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 Fairy Tale come true

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Posts : 294
Join date : 2010-09-23
Age : 58
Location : Kimball South Dakota

PostSubject: Fairy Tale come true   Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:24 pm

Numbers alone won't work in Breeding Cattle
By Heather Smith Thomas

A growing number of seed stock producers are realizing that single trait selection and the chase for extreme numbers in that trait are getting them into trouble. Any time selection for a certain trait is put above the other important characteristics of a good beef animal, balance can be lost; the resulting cattle are not always functional or profitable to the commercial industry. Profitability is always the bottom line in beef production. The livestock produced must be profitable for the magnitudes of commercial cattlemen who are raising these animals for human consumption and trying to build sustainability into their cow herds.
Chasing a certain goal and ignoring others got breeders into serious trouble in the 1940’s and 50’s when small square cattle were in fashion and several breeds, including Angus, ended up with genetic defects and dwarfism when this selection was taken to extreme. The saving grace in that “wreck” were the few stubborn breeders who chose not to go along with fad and fashion; they were the ones the breed turned to for untainted genetics and more balanced animals when people finally realized they’d gone too far. The same thing happened in the 1980’s when many breeds were trying to compete with the continental “exotics” and took the pendulum too far the other direction, chasing larger frame and bigger animals. Several breeds, including Angus, are still trying to recover from this push. Now the current hype is marbling. Again, we may have pushed the envelope too far and are producing cattle that fall short in profitability for the commercial cattleman.
Kelly Schaff (Schaff Angus Valley, an operation near St. Anthony, North Dakota, that has been producing registered Angus since the 1940’s) made this statement in the July 2008 Angus Journal, generating overwhelming response from his fellow Angus breeders:
“Much of the Angus industry is caught up in chasing figures and number values and have forgotten the relevant traits, physical conformation and functionality that the breed was based on. This movement has created a large population of Angus cattle that are no better than the computers and academics used to create them. This has many of the breed’s most loyal commercial cattlemen baffled and even seeking the use of crossbred and exotic bulls. Fashionable figures don’t pay the bills when cattle are marketed across the scale, and grid premiums are not premiums when they are offset by additional days on feed to finish while yielding significantly less carcass weight. If the promotion of figures is leading us to breed narrow, shallow, hard-doing Angus that look and function like a Wagyu, it may be better to switch breeds that to erode the elements of the Angus breed that have made it the greatest beef breed in the world.”
When asked to amplify that statement a bit farther, Schaff says the whole reason for the existence of registered, purebred cattle is to produce seed stock bulls for the commercial industry.
“The commercial industry needs great cattle, not just cattle with great numbers. You can have both in balance, but the essential requirements of great cattle must come first so as not to jeopardize the quality of the breed. Understanding the principals of cattle breeding are hard to quantify. Breeding truly great cattle is much more challenging than selecting animals on a computer. When there is a strong market potential and high dollars within a breed, the chasing of the latest fad and race to breed cattle with the highest figures takes over,” he points out. “Net profit in the cattle industry is tied directly to the economic functionality of a cow herd. The efficiency of the cowherd is a direct function of biological body type. They must be naturally thick, heavy muscled, deep-bodied cattle that flesh easy, gain rapidly and mature early. Those are the most efficient, functional and profitable cattle in the commercial industry--the cattle that perform and reproduce without high input costs and that pay the bills when marketed across the scale. Unfortunately there are no measurements for many of these vital components. Consequently, these basics of animal breeding are being ignored by many in the quest to chase fads and figures.” explains Schaff. With any trend, breeders tend to select away from a basic balance. “The era of increasing frame size in the 1980’s demonstrated the damage that can be created by single trait selection. Any trait established to an extreme is usually at the expense of something else, particularly the economic traits that are essential to the breed. In many cases the chase for extreme marbling within the Angus breed--which is an already high-marbling breed--has been at the expense of the muscle, performance, do- ability and structural conformation and has created a population of cattle with less than desirable phenotype. It has left some cattlemen wondering why their calves are weighing less and the function of their cowherd is declining. In some cases a top selling bull may have had a high IMF ratio, but he had 150 pounds less weaning and yearling performance than some of the other bulls in the same sale that would have done the commercial industry more good,” he says.
Some of the seed stock being sold for top prices are sending the wrong message to the industry about what is most valuable to the commercial cattleman. Angus breeders who are breeding strictly for IMF (intramuscular fat, or marbling) or dollar beef may have lost some functional traits important to the basics of the breed, and to the commercial industry that buys the bulls. “When a registered breeder has a $100,000 cow that can’t raise a bull good enough to sell to a commercial producer, there’s something wrong with this picture,” says Schaff. This is leading many breeders to wonder where the breed is headed. Kelly Schaff is a very dedicated breeder. He eats, sleeps and breathes Angus cattle. He states that his only reason for sharing these opinions “is for the betterment of the breed so that it can maintain its dominance in the beef industry and remain the #1 beef breed in the world.” The seed stock producer must never lose sight of what needs to be supplied to the commercial cattle breeder.
Whenever any breed becomes popular, whether it was the continental “exotic” breeds in the 1970s and 80s or Angus cattle today, there is always a lot of money invested in that breed. Some of the people who enter the industry, attracted by this popularity, are hobby breeders or investors who get into the action with popular bloodlines, spending high dollars and pushing the “value” of these cattle even higher. This opens the door to promoters rather than breeders, and invites people who know how to promote the latest trend. This gives a false picture to the average seed stock producer and to the stockmen who utilize the breed—and especially to the new breeders just coming into the business—regarding what is truly important in defining quality cattle. They assume that the highest selling bulls or the females bringing high dollars are the best kind to have. But if that “value” doesn’t have a direct benefit to functionality and the commercial cattleman’s bottom line, this can lead a breed in the wrong direction. For a while, and still today in some instances, “big” was better. The Angus breed tried to compete with the very popular exotics by increasing frame size. The bigger cattle became the most popular and breeders began chasing numbers to increase the weaning and yearling weights on their calves—to the point that now the average frame size in many Angus herds is too big for functional efficiency. In a commercial herd where cattle have to “make it” in the real world, the larger framed hard-doing cattle may fall apart under range conditions and don’t breed back, washing out of the herd at a young age. The breed is starting to come to a correction point on frame size, and “big” is not quite as popular as it was during the past several decades.
Now the hype is marbling and grids, and promotion for “dollar beef” that uses IMF as most of that particular value. Some people are looking at this as a way to determine which cattle are the most valuable. But for the producer who sells cattle by the pound and keeps heifer replacements, this promotional formula does a great disservice. It does not give enough consideration to all the other very important factors such as performance, muscle, maternal qualities, etc. Any breeder—purebred or commercial—who tries to select cattle by the criteria being promoted today will eventually end up with a herd that has lost ground in some of the most important traits.
Seed stock breeders who use “numbers” genetics and the popular bloodlines that have been promoted more on hype than on their actual do- ability are finding that this is not working for their commercial customers. Those bulls don’t bring people back to buy another one. You can’t sell cattle on hype for very long because eventually the commercial rancher will start looking somewhere else for his seed stock.
Angus are popular with feedlot buyers because they’ve always been noted for certain carcass values, but today very few feedlot operators are actually concerned about whether or not the cattle have enough marbling. Today they are more concerned with whether the cattle have enough growth and muscle, and the genetics to be able to grow fast enough (to gain 4 pounds a day in the feedlot with good feed efficiency) and kill early, and be competitive with breeds that produce a lot of meat in a short time. They don’t want fine-muscled, slow growing Angus cattle—which some of the highest IMF cattle have become.
Angus have always had high IMF and this is one reason the breed became popular for feeding. It’s important to have marbling because this makes the meat more flavorful, but the chase for higher marbling in an already high IMF breed would be like Simmental breeders pushing for more bone and frame in an already large-framed heavy-boned animal. We need to keep the marbling in the Angus breed but we also need to be competitive by having good overall performance with good yield and muscle.
Some breeders feel that the chase for higher IMF is pushing the Angus breed backward in other important traits such as fast growth, high yield, fertility and easy fleshing, etc. The highest marbling beef breed is the Wagyu, yet they don’t look like a typical beef animal because they are fine boned and flat muscled. They look more like a dairy cross than a beef breed. Indeed, a Holstein steer has good marbling and fine textured muscle that makes for good eating. But Holsteins are not efficient as beef animals because they are less hardy, take more feed to mature and finish, etc. This is not what you want your beef steers to look like if you are selling them by the pound.
Some of the highest marbling Angus cattle are late maturing, lower fertility cattle that have less actual total muscle than the breed average, and tend to look a bit like the Wagyu—very light in the rear end. In the Angus breed, chasing IMF has actually led to a loss of muscling, on average, yet a lot of people don’t yet realize this. Any time we try to maximize any one trait, we lose something somewhere else. Muscling and marbling are actually antagonistic traits and breeders need to work toward an acceptable balance.

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PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:34 pm

the registered business has long been, and forever will be, based on the theory that there is a bigger fool can forget the business model concoctions as well; just more BS from the other extreme...remember Fallon`s statement...
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. 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 applaud their progress.'."

I can demonstrate improved efficiency, but not by using only one type.
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Join date : 2010-09-25

PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:02 pm

"Hype sells cattle for a while" or as we say it in North Dakota "SCREW THEM WHILE THEY ARE IN HEAT".
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PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:40 am

everyone is happy, i am happy too..that I don`t have to pay for the bull with his progeny...

Congratulations to SAV for a phenomenal sale in which the individuals were as phenomenal as the prices.

It's a testiment to the depth of a program when you can put that many elite females in your bull sale offering. This is the 7th year that I have either scouted the cattle for Herbster Angus Farms and/or attended the sale itself. This set of bulls and females were not only breed enhancing, but program enhancing. Whether you purchased bulls or females or will use semen from bulls who were sold at SAV in 2011, the impact for your program will be beneficial.

This year we were able to add two incredible bulls to our program. We purchased Lot 277, SAV Harvestor, who,I believe, has the potential to impact the breed by adding more real muscle, soundness, and volume than any bull I have ever seen. The longevity and production records on the females behind this bull are second to none.

We were also able to add Lot 59, SAV Prusuit, our favorite Pioneer son. He is a calving ease bull with a little extra power and style. He stems from one of the up-and-coming great cows at SAV.

Once again, thanks so much to Kelly and Martie Jo and staff for all their hospitality and their commitment to the cattle business.

Ed Raithel,
Manager, Herbster Angus Farms

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Mean Spirit

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PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:31 am

That's awesome. He paid $277,000 for a ten month old bull and thanked the vendor for HIS commitment.
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PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:28 am

Is Kelly really a magician? No , just one heck of an illusionist. Every 5 years or so the seedstock segment anoints a new seedstock saviour. Ankony-Premier-R&J -Hoff- Bon View-Whitestone Krebs- Wehrman- Gardiner- Coneally- SAV and on and on. The only sane thing in this system that keeps us from extincting cattle are commercial realities. Commercial cattlemen can not stand what these kinds of programs shovel for very long. I had a guy that was in the middle of purebred nonsense 30 years ago tell me that Montana was nowhere when it came to Angus. From my experiences I would say that Montana commercial cattlemen might be as sharp as anywhere. It seems Montana cattlemen are looking for the bloodlines and the kind of cattle they were able to find in the 70's.
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PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:53 am

Mean Spirit wrote:
That's awesome. He paid $277,000 for a ten month old bull and thanked the vendor for HIS commitment.

What is that quote about a fool and his money.

I hope the bull passes his semen test and the semen freezes well Very Happy
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Double B


Posts : 66
Join date : 2010-10-07
Age : 39
Location : Mt. Liberty Oh

PostSubject: Re: Fairy Tale come true   Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:55 am

Mean Spirit wrote:
That's awesome. He paid $277,000 for a ten month old bull and thanked the vendor for HIS commitment.

It's easy to spend when it's not your money
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