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trevorgreycattleco

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:13 pm

Thank you sir for expanding my mind. I go to sleep at night thinking about this.
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Double B

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:59 pm

Larry I'm going to have to reread that several times.What struck me the most was everytime I read your posts it kinda clears my mind of other problems.Anyhow back to the shop to work on a truck and some how I now have several new ideas after reading your post.If I get stuck Ill just come in and reread.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:03 pm

Quote :
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 out 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 If there ever was a case for the need of stabilized parts to make the whole, I've just presented it.
Yes, at this moment in time, this is not a new car dealership; but merely a parts store... generic, after-market, some even imported, parts... instead of brand name parts. What`s a brand name, more reliable part worth? It must be worth enough more, or at least charged enough more, to pay for those parts that did not meet the specifications of the brand...
Funny thing though breeding cattle parts; even the failed parts can usually find a use rather than the junkheap...and that raises a question that I meant to ask in an earlier discussion...
let`s use frame/size for an example...some producers prefer compact cars...I`m wondering if the parts manufactured/bred for mid-size cars, or occasionally full-size cars, that FAILED to met the specs of mid-size, but by chance some fit the compacts; are as reliable as the parts manufactured/bred specifically for compacts?
can all the failed parts variation produced for a one size/fit, be equally reliable provided it can be fitted elsewhere?
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Mark Day



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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:08 pm

Agree with everyone above - much to ponder. For everything that seems clearer more things become muddy that were not visible at all before.

If someone is looking to change production levels in their herd - more or less - is it better to select from with in one's own herd from a corresponding better or lesser performing individual or select that desired performance level from an outside source?
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:53 am

Mark Day wrote:
Agree with everyone above - much to ponder. For everything that seems clearer more things become muddy that were not visible at all before.

If someone is looking to change production levels in their herd - more or less - is it better to select from with in one's own herd from a corresponding better or lesser performing individual or select that desired performance level from an outside source?
just like inbreeding levels, each must find his own answer weighing how far and how fast you need to change... balanced against how much risk of covered over problems you are willing to accept...
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:07 am

Quote :
Agree with everyone above - much to ponder. For everything that seems clearer more things become muddy that were not visible at all before.

If someone is looking to change production levels in their herd - more or less - is it better to select from with in one's own herd from a corresponding better or lesser performing individual or select that desired performance level from an outside source?

From what I picked up so far from Larry's latest correspondence, if your group is fixed and the original stock's type, observed traits and measured traits are what you now see in the current generation, then your group has returned to original stock's average. And if you select the most growthy individuals alone, you'll change the nearest future generations but they will have a tendency to drift back toward the original stock's average. If you want to totally change the average of your population, you do as Mike says and buy in something that has more _____ (whatever your measurement criteria is for your success) and make a permanent change to your overall group average. But this is assuming that your aniaml's trait limits are genetic and not environmental.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:19 pm

while the wheat drill is getting repaired, a quick observation...as reality sets in, I think we begin to see what an easy course increasing "performance" is compared to stabalizing a type...increasing performance is one directional and constant; except for going back to bring up what fell farther behind as an antagonistic trait went too far...two steps forward, one back still equates to change in a constant direction. We term change as progress, so those who can change the most get rewarded the most...for a while at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:06 pm

Quote :
I don't know your comfort zone nor the long term goals of the program you might be thinking about…. only you can determine your comfort level

I’m willing to be uncomfortable. Not sure of the exact goals but not knowing exactly which roads I'll take never stopped a good road trip as I drove down the driveway. 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.

Quote :
The topic is breeding phiIosphy..... 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. …
12.5% average? What if it comes in one sided, such as a group of females with little IBC bred to a male that is the product of a sire/daughter or a mother/son mating? Will it take more generations to stabilize than if the line is started from a common sire on the same group of females and the cousins become the breeders?
my own breeding objectives….. the ones I prefer seldom produce the biggest heaviest calves. 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….. I made my choice ….. more prolific type of beef cow….. 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. ….. breed smaller prolific cows….. MEANINGFUL records and measures on my cattle

Cows become the primary selection for a maternal line. Is there a set look or a set local for the ideal cow in the records and measurements? Apparently it is not weaning weights. Small is average and market acceptable compared to the FS9 and FS10? Can you describe the look or do we just use a Shoshone or Keeney cow picture? Are the meaningful records the ancestry, the fertility, the progeny ‘s success in the program for desired goals, the daughters, the sons, etc?

Quote :
PRINCIPLES of breeding. He ISOLATES and FIXES a GOOD type by careful selection and CLOSE breeding. If ambitious, he takes a greater step in advance, … THE CONSISTENT use of PREPOTENT sires of the SAME improved type. … the basic genetic principles are all the same. …. difficult to know beforehand where the optimum is and when to stop….The first major difficulty encountered ….. good is seldom good enough…..The second diffculty we lack the "prepotent sires of the SAME improved type to bring inferior stock up to a higher level…. we tend to be disappointed in the natural "regression" of the expressed combination.... the functional phenotype we preferred isn't quite that way anymore…. if we want to improve the purity or prepotency of characters in an animal or population,…. we would need to create pedigrees dominate in a single color by the absence or isolation from the other colors.

Still have to have males. Need to have prepotent males from good type, of good type and replicating good type. Venture into any performance requirements or just base it on ancestry and dam for initial selection? Equally good dams from same sire: one has an average but quite functional son and the other has an outstanding functional son. Use one or both and decide value based on progeny? Can the type for maternal males be put into words?

Quote :
an animals expected progeny AVERAGES are 9 times more reliable than their individual performance…. ancestry is far more important than individuality….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....
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 culled…

Do all tops have little endurance so that the middle is the sweet spot or is it an unknown without progeny?

Quote :
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 …. what bulls he don't like….
…..the bulls standard range of distribution or deviation is highly correlated with their IBC's.

Is the “top” with a higher IBC the male to use to shift the desired traits of the entire population by decreasing the standard deviation of the next generation ? Is Mike’s unliked bull more paternal or less preoptent to produce the desired females? Once the breeder assumes he has moved the population to the maximum of the desired trait(s), then the average males from the ideal of dams, with the rotation to decrease the overall IBC is the key location?
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Mark Day



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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:54 pm

In regards to the car parts, tops, middles and why not include bottoms - if the up close pedigrees are somewhat similar in 2 different herds - is the top in 1 the top in the other if selection criteria is similar or does the more distant stuff have much influence?


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PostSubject: more from Larry   Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:35 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 ......to 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't....it'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: from LL   Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:13 pm

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,
Dad.'

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
everlasting.

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.

TAKE TIME TO LIVE....

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

[/size]
[/size]
[/size]

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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:29 pm

Larry,

I greatly appreciate you taking time to not only share your knowledge but also your stories. You've got me pegged as a person interested in the unique and if I were not interested in the unique you'd have to find out what I was up to in the Angus Journal or something that attracts followers and not a person willing to take a look at the lesser road at each proverbial crossroads. I will share more of the issues of profit with the cattle and sheep as I sift thought my thoughts for answers, and YES, more questions. One thing that I have learned from both you and Mike is that questions that is unanswered or answered with a question are the most valuable of answers. I know that my questions are often dead ends but getting it out in type and hearing your review gives me a better opportunity to answer or see the answer. So, again, thank you for your interest and time in me and others who bombard you with time consuming ramblings. And Mike, thank you for making this possible.

Eddie
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:37 pm

MKeeney wrote:
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,
Dad.'

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
everlasting.

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.

TAKE TIME TO LIVE....

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

[/size]
[/size]
[/size]

If Larry seems a bit more mellow today, it could be because he is celebrating a birthday today Smile ...Happy Birthday Larry; and may you have enough..

Might I also note that the father of the other principle here Eddie Martin passed away this morning. Mr. Martin was 89; I only knew him from from his son; but that too, was enough...
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:44 pm

Happy Birthday Larry- and my condolences Eddie...
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:24 pm

Goodness.......I may have to drop out without recieving my registration certificate.....er uh, diploma, as I have been away from "class" too long to catch back up. Between the folks I met this week, and the discussions going on here, it is going to take awhile to sort and cull the corners of my mind.

Good work gentlemen and please continue on without my interuption.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:08 am

Bootheel wrote:
Goodness.......I may have to drop out without recieving my registration certificate.....er uh, diploma, as I have been away from "class" too long to catch back up. Between the folks I met this week, and the discussions going on here, it is going to take awhile to sort and cull the corners of my mind.

Good work gentlemen and please continue on without my interuption.
Joe, interuption is the key to explaining and justifying new ideas...and I`m anxious to hear about your trip; give us a report on a new thread when you can...good thing I hung out here; just got wheat sowed, and here comes the first rain in near two months tonight...management Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:54 am

Larry, we are in totally different worlds with land, cattle and much just from our backgrounds and our current situations. I’ll tell you more than you want to know and you can use this as a sleeping pill,as needed. The history of our area still shapes what we do today. Cotton was king here for 100+ years. When Hugh Hammond Bennett began his push for soil erosion control in the USA back in the 1930’s he wrote a book on the subject. (Let me preface this comment with a visual clue: one ton of soil on an acre is about the thickness of a dime.) In some of the studies that Mr. Bennett did to begin the process of land recovery, the studies closest to us were heralded in the fact that soil erosion rates were decreased from 86 tons per acre per year down to 60 tons per acre per year. A long introduction to tell you that we live with a damaged resource base. Cotton was also a crop that shaped the size of the farms and the road systems. One family and a mule could work 30 acres of cotton. One family and a family of share croppers could work 60 acres. You had to have roads to get to the fields and to get the wagons of cotton to the gin. So, we have a lot of roads and smaller tracts of land. The cotton mills came along to process the cotton and the share croppers had an opportunity to not farm and could work 6-12’s inside a building and many went to live on the mill hills. The Boll Weevil came from Mexico they say, looking for a place to stay, just looking for a home, just looking for a home and the cotton kingdom died the final death in our region with three strikes against it: soil depletion, a prevalent pest, and labor issues.

So, what do you do with worn out cotton farms? The Forest Service bought some as a welfare effort of the time to give the folks some money to start over and we have sections of the country known as National Forests. You can plant some pines, you can farm the better parts with new crops and HEY, how about cattle? Not just the crossed up milk types or a few Horned Herefords shipped in by rail because of the droughts out west, … some “beef cattle”. (I spared you the part about planting kudzu in the gullies!)
Today, the average beef herd in our area is probably less than 30 cows. Most folks work off the farm and own cows because they want to rather than they have to do it; a means to use the land. As the farm population ages many have decided that land and cows are not necessary, a lot of the land has been either planted to pines or sold. Subdivisions and trailer parks can pop up in a hurry.

My father grew up on a cotton farm. The first money he ever earned was spent buying a calf. He ended up going to college and majored in Dairy Husbandry. There is a gap of time here but my parents bought the first part of our farm in the 50’s and while my father worked in a local plant, he and my mother and eventually my brother and I began our mighty efforts of cattle farming. The initial animals were day old dairy heifers fed on bottles and sold into Florida as springers through local order buyers. Some beef type calves were bottle raised, the market for the FL springers faded and we were sure-nuf beef cattle people. An Angus bull finally got here, my brother and I showed some purchased heifers at the local fair and the registered element was in place.

Where am I today? I also work an off the farm job. We’re still running mostly commercial cattle. We have a 50+ year drought about ever decade so total numbers yo-yo based on the pasture conditions and feed situation. There is a dwindling market, locally, for breeder cattle, and especially herd bulls. A lot of the infrastructure has vanished. One reason for a lot of cattle herds that are still around are the broiler houses and other poultry industry. The litter has to go somewhere and pastures and hayland are available 12 months a year. Not a rosy view of the future for the agriculture of the area.

Why do I like the Dominique chickens? I had a great-grandfather who had them. They lay pretty well, they eat good, they are easy to keep and they are a terrible challenge to breed to proper type. Maybe not good reasons, but the truth. They are truly a hobby.

St Croix Hair sheep are a marketing opportunity come true. They are a management dream of the sheep world. With selection and culling, they do not have hoof problems, they do not need to be wormed, they lamb without assistance with twins, generally, they can breed year-round, and they live productive lives longer than most breeds. They do not need to be sheared. A number of folks who have moved into the area want lambs or processed meat. It is entirely another job to market the product, but is more profitable than commercial beef cattle. I call them lazy man’s sheep: hey, that’s for me!!! They are a largely unimproved breed, a maternal breed and a fairly small, somewhat inbred population. They are a building portion of our farm business. Profitability is a key component of the sheep for me and it is a work in progress with a sell off this summer due to drought and about 45 ewes to lamb in about a month. Sheep are mind benders for selection and genetic thoughts with more offspring more often, and honestly, siblings that are sometimes quite different for the other sibs. My major limitation right now is that old fences need to be rebuilt to spread them across the entire farm.

Cattle, specifically Angus cattle, would be the next topic. I like and enjoy cattle. They are run and managed as a business, so, yes, profit is a purpose and a goal. People like you and Mike have given me a chance to see cattle bred with thought and purpose. Some folks like cars with a lot of chrome and some do not. Some folks like fancy clothes and some do not. I enjoy registered Angus cattle, cars without much chrome, plain clothes and my favorite food is crowder peas! Laughing Can’t say that the papers mean a lot but that is what I enjoy. Probably tied to my father and his quest for something more standard and it might go back to animal husbandry as compared to animal science. Much of our registered cattle efforts may have paralleled the bane of a dairyman: bull calves and girl children! We never really increased registered numbers too much because the commercial cows were doing a pretty good job of being cows. I would not mind having a larger part of the herd as registered if they will pay their way. I just want to raise good, useful cattle. I’d prefer that some of them be registered Angus and will continue to market them as such.

We have a little timberland to round us out in the land business. So, now you know a bit more about the guy with the questions.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:42 pm

Quote :
"A Guide to Better Fishing"

I like the idea but seems back when I was a kid as I read Field and Stream and Outdoor Life that I never caught the lunker fish or shot the trophy deer as the stories seemed destined to lead me. I had to take the tidbits and learn to hunt and fish for myself. So, I heartly agree.

Quote :
It's much easier for me to encourage people to think for themselves than to tell them what they ought to do.
".....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 have never heard you talk about breeding for monetary values.

I look at life in this way: If I sell something to somebody, it sells with the truth. If I can enjoy owning it, it should also be good for the new owner. Otherwise, I am a fraud. On profit/business: it needs to pay the way plus some.

Quote :
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.

They might be seeing if we tell our shirt or sock sizes with Christmas just around the corner! santa

Quote :
Many breeders may seem interested but few actually practice our basic objective ......to 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 : ).

That’s where I think I’ve been (wanted to be) and plan to remain. I just wasn't/aren't sure about all of the details.

Quote :
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 : )

I have already given Mike calluses on his ears discussing this issue of ideals/limitations. Any help from advice and experience is always appreciated. I have no interest in reinventing the wheel. I try to listen, read and learn. What happens with selection over time can be joyful or a day of sorry. But it is a trip I want to take.


Quote :
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.

EPDs are useful tools and I know a range of what will work here, the upper end that will not survive and the lower end that will rob profits. $EN is useful as it lets me glance through a catalog or a paper and keep on going without worrying about the rest of the data that is presented. I have a handle on the upper limit of $EN for our management and resources.


Quote :
I had to laugh when Tom implied that I was working hard to put the "Aberdeen" B A C K into Angus.

I didn’t know that Tom lost his Aberdeen. I hope he finds it and keeps it safely locked up in the Hall of Fame. Next time he takes it out he ought to get some insurance on his Aberdeen or at least get a leash so that it cannot get lost again. That has to be stressful. He might even get so stressed that he’ll use a picture of himself that is not 50 years old.

Quote :
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 : )

Got to have sawdust to make lumber.

Quote :
It is all just as simple as improving the reliability of the parts…

Got to tighten down the genetic screws.

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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 : )

I honestly believe that some thinkers recognize the usefulness of the intensified genetic arrangements.

Quote :
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.


Tom who??? Laughing

Quote :
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)

I’ll dwell on this and try to comment a bit later.

Quote :
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.

In other words, it ain’t going according to same old plan! Will think on the application of this, too.

Quote :
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. Right or wrong, I'm sure the standards of my selection will self-govern the percent of "purity" that is phenotypically sustainable.
I run multiple bulls who are selected primarily for my maternal values based more on the continuity of their ancestry than their own individuality.

This sounds like an answer that will come in handy for the final fishing exam!

Quote :
Of course, the higher my standards are, the more culling would be required….. 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 : )

Maybe we'll learned to like the look?

Quote :
In general, they have become more masculine with increased libido, perhaps with a little slower maturity rate compared to what's seemingly popular today. …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.

I don’t worry about popularity. I’m too old to run for Miss America, too slow for the Olympics and have a face for radio! Do people worry about the sexual maturity of the heifer mates when you tell them that the male sibs are slower to mature? Do you think the slower rate of maturity has anything to do with more of a base survival issue of the younger population able to exist in th early years or is it moreso tied to overall longevity, which could also be a survival issue? Do you have to sell the bulls at an older age?

Quote :
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 occasionally 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.

Maybe they had the eye for the same type regardless of the source?

Quote :
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 asked EddieD about the needs to “go back” because a past Wye newsletter mentioned the concerns of toplines, udders, etc. I asked if they had problems with such. EddieD is much more polished than me and said that they did not have “problems” but “concerns”! silent

Quote :
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.

Moving toward paternal?

Quote :
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.

Every selection can be a selection for change. That would be the value of the known ancestry of the animals?

Quote :
.....I use pedigree to breed more continuity of a pre-determined existing type.

A key plank in a maternal breeding program, … I’m taking notes!

Quote :
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 ? : )

Maybe Tom will send John a letter and offer some Hall of Fame assistance for December! clown


Quote :
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 ? : )

Larry, I do not think I can answer that question just yet and I honestly believe that my suitable maternal type will be smaller with more stomach capacity than your type due to environment, management and forage quality, or lack of. I ought to post some pictures of some hard working cows from the farm but you might feel like you need to send me a sympathy card! If Mike's ideal Model A cow bumps around 1,300 pounds, I think that I'd have to drop a maternal line down to 1200 as a max, maybe lower. The crossbred cows here can run at 1350 to 1400 without a hitch. Even had an old Pfred daughter that was 1700 as a fat cow and she lasted 10+ years. I always assumed that she was a bit crossbred with Pfred involved!

Quote :
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" : )

Proof’s in the pudding, but do you think that they will plateau at some point or regression? I do not believe that incest refers to animals and I do not think that animals have “personality”. I guess I’d have to say they have smarts, instinct or “animality”!!

Quote :
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.

What a way to celebrate a birthday. Happy belated Birthday and wishing you many more. I’ll study on your comments more and will reread mine at some point and be embarrassed that I said such stupid stuff! But the true man eventually always comes out!
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PostSubject: from LL   Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:36 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.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:39 am

Larry,

Normally I do not have the time to ramble, wordily, at will. Yesterday was a day to be around the house, etc. I have not seen your Truline book but maybe I can borrow one from Mike. That might help me absorb more of the base concepts. I'm not sure if I learn better by reading about not hitting your thumb with the hammer or if I am an experience-type guy who needs to miss the nailhead. I've done both!

You can wait to answer this after I read your book, but are your X, Y and Z anything like Mike's Models A, B and C? I can see the link of the X and A but I assume that the Y would be a segment much like the bulls that Mike uses for the Model B productions. And with your Z stock, a commercial producer would either raise replacement Z heifers on his operation or use a terminal sire on mostly Z females to produce the equal of Mike's Model Cs? And you have explained the red, yellow and green tags to me before so I see a link there.

As for the wit, I can tell you it is a two edged sword. With a straight face delivery, my wife tells everybody that she can never tell if I'm telling the truth or not. And to be frank, sometimes I'm not too sure either! Rolling Eyes

I do not want to pester either you or Mike for examples but hints are greatly appreciated.

Eddie
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:48 am

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.

In the above scenario; 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.

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.

I thank you for the calming affect upon the multi species comparisons, in the discussions, and while I mostly agree with your conclusions, and other issues addressed below, in my opinion we can learn from the principles of other species, in the case of chickens, I think it is a good case study on trying to get an animal to do too much.....much the same as a modern mainstream, dairy animal. The princepalities used in the modern chicken industry would parallel the true-line concept, I think, but they seemed to have left out the X strain.


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 records.....how 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.

I admire the boldness and bravery of running your operation, without the oversight and subsidy from registration, allowing the cattle to stand on your and their merits. There is no need for apologies or justifications on your part, though it does put some of us fools at a disadvantage, those of us that have been merely multipliers, of genetics, from those with advertising budgets, or continuity selection either one, now have to stand on our own.

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 ? : )

Your conclusions above, mirror some of my current thought processes, there is a change of thought process occuring in the cattle industry among those truly trying to make a living at it. The other segment will always exist for distraction purposes, no doubt, but a commercially oriented program, has and will continue to stand the test of time.

[/quote]

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:18 am

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 occasions.by '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 ©   Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:27 am


Larry wrote:
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.


Larry I'm a little confused. What is the difference between sabilizing a type and consistency?
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RobertMac



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Join date : 2010-09-28
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:08 am

I'm certainly not trying to answer for Larry or Mike, but this is my take on what I think they are working toward.

If you start with a group of cows whose production is 80 to 120 and avg. 100, breed them to a bull from the closed group that is 100, the next generation should avg. 100, but with less deviation...85 to 115. On the female side, you can concentrate by culling the cows that produce on both ends...cull everything outside 90 to 110. Continue breeding with 100 bulls from the closed group and you should eventually end up with a very narrow, sharp production bell curve deviating very little from 100...consistency. Then crossbreed the cows to a bull of a different breed(preferably developed the same way), the production of the cow group should maintain the consistency, but at the "120 level" and this is where the commercial cattleman should be to reap the benefit of true purebred seedstock breeders.

Now everyone can point out the flaws in my thinking.
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EddieM



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Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL ©   Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:04 am

Quote :
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 ? : )

Larry and Mike, I am apparently not gifted with the ability to move both text and pictures. I have pondered the pictures that were nested in the above text for days now. I will ramble through an answer to see if I can get you to tell me if I am seeing things correctly or not. I'm guessing that the first "model cow" is larger and older that the Char cow (or Char cross) cow. But with the calf nursing the Char cow, it is hard to say that absolute mature size matters. Maybe she is smaller but with more milk. Maybe her calf is out of a outcross or growth bull and is expressing 120 rather than 100. But there are no faults for me in either cow. Will the Char cow not still have some years to grow more "model-like" or mature? The discussion that is going on with Hilly's bull on another thread makes me wonder about the bull calf nursing his mother. I tend to think that his genes are "on" for muscling.

The model cow is just that. I can add no more flowery or ivory tower terms to describe her. She is, to me, a breeder's achievement. And I think that it is pretty telling that you have the confidence in your gene pool to sell her and know that you can create more of her kind. Have all of her calves expressed themselves in the same kind as she is; I guess I'm still thinking about the on/off deal but that would also have to do with the sires of her calves? What would be her IBC and would she have been an average heifer in the sea of weaned or yearling heifers or did she express "modelness" from birth and always have "the look"?
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