.68. If the primary objective is disrupted by higher marbling values, then he should not be selected as a next generation parent.

I hope my examples help anyone to make better breeding decisions, I prefer not to get into business model discussions regarding monetary values. I did list many of the high prices that people have paid for individuals and anyone can decide whether or not these habits have improved the efficiency of beef production. My primary objective remains the development of parent stock that can regularly produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns to the commercial beef industry.

I've talked about tunneling through all the "snow" to find answers....To all those who might EVER WONDER WHAT TWO FEET OF SNOW LOOKS LIKE ?? WELL----


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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:20 am


MikeK asked:
I seem to have remembered hearing that Lingle laid you out a mating system for your early Wye purchases that lead to the Midland test successes?

First, I want to remind any readers that my purpose here is educational primarily intended for breeders of commercial cattle ....too often I tend to get side-tracked by debating the pros and cons of the traditional selection habits, mostly to demonstrate the results. To move forward and away from that, while learning from the historical experiences of those before us, I am always reminded of the old saying that if we ignore history, we are destined to repeat it .... often laughing about doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result......and yet most of us still do, especially in the political arenas Smile

Mike, the initial mating system that Lingle laid out for me was NOT what lead to my Midland successes in the 70's. Having the impatience of youth, I soon skipped his suggested sequential mating sequence in favor of concentrating the highest growth genes that Wye had developed up to that point in time. The initial mating system Lingle suggested was actually a reflection of his own mating systems from when he began to over a period of 30 years to increase the production of the Wye cow herd. Being a product of his upbringing, including the milking and working with dairy cows, he developed an eye for the dairy cow supplemented with measures and nutritional effects in his directions to increase production. I didn't want to do what he already did all over again so I became an "extension" of the then current Wye herd.

Some of you are aware that Lingle wrote a book describing his life and the evolving processes of the Wye herd, "The Breed of Noble Bloods". He gave me his book, personally autographed December 25, 1976. One of the statements that always stuck in my mind was that he said a dairyman has an advantage over beef cattle fellows since they slept with cows and sat under them milking them by hand....that you really get to know a beast that way....and that breeding a top herd is one of the most difficult jobs in all of Ag. I recommend anyone interested in breeding beef cattle to read his published book. I want to share with you a couple of paragraphs in his ending summation which have had a big impact on me.

"My life has passed through a number of phases. Looking back at the ups and downs, the satisfactions and the disappointments, I find the most important influences were the lasting impressions made on me by an unselfish and saintly mother and a good and dedicated father. If I had not received their early training and the inspiration of their example to deal with others as I would be dealt with, and to do as good a job as my powers allowed, I would never have been trusted with such good land, cattle, and people as has been my privilege.

It has been said "A great herd of cattle is the lengthened shadow of one man". Yet no man can accomplish much by himself alone. He is the sum of all the influences of all his associates. I am not inclined to think of the Wye Angus as a creation of mine. The program is more far-reaching than anything I could ever have created. It is the finest example I know of cooperative effort. Whatever I had to do with its inception by the injection of a few cardinal ideals on breeding and merchandising has come back to me a hundredfold in the confidence and, I believe I may say humbly, the love of my associates. All along the way they have strengthened me with their esteem. The desire to be worthy of them has made me a better husbandman...and in return they have given unstinted devotion to duty.

Sitting back in retirement and surveying the entity that is now Wye Plantation, I can see great things in the future for it and through it for the entire cattle industry.....With it all, the Wye program will remain distinctly practical, aimed at producing practical cattle for practical cattlemen. The Wye product will always be cut from the pattern of goodness.

Of course, the Wye herd was gifted to the UMF two years later, in 1978. Seeing greater things in the future to better serve the "entire cattle industry", these were the inspirational words that contributed to my years of contemplating experiences which led to the birth and conceptual application of Tru-Line. I talked about the importance of the purebred role and stabilizing types back on Page 23 of this topic and how Lingle and K.A. Clark were very supportive of the concept.....yet here I sit nearly 30 years later still waiting and looking for cooperative efforts. Smile While not sitting still in my own learning experiences, I have thought alot about the continued non-acceptance of this concept, and yet the commercial industry readily accepts crossbreeding reinforced by academia approval.

I have surmised that it is the fear of close breeding that is the primary concern of most people. In this regard, a few days ago I received an email from another respected old experienced breeder, Gavin Falloon which is very revealing to me. With his prior permission to utilize his comments if presented in the proper context, here is what he said:

On the 12.12.2010 you sent me a mail about the wye data and giving me a web where I could get their published data. What interested me was that they stabilized type and levelled performance. So that was why you set out to stabilize phenotype I have only just printed off all the information and have only just had a cursory look at it . When we first closed our herd and the geneticist looked at our pedigees he was horrified at my inbreeding levels, so the programme firstly set out to dissipate those levels. Since our inception, our inbreeding levels have dropped to zero so the scientists tell me. When I suggested that we look at levels they told me that it is not necessary as doing what we were doing they would return to zero. I can see why this would happen ( changing bulls every year) but it does concern me that son William is using more of a very few cows sons in those sires. This has two effects, bringing the herd too close to the pedigees of those few cows which tend to be similar. Raising inbreeding levels. William is constantly concerned with in breeding and so he is constanly on the lookout for old NZ pedigree cattle in other herds that are by our bulls but acceptable phenotypically. Where as what he should be doing is to make sure that the sires used each year are out of different cows in our herd. Unfortunately like all youth he has all the answers.

It does not appear that we have stabilized in any aspect yet. Again the scientists tell me that we never will, provided we keep spreading our genepool by using sire out of different cows (within reason)… I am probably shooting at the clouds yet as I have not carefully studied the wye data just some more thinking to do

Regards to all. When I suggested that Kit Pharos letters were worth looking at it was “marketing” not breeding that I thought was interesting...... but meantime he sure is a hot marketer.


In the competitive marketing arena, yesterday, I received two free magazines in the mail, one issued by the Limousin Foundation, the other by the Gelbvieh people.....and both full of articles promoting the values of their breeds for crossbreeding, and many of those articles cite the research data at MARC maximizing heterosis for when in Rome we must do what the Romans do. For those who have followed this topic, you will recall how Tom Burke wrote me and said the Angus breed is at another of its long list of crossroads of change. Of course, the Angus breed promotes it's self sufficiency with all it's diversity to do all things suggesting you to use their data bank to select those bulls to fit your needs. Some use trait leaders which is nothing more than straight bred crossbreeding and others may select a range of preferred types seeking a continuum of outcrosses to avoid close breeding.

Choices....If there is someone out there that is specifically breeding populations of parent stock for optimum complementarity of the cross to improve the predictable consistency of the "seedless fruit", I do no know where they might be. Since I chose not to live in Rome, I often think I must be living in the land of Oz. In the land of Rome, we expect "purebreds" to be phenotypically superior to crossbreds....somehow crossbreds and superior Angus do not have any pathetic progeny Smile I do not know who authored the following post on Keeney's Corner, but I would sure like to meet and welcome him or her to the land of Oz.....or Oddity Smile

The ability to control the end through the Terminal topside for specific markets and improve production efficiency through more trouble free cows matching the environment and management of the individual ranch or area. Custom designed cattle to do a specific job with the beauty of the cowside control being her versatility to reproduce herself or be mated to produce a specific product.

Sold before conception. Plans for longterm. Flexibility through the cow. Precision through the sire. (Too bad that word is now forever tainted)

The cowherd efficiency and the terminal selection suffers from the disfunctional marriage of Terminal, Maternal, Growth, Milk, Lean, Marbling, Muscle, ... and the industry wide parallel selection across breeds. Nothing is as good as it could be or should be. The commercial cattleman is left to pay the price of sorting through and culling more. Producing more from more. Culling more and more. Net result: less and less.

So Mike, I took a long route to answer your question about the mating sequence Lingle offered me. He said to first breed the Wye bull we purchased back to his daughters to establish some genotypic uniformity in that god awful mixed up herd we had, then cross them with the Harvestoun blood for more ______, then cross those with Ballindaloch for _____, then cross those with the Prince Paul lineage for ______ etc. etc.and at some point in time we should begin using our own bulls from which we would make our most progress. Well, I didn't follow thru after the first uneventful disappointments in 1971, but by hook or crook, I now laugh that they were nevertheless instrumental in today's population in the development of sub-populations for the future.

Well, like Lingle, my life has now also passed rather quickly through a number of phases. Looking back at the ups and downs, the satisfactions and disappointments, I find that the most progress I made in the efficiency of beef production was from those first pathetic inbred animals like that one pictured below, who's dam born in 1974 was a result of that first sire/daughter mating sequence. And Nature must have so loved this animal, she gave me two of them born in 1981, for the cow pictured below also had an identical twin sister. Since no one offered any comments on that exhibit, perhaps it is either a little too radical, or, I can only presume that no one would ever consider owning a herd of regressed, functionally efficient cows that looked like that Smile I did learn that by using my own bulls, I did make my most progress for my direction in the land of Oz, my only concern is that the Romans will use them to feed their lions instead of people, but even that would be an improvement ....there is lots of space left yet in this new land of opportunity .. Smile Smile


Bootheel asked:
I have been meaning to ask, Whatever became of the Craigie cows, Mr. Leonhardt? I have not noticed them in any of the pedigrees posted and was just wondering how they fit in.

As I stated in my previous post, my life has passed through a number of phases. I received two potloads of Craigie cows in the early 80's during the races for performance and size with EPD just being in the initial states of development. The bulk of the Craigie EPD were mostly about zero for the few growth traits measured at that time, basically B, WW, YW and MEBV. At that time period, it was very difficult to market zero EPD cattle, just as it has always been difficult to sell "average" registered cattle. I originally had intended to keep them as a separate unit for their carcass quality and cow families...and had a separate member code for them with the AAA. That was also back before the CAB program. I also had to spend several years to gain more familiarity with those cattle. Long story short, I later abandoned those initial plans and eventually via selection I incorporated those I preferred into what I call my yellow tags, the population of the "X" strain. All those females in the herd today that descend from that Craigie base carry an "A" prefix to their cow family number.....the basic gene pool was similar to the Wye herd, while the selection was somewhat different wherein the primary selection criteria on the Craigies was for carcass quality in comparison to the Wye herd where the primary emphasis was on performance.

Charles quote:
I am struggling a bit with the idea of population genetics. When in reading Larry's posts about his history and methods, he was able to produce midland winners and then produce consistantly functional x-strain cows by only breeding in that direction for only 3 maybe 4 generations. Why then would you use the population method where you are waiting for a random selection of genes to produce what you qualify as superior animal over a long period of time such as with Mr Fallon's direction? I realize that Larry used outliers, but what about using a set of animals with a good balance of functional traits, but select for a bit more performance or a bit less milk or whatever and achieve the desired results much quicker.

Of course, we all select individual sires from a population to multiply and develop that population or herd to propagate the preferred characters. To speed up the process, an "outlier" is normally assumed to be the most extreme of something to move a population in a direction. To speed up the process in my direction, I practiced inbreeding and an outlier in my herd may also be defined as those individuals who transmit the characters more often for my "ideal" type, for example the "average". The human difficulty in our endeavors is to ascertain and sustain that type while trying to maintain zero inbreeding or outbreeding. Breeding parent stock for hybrid production (seedless fruit) would dwell on "that random half an animals genotype" as oppsed to the whole....isn't this as clear as mud Smile Smile
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PostSubject: The Games Go On by LL   Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:41 am

Enjoying a little R & R, I noticed Mr. Rattler has slithered back from the 4.9pointBarY ranch to the shelter of his den to watch the VM Cowboys battle the CVD Kitty Cats on the internet superbowl of ideology....or would that be idiocy. Smile Bootheel's experiences in Shantyville surely win him the right to furnish the concessions for the Cats and I'm sure Eddie M will be glad to furnish the Cowboys with a half beef he finally bought from my surplus 3 legged registered inbreds who didn't lose their EPD (extra prime dining). I've witnessed one of those cowboys eat 32 ounce rare steaks including the bone in one sitting looking for more, a quarter beef wouldn't be nearly enough. Mr. Rattler told me he's hoping for a quick Cowboy victory over the Cats so he can feast on Bootheel's leftover rodents.

While OT is battling all the snow trying to keep things clear, Mike's got his protective wife all heated up ready to whip some ass. Apparently, Linda raised the temperatures to 61 degrees in KY and Mike got to laughing too much at all our tribulltations, that he clicked the wrong buttons. So Mike says he's outa here, likes short winter pastures so he can find golf balls while OT must use orange ones to play on his cement hard snow. In appreciation for services rendered, I do think Mike ought to send OT one of those Swiss St Bernard caddies who carry those flasks around their necks. And I do want to thank Eddie M, I used his money to pay my internet bill and also to Mike and Joe for paying my Beartooth Cooperative electric bills at Red Lodge.....just to keep their Linda's happy.... I didn't need to ask why Joe and Mike preferred Bordens milk from contented cows with fruit for their cold morning cereal.... Joe does all the morning cooking for Mike and I also understand why Joe is Dennis's barometer. Smile

Now Mike concedes that "Like cattle breeding, golf is a game you cannot win...all you can do is play". I think Mike is mistaken about golf being a game you cannot win, only play, since Tiger can attest to both winning and what you cannot also do or eventually you pay the piper. Smile I am familiar with how Mike can't seem to distinguish his work from his play and so he carries his rattles with him wherever he goes, kinda his security blanket. I once changed him into an owl but like our cattle, despite my best efforts he reverted to his former self. My guess for this is that he thought his inbreeding levels were negating any progress. His owlishness tried to persuade him that this did not mean he was not making progress, it was being built in but not being realized visually, that anyone purchasing his cattle would gain the full value of his progress.....that it makes some sense that inbreeding depression is just that and depresses recordable progress. Well, Mike told me he learned common sense ain't too common and claims his sense of humor is just common sense dancing, that conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.....So Mike began playing with his ABC building blocks, we're still working on his conduct Smile

Mike and I love learning from everyones mistakes since we can't possibly live long enough to make them all by ourselves.....we have made more than our fair share so we're keeping some of them a secret to even the playing field. We do need two lives, one to make all the mistakes and the second to profit from them, so we have formed this relationship where I make 'em and he profits from 'em. I wouldn't want to rob R V of the thrill of self-discovery if I told him about any disadvantages of Viking, rather I'm suggesting he form a harmonious relationship with Mike like I have and it'll all work out OK.

While I've been told imagination is the workshop of the mind, Churchill said a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. I laugh thinking how all my difficulties must offer me so many opportunities.... if only I could be an optimist with perserverant persistence. I think I was granted that wish back when Mr. Lingle said " I find the most important influences were the lasting impressions made on me by an unselfish and saintly mother and a good and dedicated father. If I had not received their early training and the inspiration of their example to deal with others as I would be dealt with, and to do as good a job as my powers allowed, I would never have been trusted with such good land, cattle, and people as has been my privilege." Mike claims the only rule needed on KC is the golden rule..... do unto others what they do unto you Smile

Mike and I can spend hours laughing at all the silly things we do so if my babbling sounds confusing, it is because it's challenging to be outside the registered mainstream.....kinda like Patb's standard "If a bull is worth using he is worth testing for genetic challenges". Challenges are looking through the latest Montana Angus News, a landmark state for performance, wherein it exemplifies what Dennis describes as the ancient era of "illusionistic bovine promotional aggrandizement". More big words, I just call it the land of milk and honey, where there are over 60 glossy pages of the upcoming sales with pretty pictures of all the bulls with their superlative growth and carcass EPD....An envious ole man like me can get as jealous as when I look through Playboy reading about 85 yr ole Hugh marrying another gorgeous 23 yr old chick. Mike is alot like Hugh, his work is his play.... Linda don't know Smile

Fantasy can always be better than reality. In cattle breeding we usually do whatever we can afford to do, but I have never seen anyone with money want to waste it in a business, rather they want to invest it to make more. It is obvious why none of the bulls promoted in the MT Angus News advertise the $EN requirements of their daughters, nor their stayability .... the ancient era of the registered mainstream is strictly an output oriented society with lots of egoism. My guess is that it took Dennis over 20 years to learn that he wants to be "...part of a new movement in the cattle industry to separate from the ancient history most bovine breeders are still in, including the so-called grass/pud/dud breeders. A revolution has begun. It's happening right here, right now. The thesis is being written and the manifesto is forming."

Dennis can be mad dog mean or as gentle as Ivory soap.....A revolution sounds harsh but I do detect a quiet undergrowth of resistance to being lemmings of the mainstream. I did say as the genes wage their invisible battles from our selection, I decided I am not going to get involved in those visible battles going on with registered multipliers, public or private. I've always preferred volunteer armies and I sincerely appreciate Dennis and Mike's support, especially for bringing forth the definition of MANIFESTO and my previous statement.
: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

a primary point to contribute to the manifesto...

Nothing new, the history of the registered Angus breed has always been about trophys, awards, contests and self-acclamations unto itself which actually increases beef production costs. I have never figured out how boasting about how much their sales bring, listing their top sellers etc, helps the commercial producers improve their bottom line.

When we get serious about the self-responsibility of this business where we reap what we sow, a new movement to separate itself from the ancient history must be careful to not bring some of the old habits with it. I worried somewhat when Mike publicly posted the complete pedigree of #13472009. For obvious reasons, my own herd records have been proprietary since 2003, I can't imagine why breeders want to publicly expose all their dependence on others. For many reasons, the registered industry is basically untrusting and has insisted on many kinds of verifiable credibility forms and measures. We measure the parents, then the progeny after the fact. We use terms like progeny proven without regard to distribution. We measure individual metabolic efficiency without regard to efficient production. Someone posted we measure more and more to net less and less. We live in an era where we're strangled by regulations to protect us from ourselves. I do like the phrase that humor is just common sense dancing.

For some reason I feel very comfortable looking at pictures like OT recently displayed as compared to those in the Montana Angus News, and I felt very comfortable with the picture of the young bull in his working clothes that I received from Leroy Thorstadt in this mornings email out the cow that Craig liked so well.....not aggrandized.....good word Dennis, I did have to look it up in the dictionary to see if it was a real word Smile

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PostSubject: KISS by LL   Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:31 am

In this business I am constantly reminded of the Charles Mingus quote - "Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, That's creativity." R V, I cannot thank you enough for saying "the two dimensional view is eerily similar", in gratitude a KISS from the manifesto for helping me make a point. Smile I was reminded of a childhood riddle of what is black and white and red all over.....add the letter 'a' in "read" and the answer was a newspaper. Additive and subtractive genes....we seem to favor making the simple complicated but I think about how we all tend to ignor the simple basic guideline of the manifesto - "form follows functional selection" whether it is a 41/97 or a multi-sired Shoshone.

Whether our cattle are red, black, white or blue, this simple universal guideline eventually always holds true with or without pedigrees, measures or DNA. I really don't know how to explain any clearer how when our cattle breed true to their look, there is a commonality of that functional form as it becomes more prepotent or predominent irregardless of origin. But it seems the mainstream is never satisfied with a single prepotent form. I am reminded of that picture I submitted of that long line of dogs waiting to pee on a single tree, which one is the best dog for me. Some science people have told us about 98% of our human DNA is the same as chimpanzees and have told us there are very few genes involved in what makes a dog into a Collie or a Spaniel.....or from a dwarf to a giant....and so R V, if we can increase or decrease the frequencies of a type via selection, I am wondering why you would have a hard time with a type to type concept.

In my simple mind then, it seems to me that we must want a type to do more than it can consistently do at one time. Everyone seems to be searching for a simple quick black and white answer. So I am enjoying the discussions of Jbob's dilemma on "riddle me this" regarding his outlier bull....will he be or is he not to be,that is the question. While Bootheel and Jack are free at last from the circular whims, I particularly enjoyed Patb's post of the AAA's long range plan survey, they must be as confused as the rest of us looking for direction.....but my all time favorite topic thus far is Taylor Orr's solution to Angusology to better enjoy his retirement years. Smile

So as we swing and sway to the music of Danny Kaye, perhaps some lyrics of Ma for prolific reproduction and Pa for more precise production could be written to make for a romantic harmonius duo to produce better children.....I'm thinking about searching the internet on Facebook or E to find the perfect match. While Taylor feels like we're kickin a dead horse, Mike is an optimist practicing resurrection.

Mike's topic on "Inbred Selection" offers some excellent examples of the resurrection to a better place.....and population genetics. I hope the parallel genetic principles of cattle and corn as examples will help clarify the manifesto in addition to the ones with pigs, chickens, fish and sugarbeet seed. This is not just about increasing production, or measuring and marketing of parent stock, it is all about fixing types to improve both the efficiency and quantity/quality of hybrid gain more from less over time. And yes, that requires a lot of time and patient persistent dedication which we all seem to lack. But surely it is a worthwhile and possible direction one step at a time......Mike and I see our glasses as half full, not half empty. For those who cannot accept the concept, it is kickin a dead horse....but for those who do, they know their horses are just napping saving their energy for the big race in the survival of the fittest....what we lack are some trainers Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:15 pm

[LEFT]Following the advice of an LL

Mike wrote:

Don’t tell me cattle breeding isn’t like a religion; it is to the cattle breeder who determines value by genetic
accomplishment's only a business model to the marketer who measures his success with money...
I practice resurrection with every newborn calf, and Larry’s writing above is like an altar call to a promised land that I can
finally see...the fact I don’t have time to get there is a good reason to start the journey sooner...the trip requires no great
sacrifice; there’s beef aplenty to eat along the way... Smile .......if you don’t get conned, you don’t have to con...

When I contemplate breeding directions, any genetic accomplishment is measured by the success we have in organizing
genes that are already here for mankind’s benefit or detriment. During our journey to establish some genetic order out of
the chaos, I doubt the promised land that Mike sees has streets paved with gold leading to St. Anthony, ND, it's likely a place
more like Lead, SD where inhabitants adapt to make the best out of what they have, just enjoying the more important things
in life where they can "eat, drink, and be merry" despite their surroundings. Smile

We hear lots of talk about environmental adaptability, ecological balance and performance. The Arctic polar bears and the
Antarctica penguins each live in their own opposite yet similar worlds, places to visit but most of us wouldn't want to live there.....
we have all the space in between left for the rest of us to find a place to enjoy our lives. . Rather than be born again in order
to reach a promised land, in the cattle world our choices seem more like the different political philosophies.... the loud and boisterous
extreme radicals on both the left and right with their opposing polar views in an endless tug of war, each trying to attract the silent

Yesterday we received six inches of more new snow out of the north and this morning it's been snowing from the south, here we
sit in the middle catching hell from both directions, but the opposite winds must have reached a balance this afternoon cause now
it's snowing dollar sized flakes peacefully falling straight down......I wish I had a camera to substantiate that pictures do not lie.....looking
out my window it is gorgeous if you're not a cow in weather that's neither fit for man nor beast. Smile

Competition is a relentless adversary and people who make their living in grass roots agriculture are some of the more
independent creatures. To lighten our load in the breeding cattle world, there is nothing more humorous than reflecting back on all
the crazy things people have done and continue to do.....and I don't know of anyone with crazier humor available today than the flock of
coo-coo birds that hang out online canoodling at Keeney's Corner. Smile The rest of the birds in this big wide wonderful world enjoy
the thrill of riding on things that spin around the faster they go and chasing things that are different or unique. I suppose there are
at least a couple hundred different kinds of cattle from musk ox to wilderbeasts that hobbyists and clowns have mixed and matched
with an abundance of marketing schemes. Breeding cattle is but one of the many things people do that truly creates another con artist's
many promised lands.

When we reach a more serious state of mind, we all know that criticism seldom solves problems but when Mike says "if
you don’t get conned, you don’t have to con",
sometimes it is necessary to call a spade a spade by exposing some of the
shenanigans that go on in the cattle business. And we all should know that practical beef production is an entirely different proposition
than the opposite glittering excitement of the radical registered segment with their exorbitant monetary values and related fanfare.
My feeble efforts here are to disconnect the two so we can each go our separate ways without hindrance to one another, a difficult
proposition since the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Cons spinning yarn into gold reminds me of Bill O'Reilly's no spin zone.....during his pre-super bowl interview with President Obama,
as a news reporter he asked what he could do better in his job, and Obama replied "to just tell the truth".....inferring that so often
the whole truth is not known which leads to premature distorted views......and Rumsfeld has just written a book entitled the
"Known and Unknown" to provide the rest of the story. Reporters do like to be the first to report a breaking story without knowing
the whole story. To be first in something has always been a human condition that is considered an accomplishment with great
acclamation and rewards.

In cattle breeding, I have referred to the visible and how the invisible is the rest of story that comes later. Just telling the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth to seek justice while purveying breeding animals might be construed as being
a first....but this first would likely be without great acclamation and rewards . Some things in life never change - cows may come
and cows may go but the bull in the cow business goes on forever. Smile During my searches for nothing but the whole truth to
justify my breeding directions, I found it interesting how man's obsession with time is reflected in our selection methodology
measuring things by speed, quantity and distances. In racing, Tesio mixed different specific formulations of stayers and sprinters
to be successful in breeding horses to win races for different distances while Budweiser bred big strong horses to pull beer wagons.

Different horses for different purposes....In cattle breeding today, most of us would like our cows to be stayers and yet produce
sprinters who reach a given endpoint with the greatest speed on the least amount of energy.....huuummmm, just thinking out loud
to do this with one type of animal would be like magically turning salt into sugar. While both salt and sugar look alike, I laugh
imagining all the underlying messages from the phrase "pouring salt in the wound" to add more pain while factual research has
shown that coating a wound with sugar will help heal it faster......we do alot of mislabeling in the cattle business selling sugar and
spice and everything nice to heal our wounds faster while adding more salt to the wounds.

So in the cattle breeding world rather than developing formulated recipes for success in beef production, the search goes on for
"heavenly" miracles "hell" bent for leather racing in our progressive directions. Academia and breeders promote the mixing of
sprinters to win these races in our "pursuits of progress" with little regard for long distances. Quickly running out of high octane fuel,
we build bigger fuel tanks with more capacity. Stayability or continuity is out of fashion, speed is in fashion during these relay races,
the marathon racers require more endurance. Science has even developed across breed EPD to help us increase our speed by mixing
all these measured parts.....we've even found new names to identify these superior mongrelized thoroughbreds calling them purebreds
with more predictable EPD averages with little regard to the distance between those averages.

Doing what we do, Mike says he has grown weary of sorting through these mazes of progress, that he has practiced resurrection
with every newborn calf and finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel that leads to a promised land.....knowing Mike it's likely a less
crowded place where he can enjoy a more leisurely and relaxing place or pace playing golf while his cow's do all the work. Smile
Since we can't cross turtles with rabbits, the limitations of natural law mandates that we must make choices. Sticking his head
out of his shell, Mike saw how we all have different priorities in life but the primary common choice among pack rats seems to be
accumulating self wealth taking things from others.

Mike and I have reached the age where we are worried more about our health than wealth so we chose to breed some stayers
for more endurance. Mike calls these more functionally athletic, marathon type cattle with longevity timesavers......I
call them timesaviours.....ones that save us from danger or destruction. So when Mike said "Don’t tell
me cattle breeding isn’t like a religion",
I figure timesaviours would also allow me to have a lot more time to spread the gospel
of my philosophical ramblings describing our promised land.

A couple of other innovative and more charitable pragmatics like Dr. Voss and Dr. McNamee have opened a FREE RBPS clinic
donating their newly found spare time just to support the dues, rules or membership like AAA, its more like the
anonymity of AA. Having been there and suffered from the addictions of modern progress, Dr. McNamee is breeding a herd
of timesaviours as functionally self-sufficient as Dr. Voss's 1500 pronghorn antelope; who must either win in their race for life on
their own or perish. Being Irish, I doubt Dr. McNamee is a leprechaun hiding his treasures nor related to Dr. Kevorkian since Jack
is trying to prolong the life of his pronghorn type cattle in his treeless western arid region. Dr. Voss attributes much of his
doctorate to studying both his pronghorns and longhorns so I doubt neither one of these doctors are related to
Dr. Hitler's SS (scientific society) who's ambitious objectives are to develop a super race to rule the world.....surely we need
some timesaviours to save us from danger or destruction. Smile

On the other hand, science uses DNA to study the origins of the surviving species, they worry alot about extinction if we lose
variation and describes evolutionary change as mutations. Some people have tried to breed beefalos, others have decided to
breed deer and buffalo and science is worried that some of these more domesticated registered and DNA'd animals will escape
and intermix with the wild ones causing ecological chaos. Ecology, Natural, Bio-Tech.....on the one hand science is promoting
variation and on the other trying to prevent it.....lots of different opinions on these subjects to consider trying to make
better choices.

So Mike says - Talk is easy; talk sells and improves nothing...applying the principles is the difficult and quiet work...
the Work has begun......A rather sobering search result for "when all’s been said, and nothing done"
has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
Nothing new under the sun going round and
round sounds disparaging. In our philosophies of life, we worry alot about what others do and Mother Shoshone worries too
about her survival but has consoled me that her Mother will take care of all our worries and concerns over time and that there
is no greater sacrifice than for one to give up their life for another. Not wanting to hear any part of how bigger fish eat littler fish,
the "rather sobering search result when all's been said" is that it is a sacrificial world where everything lives
off something else. Being at the top of the food chain, man's biggest enemy is himself and the smallest things he cannot see
with the naked eye.

So, now that I've identified all the problems in the world, when we have to choose between what we can and cannot have or do,
it presents dilemmas measuring things by dollars. Some men choose to walk with wolves down paths filled with danger or
destruction while Dennis rides his Longhorn steer enjoying the serenity he sees among his cows. If all's been said and nothing done,
my refuge is when I walk my talk from what my cows tell me. My one regret is that there wasn't a RBPS clinic available when
I needed it. I needed someone to convince me that breeding cattle for a more contented and efficient way of transformating
energy to human food is distinctly different than breeding cattle to win races.
As I muddle through all my thoughts, the need
for therapy is readily apparent.

Cow therapy helped me recognize why I have been so stupid for so long thinking winning races was beef improvement when in
actuality it is a burden beef producers must overcome. Being a grass roots farmer all my life, I should've known better. I am
grateful that I couldn't afford to get a PHD in animal breeding. I would have been even more handicapped by the traditional
brainwashing process which started with my 4-H extension leader and a Chester White gilt when I was 9 years old. I was
49 years old before I began the cleansing process away from traditional mindsets. Spending 20 years in rehab, I was 69 years
old when I was finally released, cured and free from the shackles of all the traditonal bullcrap that clogs the beef pipelines.
Not many of you know how difficult it was to spend those 20 years in rehab trying to design a stainless steel beef pipeline that
fits together to flow more smoothly....nor the last 7 years looking for investors with the materials available in order to construct it.
The longer I go, the more I smoke, and where there's smoke, there's fire to keep burning the Kentucky tobacco.. Smile

The primary difficulty in all this is that the mainstream RB's seem to believe in the trickle down theory, starting at the top
and working backwards where going downhill is more profitable and easier for them. Qualified engineers know a house with a
poor foundation will crumble, that the strength of anything is in the foundation. The foundation of the beef industry is the working
cow herds and my cows have told me the trickle up theory would be better beginning with a stronger foundation in harmony with
nature. We don't hear much about harmony in this business but we hear a lot about applying selection pressures....increasing
stress and pressure on the foundation until it implodes. I have to laugh reminded of when someone from FL recently told me
he put so much selection pressure on fertility, he didn't have those troubles anymore, they're extinct.....true story.

Having been a lemming chasing sprinters to win races, disappointed and weary from all the hyperbole and pressures, being wimpy
and simple-minded, I just couldn't take it anymore. Without doubt, I believe reproduction and longevity are the most important
economic traits. So, when I decided that I needed some stayers to reduce stress for my own well being as well as my cattle, trying
to regain some sanity from the insanities of the world, much to my chagrin I found it to be a lonely place, kinda like
Mike's promised land.

Always questioning my sanity for breeding more contented ordinary cattle for ordinary more contented people, with no therapist
to talk to, I've discussed some of my mental problems with Mother Shoshone for reassurance,.someone who has no self-created
delusions of grandeur.....just doing the best of what she can while she can. Mother Shoshone is of a universal faith who believes in
being fruitful to feed the multitudes. In memoriam, I'll just introduce one of my many therapeutic aids over the years as MS, sold
for slaughter at age 19..... snapped a picture of her for this obituary while she was answering one of my questions I posed to her
a dozen years ago - her kind......and kind spirit live on through her descendants and relatives.

MS 1991 - 2010

On that one summer day leisurely walking through my pastures, the first question I asked her was, "Why did she seem so content
while I still remained so discontented ?". MS responded, "Well, it's all attitude sonny, why shouldn't I be content,
what more could I want? I'm just a cow enjoying life, look at all this grass around me, I have more than enough to eat, I am a
very healthy, wealthy and a wiser cow after ten years..... and I have a healthy, wealthy calf..... but he is not too wise yet..... see
him over there sniffing the wind trying to do what the big boys do....he's thinking how someday he wants to be king of the hill......
.Look, he's walking over here now to tell me all about where he's been, he is getting to that inquisitive stage, asking lots of questions
.....he'll wise up in time ..... "

When he stopped about 15 feet away, I snapped a picture of her approaching calf , he looked at me, then his mom, she made
a soft 'mmmmm' sound, the calf looked back at me, then ran over and started nursing. Standing there looking at MS, I hesitated
for a moment, then said to her, "I'm wondering how can you consider yourself wealthy.... you are an ordinary cow, an
extra-ordinarily nice looking ordinary cow..... but your ordinary calf isn't as big and growing as fast as some of the other calves
in this pasture." , and with a teasing smile I said, " your calf would be worth more money for me if he was the biggest, fattest
calf in the pasture."

MS looked me squarely in the eyes saying with despair, "Ahhh, now you have answered your own question
of why you remain discontented. You humans are so handicapped, you measure wealth by dollars.....cows know life is swell
when we keep well....cows measure wealth by their health .... by the good genes they and their offspring have for our
continued well-being."
Raising her voice she exclaimed, "Just look at how fit my calf and I are... it is a
survival of the FITTEST you know, not the GREATEST .....we're so lucky to be so fit.

And then in a more subdued tone, MS added, "I've been around here for quite awhile looking deep into the eyes
and with my big ears listening to all your visitors walking these pastures.... my keen sense of smell can detect when something's
rotten in Denmark, she laughed, they are all confused, , always searching for what they think are the best calves, bulls or cows....
.most of your registered visitors are never satisfied,..... their priorities are out of whack as they go around handcuffed to popular
fashions whether practical or not ..... cows dressed in their ordinary working clothes suffer immensely from human egos
you know",
and with a stern look, she said, "they always want us to be all primped up looking our best,
to be admirable displays for their egotism and pride of ownership can we work and look like a queen sitting in her throne
all dressed up in her fancy robes......and you know more than anyone how most slavemasters can't afford to lavish us with things
that royalty can."

"Well, I certainly got your dander up", I interrupted, MS stammered, "...It... it.... it is just that humans love contests
and only idolize winners....they have these big egos..."
, and then sighed, "We ordinary cows are stuck out
here in the real world having to do all the work......we can't all be queens. I know you understand that I am a work and wear kind
of cow, you see me at my best and worst, but I get as upset as you do from the expectations of most humans. And another thing,
I'm not at all attracted to the big butted, fat potted, sway back bulls that most of your visitors prefer today, they are just not my
type. If humans had to walk in my hooves, they'd soon change their minds about what's more important in life than trophies
and money. For Pete’s sake, cows never know what kind of bull their masters will bring them next".

MS paused, then added, "I suppose you won't believe this, but working mother cows will always choose a bull by his
charisma and stalwartness over some perceived new human fashion model",
and she paused, then shyly looking upward
rolling her eyes, "I like my bulls in trim, athletic condition with lean muscular butts .....your visitors would learn much
if they just looked at other things in nature, how wise females choose their mates for the betterment of the species.....females have
all the power, yet you call us the weaker sex......there is nothing that gets me more upset than when us working cows are considered
to be merely incubators for so-called blue blooded royalty with fancy pedigrees.....too many males are tyrants to females, I suppose
Queen Mother made them that way to keep things in balance as they spend most of their life fighting..

I just stood there, not knowing what to say, embarrassed of my ignorance thinking back how many dollars my big high performing,
trophy winning bulls once brought me along with more problems, and now here is MS unloading all her frustrations on me. Staring
at me she said with confidence, "All animals know that eyes reveal our true intent, our feelings, even exposing deceit....
humans do not think that cows can understand, but the guilt in your eyes reflect what you're thinking. I hope you learned from
your mistakes. Cows don't waste a lot of time talking, we mostly depend on body language, I hear humans say actions always
speak louder than words. But, humans seldom practice what they preach, they're always too busy thinking about themselves to ever
stop and listen to what we cows have to say....I'm sure glad you learned to listen".

In a more sarcastic tone, she said, " We have no choice but to pass down from generation to generation human's
ruthless, merciless and demanding actions, and then they blame us for being what or who most of us are.... they pick our mates
based on their own wants, disregarding our needs.....and then they wonder why so many of us cows are open at the end of the
breeding season.....and why some of us get downright mean from all the stress."

"I know", nodding my head slowly in agreement, beginning to think this nice gentle cow really despises most humans, a fleeting
thought ran across my mind that she is sounding more like my wife who can be not so nice when she starts bitching about what
men do wrong. Quickly remembering that MS might sense what I'm thinking, I blurted out "Are you claiming cows are smarter
and wiser than humans and we should let cows pick their own mates ?"

"I'm glad you brought that up." she said, " I've been meaning to have a heart to heart talk
with you about this for a very long time....I could feel your perplexed mood today, I'm beginning to worry that you might revert
back into your old habits again. Usually you are too busy to pay any attention to me"
sounding alot like my wife,
MS continued, "You seem bewildered, torn between trying to decide whether to breed us to what humans want or
what us cows need. I sensed the hour was here to have a frank discussion about what you're fretting about, especially about
PICKING OUR MATES. Queen Mother figured this out long ago. "

Nodding my head knowing she was right, I was beginning to think that what I am doing was a hopeless effort, that I would be much
better off financially picking bulls the same as everyone else in order to sell my cattle for more money.
MS continued, "I want to encourage you to stay the course. To begin with, cows are definitely wiser. I know
humans think we're just dumb animals" ..... "Most humans think they are smarter and wiser than our Queen Mother"

she scoffed, and then frowning she said, "Humans think I cannot understand their incessant criticism of me, I hear
them say I am not thick enough, not deep enough, or tall enough, or short enough, or milky enough, or grow fast enough.......
always trying to pick extreme bulls to fix what they think us ordinary cows lack.....and you, why you even inferred my calf wasn't
big enough....."

"But you don't understand - just calm down", I interrupted, now realizing why man refers to Mother Nature in the female gender.
I quickly tried to pass blame by saying, "It's actually not all our fault, it is in our human nature.....we're taught to pick the best
of the best outliers....."

"Oh, but I do understand" MS interrupted, and then said "But humans confuse best with
fittest....if outliers were Queen Mother's favorites, ask your expert cohorts why does she produce such a few of them"
she laughed.

"Humans often don't have time to stop and think", she added, "I've seen and heard your
frustrations when you tell your visitors that too much of anything can be as bad as too little for the good of my own well-being....
naturally, I care very much about my own well-being and even more so for those who come after me when I am gone..... I have
seen how most men just will not listen, I suspect they also have herds of discontented cows",
smiling she said
" this is a common trait in males."

Hesitating for a moment, looking deep into my eyes, MS said, "Now about picking our mates, I want to remind
you of the time you mated me to your big hot shot high performing bull, how your visitors really liked my nice big daughter
I gave you from him.....they thought she was the best calf in the pasture. My goodness, I heard you tell someone she did ratio
21% more than the average of all her you marveled at the idea that such a mating would give me the ability
to produce one extra calf in weight every five years.....but...she never became a good mother, did she...."

"I felt so sorry for my daughter because she took after that big lummox of a dad",
laughing MS said, "there is a lesson to be learned here if only humans would listen to what we cows have to say.
Queen Mother allows you to use her magic powers but over the long term she'll have her way."
Smiling, MS said,
"After all, she governs you too you know.. I suppose most humans think Queen Mother wasn't aware that my
daughter wasn't needed to replace me,..... that's why I'm so lucky she designed me to last for 15 to 20 years."
she said, "I can guarantee that if you had sold me and kept my daughter, and kept at it.... as you already know,
Queen Mother would start handing you more troubles than you would care to deal with..... my daughter made a great sacrifice
for you and I know you appreciated it. "

"I did......OK, so you're wiser and smarter" I conceded, "but humans have a lot more pressure on them than cows do.....I didn't
know cow's were such deep and simple thinkers...I've seen them stop and take time to deliberate what choices lie ahead of them,
I thought cows were just slow minded."

MS stared at me awhile looking puzzled, then said "Well, first of all, no one is smarter than anyone else, being wise
is being smart. Arrogance is strictly a human trait, humans who think they know everything always brag . Experience has humbled
you, I knew you would listen, that you believe, but you must be prepared to talk about what I'm telling you .....and continue to learn
more about our Queen Mother's rules."

"I will....but I must go now to do other things, I certainly enjoyed talking to you and you have given me so many things to re-think .
I'll be talking to you on a regular basis".

"Thank you for listening, I hope you find the contentment that I have", MS said smiling, "I'm glad
I'm not a human.....Sayonara"

In lieu of flowers, the Shoshone Family requests that any gifts be sent to the RBPS,
in care of the Keeney Corner Foundation Trust Fund, Nancy, KY

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