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 Reflections Condensed

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:23 pm

LL wrote...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$F___$G__$QG__ $YG__$B

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rather than join AA, perhaps Tru-Line might be better named to be known from this point on as GA (Gamblers Anonymous) as we seek the cure here on KC   Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:25 pm

Dennis Voss wrote...


This is an extremely important statement. Agreed. This should be posted on a neon billboard going in and going out of the Denver Stock Show right now. It's actually a revolutionary statement based on one man's work, one man's experience and one man's portfolio of genetic research. This is exactly what needs to change as it pertains to the role of tru-line in todays cattle breeding industry. EPD afficianados need to have to defend their position based on this statement.

Look what I have done here with the Esters over the years. I have absolutely slaughtered their goodness with outside, unrelated crosses to high EPD carcass bulls, supposedly complementary maternal bulls, "just" bulls, and all along their original goodness took a beating and Larry's patience probably took a beating. Then, as I started to finally wake up from my ignorance, and started to patch them back together again with their own relatives, especially 3116 and 3128, I'm starting to see the original goodness and the original Shoshone cow reappear. And man can they fight, genetically, for what they want in their dominance. I have a few Esters that got clobbered with the carcass terminality one generation after another and I look at them, and guess what, there is still enough Ester hanging on to make them look like Esters. The Shoshone blood fights hard for their genetic way. That's all I need to know about something that good. The mystery going on there is something I don't even want Larry to explain to me. I just want it to remain a mystery. Like many great things, it's the mystery that holds it all together for me. I don't have the intellect at this point to completely get my own mind wrapped around this statement "When cattle breed like they look, EPD are not necessary". What's really strange is I've been heading that direction all on my own. The whole Horse Butte program is now kind of a tru-line deal. If I had a restaurant and a slaughtering plant, I'd be completely circular. All I can say Larry, is thank you for letting me be the prodigal son. And Mike, thank you and Joe, for sending that Encore semen to Montana so many years ago. Encore is what really got me off my butt. It's all just like fate, another word I don't want anyone to explain to me because they can't.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Dennis Voss wrote...

The Horse Butte antelope herd numbers approximately 1500 head. These are the "peoples" antelope being fed and watered and sheltered compliments of Horse Butte Ranch. We think they're a great genetic study. Their EPD's are as follows. 0 on birth, 0 on weaning weight, 0 on milk and 0 on yearling weight. I don't know if the fish and game has numerical expected progeny differences on carcass quality for antelope, but I won't go into that right now. Their feet are hard and tight. Their bone is small but dense. Their breeding period is only 2 weeks and as a result they're all lambed out in 2 weeks. The females scatter out everywhere to lamb out. They usually have twins. The babies can run as fast as their mothers within hours. If she says "hit the dirt", they disappear in the grass so fast you don't remember seeing them. Soon, just like my 1st calf Esters with their little longhorn babies, the mothers start to group the kids up. This allows some of the Esters go to water while some of the others stay with the calves. As time goes on the baby antelope become socialized with each other and form little kid groups. These groups can be as large as 40 head of little antelope. At this stage the mothers become very worried because the kids don't behave like they should. It's also from birth to this period that coyotes, eagles, wolves, bear, you name it devour as many of them as they can. So at this point you get the picture. The genetic harmony created by this type to type over generations if not eons, is not meant to be a model for breeding cattle. It's just an example of genetic harmony and balance. It makes a person realize how well balanced it is when you start thinking about bringing in a disruptive outlier.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:30 pm

LL wrote...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sheer Nightgown....

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

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

She appears naked on the balcony and strikes a pose.

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

He never heard the shot.

Funeral on Thursday at Noon. Closed coffin.

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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:29 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coffelt asked me some valid pertinent questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Larry Leonhardt

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Join date : 2011-08-10

PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:32 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:34 pm

EddieM wrote:
Dear Mr. Leonhardt,

I hope that you are doing well this winter.  You sure have a lot of burdens placed on you by others with questions, comments, requests and worries about the looks of your bulls.  When do you plan to take up marital counseling?  I have a question about where to squeeze the toothpaste tube that I’d like to ask somebody.  I have tried to lessen your burdens some as I have looked at all the lost and found listing I could find to see if anyone ever found the lost Aberdeen for Tom Fame.  I have found plenty of things people have apparently lost and others have found:  there is a heart that was found in San Francisco, a lot of minds have been found in areas of great worry, even more hinnies have been discovered on the sidewalks of Wall Street.  I don’t know if Tom can go back to the crossroads where his Aberdeen fell off of the truck and see if it might be over in the bushes with the beer bottles and hubcaps but it might be worth one more look.  Uncle Shug found a nice pair of pants doing that one time.

How am I doing?  Well pretty good.  I think that I might be at a proverbial  four way stop myself whatever that means but I won’t burden you to come help me with directions.  I do not want to bother you by asking you for too much but I thought I might quiz you a bit about some of the stuff you might have in surplus and might not need.  Since you do not plan to register any more cattle, I got to thinking that you must have a whole lot of EPD’s that you will not be using.  I guess Mike Keeney could tell me how many drawers full of EPD’s you have there in your office but I hate to bother him since he is working on his A Models  for the spring sale.  Those were some pretty good Fords according to the old folks.  And I hope that you have not already had a yard sale and sold your EPD’s in box lot or grab bags.  That would mess up my plans.

Anyhow, back to those EPD’s.  They are handy to have around when cow folks come by looking for a great deal on the farm.  You probably already know this but my cousin Homer says that having the EPD’s of a cow is kind-a-like looking under the hood of a car to see if there are any oil leaks, you know?  I just thought that if you had some that I could get from you, even if they show a little wear, they might do me good.  And you never know how this cow business will go and I might venture out into something bigger.  Now, just for me, I can use some medium tall EPD’s with a black hide and I’d rather have more cow ones than bull ones but I really need to let you decide what you have to spare.  

If I get into one of these sales club or something bigger, I might ought to think about where I would be selling cows.  Tom seemed to think that you had seen his Aberdeen and he really wanted it back.  If you have any Aberdeen EPD’s I would not mind having one or two of them and maybe Tom and I could work out a deal.  And then I hear that there are some cow folks that are good progressive, good salt of the earth, good commercial, good neighbor cattlemen out there in Iowa or somewhere west of Georgia.  I’d need some EPD’s that are about 2” taller and maybe 500 pounds heavier to be able to muster up a phone call with them.  But if I go big…, I mean small, and try to work into the CO market, I can used some EPD’s on post-it notes as long as they do not have any fly specks on them.

Well, let me let you go.  The wife and them youngens of our’n say that they want to head toward Walmarks 'cause it grocery day.  You know what that's like.  Do what you can and if you have any of the EPD’s with only 3 legs, just put them back in that drawer.  That would be a tough one to sell, especially trying to sell halves of freezer beef.  It might be hard to know which leg was missing until you got it dressed out if it had much hair.  Take care.

Your friend as always,

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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:36 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a primary point to contribute to the manifesto...

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

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

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

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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:54 pm

R V wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
R V wrote:
The bull appears very similar to my 41/97 bull when he was a year or two younger and presume that he is another 41/97 son. Is it still okay to ask about breeding/ancestry of a bull? I am still trying to get better at the type to type breeding. Since 41/97 has more linebreeding than most American angus and he is an outcross to our cattle, would the first generation progeny be more consistent in type and performance?
let me consult The Manifesto and get back to you Ron  Smile

oooookkkk, he is not a 41/97...but I would sell you a 41/97, with Viking in the pedigree twice, and he`s already half way to your place  Smile
Darn, now I am more curious about the pedigree and I wish I had a picture of my bull when he was a year or two younger. Maybe it is just "the pose in his working clothes," but the two dimensional view is eerily similar. Maybe they are a lot alike in type and breeding and maybe very little, but I suspect the type is similar and that is a concept that I am having a hard time getting down.

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

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

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

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

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

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Join date : 2011-08-10

PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:57 pm

From Taylor's topic on "Angusology", my new favorite topic for entertainment is the "Laws of Marketing"....I watched about $300 million in 30 second aggrandized ads during the super bowl and none of them convinced me to go out and buy their products while Fox made lots of money. Marketing is probably the second oldest business and I enjoy watching all the opinions, records and preludes of the super bowl like I do the academics vs. the pragmatics on this forum, seeing how the momentum shifts and wondering who the winners will's a struggle to stay on top......requiring team efforts as the spectators root for their favorite team. Smile

D F said " ....How often do you hear Jorgensen type, Ohlde type, Pharo type, etc.? The type is named. What is the Shoshone type?" Great question, since there is no so-called unique Shoshone type. Defining types..... in my own small world I suppose my preferred type consists of part everything, part Wye, part Craigie, a team all wrapped in a see-thru cellophane package tied with a big wide Bonsma yellow reproduction bow for attraction. Being somewhat of a pragmatic prognostic, I did give Mike a quick description of my favorite type within that package when he asked "just what criteria would you use to cut the herd in half?"

For enhanced attraction, I responded with "Technical stuff like pedigree and looks ..... I've always been a sucker for pretty faces, especially cows with long eyelashes and sexy eyes first, then on down to small shoulders, tidy boobs, nice legs and hips Smile
Actually, I was serious about functional sexual distinction, and familiarity with the continuity of ancestoral functional characters is of utmost importance to me. I learned that from my wife and family ancestry and descendants who's characteristics suddenly reappear out of nowhere. Mike says he can't describe"it", but he recognizes it when he sees it. If we need to beware of those bearing surprise gifts, I do prefer packages that are more than just skin deep, yet be cows that cause commercial producers to turn around for an admiring second look attract them to a way to help them produce more from less. Falloon says his production consists of bulls, beef and cull cows.....My production consists of cows, beef and cull female bulls.....some might call female bulls a "ladies man" rather than a "man's man".

I chuckled when D F said - "You may not have to define your product; define your opponents product. Get a picture of the poorest cow you can find; get somebody to draw it if you think that is better..."Is your bull having trouble making love to this cow?".....I was hoping the other Dennis will put his artistic talents to work and draw my preferred type of cow as described to Mike....without looking like his favorite antelope. I was hoping D F could describe or draw a picture of a bull that my cows would "love"....and hopefully provide an illustration of what he means when he says "Balancers are successful because the association defined what a Balancer was .....The point is that Balancers are pretty "average" for lots of traits but were a solution to making crossbreeding easy." So, if "easy come, easy goes", I wondered if pretty "average" Angus in lots of traits would also make both straightbreeding and crossbreeding easier......but we face the dilemma of how would we market them. Smile

Mike says "RARITY sells" and darn, that reminded me of his "stick man ad", thinking how it conflicts with how average Angus are so rare in the registered business and yet they don't sell too well. D F responded - Well, what could be more rare than a highly inbred, Shoshone bull? There sure aren't very many around in comparison to other high dollar cattle. Increase the price if you think they are special. " Increasing the price would be easy and often works for the seller, but I suppose it is time for me to once again interject that my primary objective remains the development of parent stock that can regularly produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns to the commercial beef industry. Lest we forget, marketing them at high prices simply because of rarity goes against the very heart of this basic concept, I would prefer that they'd be a "dime a dozen" and we could get back to selling cattle by the pound in order to make a profit......but that would be out of fashion. Smile

Unlike Bootheel I have never seen "a swamp rabbit on LSD that jumped into a meth lab, cooked over a bed of joo-joo beads. Durn thing just kept runnin' in circles, never gettin' anywhere", but I have seen an abundance of lemmings "high" on EPD goin' in "whimsical circles". I enjoy all the tits for tats on this forum but in our rendezvous with destiny, I am not at all concerned that the principles of common sense values will ultimately is not a matter of if, but the bad news is when. So, I guess I'll just copy Bootheels ending comment....SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY.....for us simple people as I eagerly await to see both the Dennis' illustrated animated caricatures of the various defined types to use as our selection guidelines.....Do you suppose the therapeutic rooms of RBPS's joint McNamee-Voss VENTure will be adorned with those pictures????, and after readin' his high tech response to RBPS, I no longer need to wonder why Bootheel lives in the "show me" state Smile

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Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:01 pm

A rather sobering search result for "when all`s been said, and nothing done"

3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them.
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Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:34 am

Perhaps the largest user of Shoshone bulls over the last several years checked in this morning; Bob Howard near Boise, ID...Bob sent a couple of pictures along of Shoshone sired heifers; perhaps more than 1/2 Shoshone. Bob is an ultimate kind of low input producer; 5 to 6 inches of rainfall yearly...cattle raised on grass year round...I find the type an interesting departure from what the writing guru`s tell us we need in the way of genetics...

Shoshone bulls make the cows; Eaton Charolais bulls make the beef...part of a 45,000 head co-op; carcass data is accumulated on all cattle...more details later, but when you understand types, you don`t need a lot of data to project outcomes...

posted by John Dellinger
Eaton Charolais, to make the beef:

This one is more special because she's mine-- 13 years old, due soon.  

One more, from December

posted by Bob Howard

Thank you Mike.
I am not sure what to say but would like to share a few thoughts, because of Larry Leonharts steadfast no nonsense approach to breeding cattle we have been able to learn and receive just what we thought we were getting into 14years ago. Today we have around 400 females that are at least 1/2 Shoshone. We do not identify any individuals within this population. We are in the meat business and have to have populations of predictable females to use to crossbreed on to get an economical, predictable, palatable protein product that makes a profit by using sun light and water.  Nothing to it.

posted By Mike Keeney

When Mr. Clark encouraged  Larry that Tru-Line was a good idea, but told him that first he would have to educate buyers by demonstrating the concept, I wonder if something like these pictures was what he had in mind....

Here are some more photos of the 2010 calf crop. The black cattle are full sibs' to our cow herd. The colored calves are all sired by Eaton. The oldest calf in pictures could be 12 months. This is the second sort on 900 calves the first sort went at 11months with 190 hd leaving there are 128 in this sort. These two groups weighed 860 net leaving. These cattle will only be fed 95 days and harvested to get the carcass information like I sent you.  
The interesting thing is that they were propagated with a pure genotype in mind the only number game we used was for Lee Eaton to make sure that the Charolais Bulls had  90lb or less birth weight and good rib eye

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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:35 pm

Feb 20, 2011

Following the advice of an LL

Mike wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                       MS  1991 - 2010                                            

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a more sarcastic tone, she said, " We have no choice but to pass down from generation to generation human's
ruthless, merciless and demanding actions, and then they blame us for being what or who most of us are.... they pick our mates
based on their own wants, disregarding our needs.....and then they wonder why so many of us cows are open at the end of the
breeding season.....and why some of us get downright mean from all the stress."

"I know",  nodding my head slowly in agreement, beginning to think this nice gentle cow really despises most humans, a fleeting
thought ran across my mind that she is sounding more like my wife who can be not so nice when she starts bitching about what
men do wrong.   Quickly remembering that MS might sense what I'm thinking, I blurted out "Are you claiming cows are smarter
and wiser than humans and we should let cows pick their own mates ?"

"I'm glad you brought that up." she said, " I've been meaning to have a heart to heart talk
with you about this for a very long time....I could feel your perplexed mood today, I'm beginning to worry that you might revert
 back into your old habits again.  Usually you are too busy to pay any attention to me"
 sounding alot like my wife,
MS continued, "You seem bewildered, torn between trying to decide whether to breed us to what humans want or
what us cows need.   I sensed the hour was here to have a frank discussion about what you're fretting about, especially about
PICKING OUR MATES.     Queen Mother figured this out long ago. "

Nodding my head knowing she was right, I was beginning to think that what I am doing was a hopeless effort, that I would be much
better off financially picking bulls  the same as everyone else in order to sell  my  cattle for more money.  
MS continued, "I want to encourage you to stay the course.  To begin with, cows are definitely wiser.    I know
humans think we're just dumb animals"  .....  "Most humans  think they are smarter and wiser than our Queen Mother"

she scoffed,  and then frowning she said,  "Humans think I cannot understand their incessant criticism of me, I hear
them say I am not thick enough, not deep enough, or tall enough, or short enough, or milky enough, or grow fast enough.......
always trying to pick extreme bulls to fix what they think us ordinary cows lack.....and you, why you even inferred my calf wasn't
big enough....."

"But you don't understand - just calm down", I interrupted, now realizing why man refers to Mother Nature in the female gender.
 I quickly tried to pass blame by saying, "It's actually not all our fault, it is in our human nature.....we're taught to pick the best
of the best outliers....."

"Oh, but I do understand"  MS interrupted, and then said  "But humans confuse best with
fittest....if outliers were Queen Mother's favorites, ask your expert cohorts why does she produce such a few of them"
she laughed.

"Humans often don't have time to stop and think",  she added, "I've seen and heard your
frustrations when you tell your visitors that too much of anything can be as bad as too little for the good of my own well-being....
naturally, I care very much about my own well-being and even more so for those who come after me when I am gone..... I have
seen how most men just will not listen, I suspect they also have herds of discontented cows",
smiling she said
" this is a common trait in males."

Hesitating for a moment, looking deep into my eyes, MS said, "Now about picking our mates,  I want to remind
you of the time you mated me to your big hot shot high performing bull, how your visitors really liked my nice big daughter
I gave you from him.....they thought she was the best calf in the pasture.   My goodness, I heard you tell someone she did ratio
21% more than the average of all her you marveled at the idea that such a mating would give me the ability
to produce one extra calf  in weight every five years.....but...she never  became a good mother, did she...."  

"I felt so sorry for my daughter  because she took after that big lummox of a dad",
laughing MS said, "there is a lesson to be learned here if only humans would listen to what we cows have to say.  
Queen Mother allows you to use her magic powers but over the long term she'll have her way."  
Smiling, MS said,
"After all, she governs you too you know..  I suppose most humans think Queen Mother wasn't aware that my
daughter wasn't needed to replace me,..... that's why I'm so lucky she designed me to last for 15 to 20 years."
she said, "I can guarantee that if you had sold me and kept my daughter, and kept at it.... as you already know,
Queen Mother would start handing you more troubles than you would care to deal with..... my daughter made a great sacrifice
for you and I know you appreciated it. "

"I did......OK, so you're wiser and smarter" I conceded, "but humans have a lot more pressure on them than cows do.....I didn't
know cow's were such deep and simple thinkers...I've seen them stop and take time to deliberate what choices lie ahead of them,
I thought cows were just slow minded."

MS stared at me awhile looking puzzled, then said "Well, first of all, no one is smarter than anyone else,  being wise
is being smart.   Arrogance is strictly a human trait, humans who think they know everything always brag   .  Experience has humbled
you, I knew you would listen, that you believe, but you must be prepared to talk about what I'm telling you .....and continue to learn
more about our Queen Mother's rules."

"I will....but I must go now to do other things, I certainly enjoyed talking to you and you have given me so many things to re-think .
 I'll be talking to you on a regular basis".

"Thank you for listening, I hope you find the contentment that I have", MS said smiling, "I'm glad
I'm not a human.....Sayonara"
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:41 pm

[quote="Bob H"]

First let me say that this is Bob's wife Pam, not him;
He went on a fishing trip with our son and hasn’t seen the recent posts.  I would like to apologize in advance for stepping into these conversations if in-appropriately.   (Man sanctuary?)  Smile

From a woman's perspective;
It fills my mind right now thinking over the last (15 years is it?) about conversations had between Bob and I, deep into the night, sometimes beginning at 2:00 or three in the morning discussing insights learned from our shared "Shoshone" project.  In that time we have taken on a new dimension in our marriage.  Forgive me for stating, but a shared passion for this line of cattle.  An insight......into your passion Larry.  The carry over truths into the simplicities of life.  Wither learned or innate, Man has a tendency to make things so complicated, and enjoys it being so.  We are uncomfortable in the peace that comes with the obvious simplicity of the truths discovered.  Thereby the need to create the chaos in order to (in our minds) have something to do.

For the small amount of value and worth it has, I would like to acknowledge your insights and wisdom Larry.  To Thank you!  For feeling driven to share this acquired knowledge with us, me......that has to hear things time and again sometimes....before I get it.  

I have an idea of your frustration, I see glimpses of it many times in Bob for those folks that "Are slow to or don't quite get it!"  Don't give up on us, there are a few of us out here that are plugging along behind.  We may be in the dust, but so appreciating the sweet aroma.  Smile  
Pam H
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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:40 am

Dreams by LL Tue 01 Mar 2011, 7:00 am

Breeding Philosophies

What are your breeding objectives and methods to achieve those goals?

After spending my entire winter vacation enjoying the dialogue on this forum reflecting back, when all's been said one would think I would have run out of words to say by now. Old guys repeat themselves alot but I also think alot about all the opportunities that lie ahead in the future. Though I won't be here, I have seen samples of them and so I thoroughly enjoy planting some seeds for thoughtful challenges.

On this open forum, few could disagree that it 'tis a noble objective to develop parent stock that can regularly produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns to the commercial beef industry. But few can agree on just how we might better do this, and this is good for there is more than one way in each man's own circumstances. It's no secret that I favor the ingenuity and innovativeness of independent initiatives, may the best ones prevail.

Looking for answers to this noble objective in the archives of history, what better place to begin than with Lingle's "Breed of Noble Bloods". Then I studied Barclay and Keith's thorough "History of the Aberdeen-Angus Breed"; Allen Fraser's "The Bull"; M'Combie's "Cattle and Cattle Breeders"; Wright's array of mammalian research on the "Exceedingly Simple Principles of a Successful Breeder"; Lent's biblical relationships to the "Basis of Linebreeding"; Kowerski & Peters' "Introduction to Chemical Principles"; Bonsma's "Livestock Production-Man Must Measure"; Waitley's "Seeds of Greatness"; Tesio's methods of "Breeding the Racehorse"; Lasater's "Philosophy of Cattle Raising"; McCann's "Battle of the Bull Runts"; Petersen's "Cowpunchers, Sheep Herders and Plain Pig Farmers; and many others of course topped off with Burke's "Angus Legends", all coupled together with a lifetime of observations and a gifted talent of being able to converse with cows. But my most interesting study was the sequel to Burke's......Uncle Tom's "Leprechaun Legends"....the excitement of finding their hidden treasures.....who Eddie M describes as my four-legged wandering gypsies.

Bootheel's posted wheelz of fortune further substantiates what Mike says that all's been said and nothing new under the sun is being done. While this is basically true, Mike forgot that I live in a godforsaken state that became famous for creating the horned jackalope while living adjacent to the states who create headless rabbits. For those who like prettier trophies than KY's Jennifer Lawrence, write to the Chamber of Commerce in Douglas WY and order a mounted jackalope to hang on your dorm or den walls. Hanging directly underneath mine on my former office wall, now turned into a more private den where smoking is still a freedom, there is a large framed inscription from Goethe, "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

From all my studies, being a self-proclaimed dreamer, I often dreamed of things that never were. Always interested in magic, following Goethe's advice, with the magic and power along with common sense rather than genius; from the many gifts of hidden treasures I had accumulated over time, while lacking much boldness, I did muster up enough courage to turn a dream into a reality to reach my breeding objective. I portrayed one of my first magical examples in my original Tru Line booklet.....she had the magical power to transform what many consider to be trash into money. But in a world focused on that imagery of headless rabbits, in over 30 years I have not received any comments either pro or con from the learned......or anyone else.....these non believers have lead me to believe that ignorance is certainly is.

So, while this example is not an impossible dream, this once pleasant dream turned into a nightmare when it comes to marketing. What is missing from my archives of history are books on marketing. For headless rabbits, marketing is the universal "gimme" game, a glorious pyramid scheme with countless employment and often enjoyment opportunities. The methods to achieve my breeding objective was deliberate in-breeding, opposed by most breeders as incestuous and damnation who believe it will produce nothing but fools. Surely, it takes one to know one, and many believe I am the biggest fool yet produced for not following the methodology of one of the biggest tom foolery's of all.

Part of my downfall in marketing has been doin' too much readin' just about breedin'. I learned that during medieval times, the choice would have fallen upon a bull with both testicles descended, masculine in appearance and nowise imperfect in his private parts, bulls who were active, freely moving and firmly set on their legs, well grown for age, eager yet controllable, out of a good cow, who comes of a good family..... those would stand the best chance of avoiding castration. This motley collection of browns and blacks, duns and fawns, piebald and skewbald, horned and polled prevailed until the need for greater order and uniformity arrived in the mid 1750's when Bakewell applied his mysterious secrets, stolen from the horse people. The game itself, however, remained Bakewell's pedigree game, "systematic principles of breeding, as opposed to the chance mating of nobody's son with everybody's daughter."

Bakewell's games prevailed until more recent modern times when this motley collection of browns and blacks, duns and fawns, piebald and skewbald, horned and polled arrived on the scene to create greater disorder and variation when science applied their modern mysterious secrets, stolen from the performance people. Replacing the pedigree games, the new numbering games prevail, a "systematic breeding of numbers reverting to the chance mating of everybody's majestic sons to everybody's majestic daughters"...those with the best numbers stand the best chance of avoiding castration. So, when all's been said, certainly nothing new under the sun is being done by choosing to live with Alice in Wonderland.

Now, I hope you all understand that why trying to help you see my methods more clearly from the calm inside of a tornado or from the eye of a hurricane is so extremely difficult. Bob H is lucky choosing to live with Pam in Idaholand who enjoys the fun and sweet aroma of the KC dust, wondering why those who live in Wanderland are never satisfied. With not much to do in Vossland when it's snowing and 30 below, they're debating the IMHO's of flies, parasites and weights as Bootheels goats are dying while eating roses in Misouriland . Young Bootheel, who enjoys disrupting 4.9 social parties, is sobering up from drinking the nectar revealed by Dr. Richy's wheelz of the fortunate, especially since yearling calves are nearing a thousand dollars a pop.... he seems to be sacrificing his goats. Being young and hostile, I thought he would like to hear that one of Dr. Richy's many missdfortunes was when he was here in the early 70's telling me about his recent trip to Europe, how great the Chianinnys were, being built like rockets for calving ease to better utilize the Simmees explosive growth.

It has been kinda amazin' to me how scientists make lots of money publishing research papers becoming experts at describing all the mistakes that they prompted us to do.... I hope Mike will make some money publishing my mistakes too.....but I think I deserve my fair share of all that mistaken revenue. I no longer wonder why life is good for Bootheel, he is the benefactor of what some of us ole guys actually had to live through during all those good ole sacrificial days.

Now I realize my dream is a little on the far side yet to be accepted, bu t I have talked to an ole guy on the other side of the world who recently told me over there "breeders are basically ignorant and they all follow each other because they are insecure....mind you, Genetics is basically a new science and there is still a lot that is unknown , the principals have not been picked up by animal breeders although sheep seem to be ahead of cattle." Eddie M will be glad to hear that since Bakewell ruined his Berkshire pigs, spoiled his Longhorn cattle but he succeeded admirably with his Longwool Leicester sheep.

Dr. Voss will also be glad to hear that the Colling brothers' improved Shorthorns drove both the improved and unimproved Longhorns from the meadow lands of England, allowing the Longhorn to develop on their own for Dennis's benefit.....those shorthorns were so improved by the 1950's, once a steer reached a 1000#, the best of them (as judged by Dr. Richy's mentors) could no longer walk, or I should have said waddle. Someone once told me that if it waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck....the smartest duck I know took up marketing Aaafflaaaacccck Assurance.

But what would us ole guys know about flak anyway, we've never heard it before. Gavin recently told me he has been away and must return to Keeney's Corner to see what is going on.....and added that - "Dr Keith Gregory returned to New Zealand just a year before he died. He designed the “composite” cattle. We got together for an hour and I commented that the composites had been unsuccessful out here. He said that they were doing it all wrong, that breeders out here kept trying to stabilise the crossbred.. The other problem with that is that a percentage of the animals that you are trying to stabilise has all the worst characters and so of course your variability become absolute...... As I explained the only way that you can retain heterosis is to keep adiding the pure bred. Trying to stabilize a crossbred takes about 10 generation and in doing so you lose all the Vigor."

I wondered if Dr. Gregory and his counterparts often get confused between breeders and multipliers. So, if we must fight fire with fire, I suppose fighting nonsense with nonsense would be in order. I can understand how to fix traits to intensify a purebred's prepotency, but I don't understand how electro-magnetic fields hold all the invisible pixels of the DNA together or how soap bubbles are like the skins of cells that split and grow. And I don't understand how the gamete or meiosis process works at all. While science is spending billions trying to figure out the mind boggling creation of life, all I really have to do to improve prepotency is to apply the known principles of selection and the closest possible in-breeding of the select in establishing a separate and distinct type of functional animal.

We all should know that the only purpose of a purebred is to provide the prepotency of a selected type. One thing science cannot change is the universal law of physics. So in these modern times with this motley collection of numbered cattle, if there again becomes a need for greater order and uniformity in beef production, to regularly produce more trom less, the only progressive alternative I see is re-applying the mysterious secret power of magic, stolen from the plant produce the seedless fruit with flexibility more often at a cheaper price. But this is entirely only IMHO, to give the number people a fair shake here, I submit the following written by Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, VA Tech -

Expected Progeny Differences have proven to be the most effective tool for genetic improvement of beef cattle. The majority of the genetic progress within a beef herd is accomplished through sire selection, and therefore EPDs play a primary role in identifying and purchasing bulls. Advancements in science and technology have resulted in a large number of EPDs being developed for multiple traits. Producers are faced with two particular challenges as a result: 1) Which EPDs should I focus my selection on? and 2) What should be the target value of the EPDs of importance?

Once selection criteria have been established (ie. what traits do we need to improve?), benchmarks or an acceptable range of EPDs should be established for application to bull-buying For example, if the goal is to increase weaning weight of the calf crop, WW EPD would be defined as a primary EPD selection criteria for a new bull. The questions become: What WW EPD does the bull ideally need to have? Is there a minimum? or maximum? In most situations, there is likely a range in EPD values that would be considered optimum. The adage that “more is better” is often not applicable in most selection scenarios when it comes to EPDs. Higher WW EPDs would certainly achieve the goal of enhancing weaning weights; however, there may also be correlated reductions in calving ease due to higher birth weights or potential increases in mature cow size for heifers retained as replacements. Balanced trait selection is always important and defining an optimum EPD range as a benchmark is compatible with this strategy.

Defining the optimum EPD range or benchmark, however, can be challenging. Knowledge of the EPD value of former and current sires in the herd can provide valuable insight and assistance in this matter. Associating EPD values on current/former sires with the performance of their progeny can be useful to establish a benchmark from which to select future sires. In the previous example, where enhanced weaning weights was a goal, it would be advantageous to know the WW EPD values of current sires. We could then set our WW EPD goal accordingly higher. Similar examples can be applied to milk, calving ease, and carcass traits. The basic premise is that defining where we are headed genetically is much easier if we can characterize where we have been.

Breed percentile rankings are additional tools that can assist with EPD selection. It is useful to understand where a particular bull ranks within a breed for traits of interest. This ranking will give a general idea as to the genetic merit of the bull compared to others within the breed. Percentile rankings are readily available in sire summaries published by breed associations. With this information, bulls can be specifically evaluated as to where their EPDs rank relative to all animals in the breed for specific traits. The following table provides a brief summary of percentile rankings in Angus and Purebred Simmental bulls for calving ease, yearling weight, milk, and marbling EPDs. It important to note that percentile rankings do not reflect genetic differences for traits between breeds, and can be utilized on a within-breed basis. Utilizing the percentile table, it can be determined that an Angus bull with a Calving Ease EPD of +8 or higher ranks in the upper 25% of the breed for calving ease, and would be a strong candidate for use on heifers. Similarly, a Simmental bull with a milk EPD of +5 is slightly higher than the Simmental breed average for milk. These percentile rankings also illustrate practical differences between EPDs. In other words, differences of a couple of pounds of WW or YW EPD between bulls are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of selection, as examination of the percentile rankings for these differences reveal that these bulls would essentially rank identically within the breed. A two pound difference in birth weight, however, is a substantial difference.

In summary, EPDs are a powerful selection tool and establishment of herd goals and benchmarks are important for optimal utilization. Tracking performance of progeny and percentile ranks are two mechanisms that assist in the establishment of benchmarks to be applied to bull-buying decisions.

I did notice there was no reference to forms, just reaffirming here how the Xperts promotion of the numbering games prevail , and how the teachers are teaching themselves to now teach us that "more is better" is often not applicable in a "systematic breeding of numbers reverting to the chance mating of everybody's optimum sons to everybody's optimum daughters"...those with the optimum numbers stand the best chance of avoiding castration .....after 30 years of EPD, .I think they are learning ..... I think I foresee another cycle of change just over the horizon as the world turns Smile

The choice is ours, simplicity or more compleeexxxxiiity, but in the meantime, with another noble objective I'm going to study up on marketing, beginning with the truth in lending, labeling and advertising laws relative to the purity content of "purebreds"......just wandering if there are any lawyers out there on KC who would be willing to take cases on a contingency basis.....thinkin' a little along the line of monopolies and side effects of what may be hazardous to our well-being, kinda like the tobacco lawyers.....whatt'ya think Mike, did the tobacco subsidy you got from your bull sales offset the loss you take raising tobacco....just wondering who came out ahead in that KY need to thank me for smoking, like the scientists I'm always just glad to help out, especially the KY farmers and the governments as long as I can....these traditional addictions are hard to break Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:14 am

clarification note here...these are old posts of Larry`s I am re-posting in a more condensed blog; posting under his name because he is the author...the date they were written/posted is given at top...I will eventually get the post done; slowed by the joy of re-reading them again...
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:11 am

MKeeney wrote:
clarification note here...these are old posts of Larry`s I am re-posting in a more condensed blog; posting under his name because he is the author...the date they were written/posted is given at top...I will eventually get the post done; slowed by the joy of re-reading them again...

on March 2, 2011 Grassfarmer wrote...

I was puzzled by the quote attributed to Gavin Falloon in LL's last post.
"Dr Keith Gregory returned to New Zealand just a year
before he died.  He designed the “composite” cattle.  We got together
for an hour and I commented that the composites had been unsuccessful
out here.  He said that they were doing it all wrong, that breeders out
here kept trying to stabilise the crossbred..  The other problem with
that is that a percentage of the animals that you are trying to
stabilise has all the worst characters and so of course your variability
become absolute...... As I explained the only way that you can retain
heterosis is to keep adiding the pure bred.    Trying to stabilize a
crossbred takes about 10 generation and in doing so you lose all the

Does this imply that worthwhile breeds or strains of cattle cannot be developed from a crossbred foundation? Don't the problems highlighted there also apply to "purebreds"? I can accept that as a way to capture hybrid vigor in a commercial cattle production system crossing purebreds of different strains is the way to go versus using composite bulls but in terms of developing the parent stock strains I don't see why we can't successfully start with a foundational cross of two breeds and refine or "stabilise" that over 10+ generations.
For evidence of that I would cite the Luing breed that I own. When it gets to that point the strain might have lost the vigor but so has the Angus or other accepted purebreds. Didn't they all come into existence the same way? - if it's a failure for the composite after 10 generations to have no vigor surely it's a failing the purebreds have too? scratch

reply to Grassfarmer

Crossbred breeds can be developed from crossbreeding but it take a long time. 10 generations is 100 years approx., and all the hybrid Vigour has gone in the process of stabilization.

Hybrid Vigour is the result of crossing two totally unrelated animals and it begins to dissipate on the first generation of crossing the crossbreds. Remember the two sheets of paper, the holes begin to mesh. once you begin on the first generation of breeding crossbreds in fact the first cross is the worst.

Purebreds should be selected to improve vigour ( live calves at birth, able to survive the environment ect.) on a steady improving level. Purebreds are supposed to be stable and so selection can concentrate on vigour and other traits as long as variation exists

Dr. Gregorys composite was carefully selected breeds that suited the prospective environment and each farmer setting out to breed composites should carefully select the breeds to suit his environment. Then you could maintain heterosis by constantly bringing in the purebreds of each breed. I hope that this answers grassfarmers questions. Commercially heterosis is valuable; it is economic; and it is free so should be used

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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:18 am

from March 4, 2011

Lakota quote:
Trying to stabilize a crossbred takes about 10 generation. is it the same for a strain? breed?
I dont have that many years left in me.
would others know how to use it once you had it stablized?
I understand some cattle are worth more for the time already put in. BUT
this only works for me if I know what the strain was created for and how to cross it.
do you put this together just so others can then delute it again?
the best cross I know of is a horse plus donkey = mule
what makes it the best is the mule is sterile.

Very valid questions Lakota, and if we were in the mule producing business, we would face the dilemma of what types of horse and donkey make the best mule for what purpose Smile . With all our different objectives, about the only commonality we have is making a buck. While I have stated my objectives and methods to reach it, by industry monetary standards my objectives are not very popular in the registered world - Both me and my cattle have developed this inferiority complex so my time hasn't been worth much beyond commercial value.....being a farmer I'm accustomed to that Smile

As a farmer posing as an animal breeder, I've struggled with the same thing that Grassfarmer is. I have always had a problem with determining at what point in time did an animal's ancestry become declared as "purebreds".....and then, if we keep changing selection objectives, at what point in time does that "purebred" ancestry lose it's status. As I evolved wondering what all constituted a genuine purebred, observing how form follows functional selection, so aptly described by Bootheel's post of wheelz of fortune, I get very confused how continual cyclic changes in types is called "purebred" do we define a functional purebred and determine whether or not there is a future for them in today's business models.

I tend to agree with Gavin when he said something to the effect that they can thrash around changing cattle, making them shorter or taller, bigger or smaller, etc., but when they can demonstrate that they are more efficient in beef production, I will applaud their progress. I have made many references to natural laws , that one thing science cannot change is the universal law of physics. So, in our manipulations the difficulty becomes one of establishing an objective that is both possible and acceptable while being economically accordance with our limitations to these laws. Nature doesn't have to deal with economics which always throws a monkey wrench into the best of plans Smile

When we talk about our individual time constraints, I don't see how we can set formulas of 10 generations to stabilize a type, or percentages like 3/8 of " this" plus 5/8 of " that" since I have come to believe that sustaining or even improving an adaptable type is ad-infinitum. For example, I surmised that in nature Vosslands herd of uniform antelope don't get bigger or smaller, the male sustains the vigor, the female determines the environmental adaptability for reproduction and both sexes weaknesses are self-governing population control mechanisms while sustaining enough adaptable variation.

Beyond this simple overview, with domesticated animals my head swims trying to figure out where the holes are in two sheets of paper along with the different sized holes in all the other sheets. So here I am trying to figure out how to market cattle with holes in them.....placed there by those mischievous leprechans. I suppose I just finally decided to just let the marketeers keep trying to plug all those holes as they even create new ones, which keeps everyone busy. Life is full of imperfections and in dealing with them, I admire Dennis Voss's attitude best when he said "I like to think I have a sense of humor and I got to thinking about the fact that most people do have a sense of humor and some animals as well. I realized all my life that without humor I don't think I could have gotten through various points. And if indeed I do have a sense of humor it has developed because of tragedy, death and various variations on human fraility. I suppose those of us who have had the most tragedies have developed the biggest sense of humor from all the crazy things we've seen and done in this business....those unimportant things in life.

In his last post, Gavin said ....... Remember the two sheets of paper, the holes begin to mesh. once you begin on the first generation of breeding crossbreds in fact the first cross is the worst. Purbreds should be selected to improve vigour ( live calves at birth, able to survive the environment ect.) on a steady improving level. Purebreds are supposed to be stable and so selection can concentrate on vigour and other traits as long as variation excists
Dr. Gregorys composite was carefully selected breeds that suited the prospective environment and each farmer setting out to breed composites should carefully select the breeds to suit his environment. Then you could maintain heterosis by constantly bringing in the purebreds of each breed. I hope that this answers grassfarmers questions. Commercially heterosis is valuable; it is economic; and it is free so should be used

I have as much respect for Gavin as anyone I've ever met, but we have so much diversity within breeds, that I cannot distinguish the difference between outcrossed and crossbred complementarity while plugging holes.... and firmly believe that the registered industry has become increasingly dependent on hybrid vigor rather than built-in vigor..... no matter how anyone describes heterosis. Without measuring prepotency, I have this itch that never gets pure is the "purebred" that we use to either outcross or crossbreed. With academia now talking about using EPD to determime optimums, how are we going to categorize optimum purebreds as we seek and search to find them. Commercial producers have already been doing that for the last 200 years or longer and still have not found a satisfactory purebred with sustainable prepotency.

So as I think about the grandiose marketing schemes with sporadic results, back on page 23, Dec 30, 2010, Mike re-posted the editorial in the 1926 Breeder's Gazette - Permanency in Stock Breeding. "The business of stock breeding in America lacks stability and permanency....Success in stock breeding is not attained in a season. While spectacular results may appear sporadically, to be established with sufficient certainty to justify the application to a herd-owner of that greatly desired title "breeder", requires that enough generations shall be produced and considered to determine that the qualities sought are definitely fixed.....There is too little continuity of purpose and of institution; too little of established policy with provisions for carrying through. As a consequence, the industry suffers immeasurably......May there come to be more breeding mainstays.....they are permanent, sound anchorages for beginners, and stabilizers for the whole industry.

So in my more simplistic mind, not having a great desire to carry the title "breeder", in my last post I stated that all I really have to do to improve prepotency is to apply the known principles of selection and the closest possible in-breeding of the select in establishing a separate and distinct type of functional animal being content with what they cannot also do. We all should know that the only purpose of a purebred in beef production is to improve the prepotency of a selected type. In population genetics, closebreeding isolated populations is the quickest way to reduce variation thereby improving prepotency, selection and natural law will self-govern the degree of possible in-breeding to sustain my preferred type.

My only marketing strategy is that if my cattle satisfy me, they might satisfy a few others and I will just let it be....contented cows for contented people.... it's only taken 75 years for me to reach this contented stage. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:15 am

from Mar 6, 2011

Regarding birthweights, Mike stated " can the  range of distribution be improved? I doubt it".  

 Oh ye doubting Thomas's of little faith, haven't we observed how the breed's range of distributions have widened with expanded variation, so why would we think they couldn't be narrowed with reduced variation?      As Taylor mentioned, the bull is only half the equation, and so if a bull is mated to a wide cross section of cows, it is easy to conclude that there must be some type of genotypic uniformity in the cow herd as well as the bull to better improve predictable reliability.    One of these days I will have to dig out my old crude distribution records when I measured the differences between bulls to develop prepotency scores  on a fractional basis of 1 to 10 from actual birthweights....doing this in order to determine any merits for close breeding.   This was a time consuming several generation endeavor but a very enlightening experience.

So when Mike asked "Larry, would you agree or not that a greater purpose of the purebred in a crossbreeding scheme is the predictability rather than the heterosis in making the cross?",
I might just say I have concluded that you cannot successfully have one without the other.

Mike put it all in a nutshell when he said,  the viability of the Shoshone (change this name to Tru Line) concepts{not neccessarily Shoshone cattle, which are less important} in the commercial industry will be dependent on those never in the game, or those willing to leave the game, to promote principles of breeding rather than a quick buck fleecing of the desperate ...

Throughout this series of posts I have tried not to be so antagonistic,  but to expose the fallacies of our wants by promoting the common sense principles with examples, trying to justify the necessity to disconnect ourselves from breeding registered thoroughbreds and calling them purebreds.   I had to laugh when Dennis said he likes the feel of his AAA registration papers the same as his AQHA papers... I suppose he meant they have the same feel of paper money.     I sincerely believe that genuine renewable purebred cows with similarity and of the functional type of Blythe, Luria or Quija  of Wye are essential to the foundation of improving the efficiencies of beef production.....and whatever type we choose, I believe the only lasting worthwhile progress we can measure is in improving the prepotency of that purity of purpose.

After two milder days, it is snowing again this morning and I think we have enough burdens dealing with the adversities of our environments without adding to them with all our ill-conceived notions of cattle breeding ..... as I look out my window watching it snow again,  I must have faith that eventually spring will someday come and we will see better days ahead.  Smile
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Larry Leonhardt

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:23 am

Subject: Quantatative Genetics by LL   Mon 07 Mar 2011, 8:32 pm

Thanks Mike for your contributions simplifying the matings of "fire and ice" distributions..... single trait theories are so simple if only we knew the factual values of each allele  Smile     Rather than get into winless debates over the merits of fire and ice averages compared to mixed constant averages, to offer an example to consistently produce 60cm trees, in theory homogeneous properties would offer us three choices - (1) AAbbcc x AAbbcc, (2) aaBBcc x aaBBcc or (3) aabbCC x aabbCC.    Now if we cross these three similar 60cm trees in type to type matings, it is easy to see how we begin to expand variation ...."Get it? I don't want to do anymore, but you can continue yourself."  Smile

And not being a bean counter, I don't want to figure out how many spins of the slot machine it would take on average to produce another AABBCC from a mix with aabbcc or all  the other possible combinations so I will graciously concede that the possible average of them all could be 70 cm trees  Smile .   Now if we try to "fix" about 20 or 30 more traits simultaneously with different trait interrelationships or predominant counter effects over one another... and Nature turning genes off and on while also dealing with heterosis .....Aaaaarrrrrrrrrggggghhhhh, do we have to wonder why geneticists don't breed cattle or why Falloon said after 40 years, his 120 year project has barely begun.....adding that progress involving multi trait selection is by the square root.    The taller the tree, the stronger its roots, trunk and branches have to be to withstand the winds of change.   So in a closed population, wasn't it interesting when Gavin told us it took 4000 matings to produce his first outlier bull, than 2500 for the next and now he is down to getting one every 250 matings.   In gambling circles, I suppose that would be called loading the dice or stacking the cards  Smile

When all's been said and not much done, one of our favorite pastimes in this business is critiquing  INDIVIDUAL people or animals - in this fickle world we've all done our fair share of erratic things....besides it's not our fault..... it is the fault of those mischievous leprechauns and their hidden treasures which turn out to be nothing more than trading counterfeit paper for the sparkle of fool's gold.   I'm too busy plugging distribution holes in my own sheets of counterfeit paper often reminded about something I heard once how people living in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.  I wish I was like that Dutch boy from Amsterdam who only needed to plug one hole in the dike....I hope Mike's resuscitation of Mendelian theory described above will help explain how paper holes multiply offering some compassionate understanding for our labors.

I don't know how many times I have heard people say "if I could just do it all over again".  Smile     So when I started all over, I also wished  the Irish had killed all their leprechauns like they did their snakes, never did like serpents.  I'll never forget when Darrell S. said to me that as long as I have been doing what he called "linebreeding", I must have all my problems fixed by now I admitted to him that indeed I did have my problems "fixed", now all I have left to do is spend the rest of my life trying to figure out how to unfix them.....and that was the birth of Tru Line and the production of "seedless fruit"....lemons, oranges and watermelons   Smile

MS wanted to know why Encore wasn't an "F", well, back then I was still fiddling around and he was an encore presentation for my next engagement with my Esters.....I didn't know if Fabulous, Fireball, Fiddler or Failure would be a more appropriate name at that point in time   Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:46 am

Hilly wrote on Tue 8 Mar 2011 -

LL wrote:

So in my more simplistic mind,  not having a great desire to carry the title "breeder", in my last post I stated that all I really have to do to improve prepotency is to apply the known principles of selection and the closest possible in-breeding of the select in establishing a separate and distinct type of functional animal being content with what they cannot also do.    We all should know that the only purpose of a purebred in beef production is to improve the prepotency of a selected type. In population genetics, closebreeding isolated populations is the quickest way to reduce variation thereby improving prepotency, selection and natural law will self-govern the degree of possible in-breeding to sustain my preferred type.  

My only marketing strategy is that if my cattle satisfy me, they might satisfy a few others and I will just let it be....contented cows for contented people.... it's only taken 75 years for me to reach this contented stage.  Smile

I find great inspiration in the above quote.... It sums up how simple the principals are to improve prepotency in seed stock and move on to greater things... the hardest part is to check our egos at the door, trust in the natural laws, and give our cattle as much slack for what they can’t do as we give ourselves.

As Larry stated before “our cattle are a reflection of the one who owns them.” And I find myself reverting to a dependant envious state of the more “perfect” in personal purpose Smile

I have many weakness and faults, to the point that I had resigned to the fact that I should post a list of my faults on my front door for all visitors to read before entering (Enter at your own risk) and an invitation to add to it upon leaving Embarassed

Until I can accept with both my strengths and weakness I will always be dependent on others. Once I accept my present reality and focus in on the things in my circle of influence  becoming independent of others, then and only then am I ready for greater things with the cooperation of other independents.

I see a parallel in the production of seed stock; selection and isolation in an attempt for independence...If the population continues to be hamstrung with additions from the outside in an attempt to fix the very weakness that make the population unique and were present in the original “select”... they were good enough when we closed the population down, have the genes changed or our expectations? Nature will regulate the worthiness of the select for their purpose....

I don’t mean to make it sound easy or belittle the effort and luck involved... I would think successful seed stock producers would come standard with a fair bit of character afro
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:06 pm

3/20/ 2011...Time by LL

Mike's quote:

.....Thanks for the laboratory animals over the years to experiment with as well; graduating would not have been possible without to the big field to apply the course work in a broader experience sense. My goal should be to surpass you as you have taken other men`s accumulated wisdom and experiences and moved beyond their realm; but my time is too short......

Mike, in order to accumulate everyone's experiences, the good, bad and ugly, beyond our own little worlds we need to thank everyone for all the ongoing experiments we all have going on in this cattle breeding business .... not just to gain a little more wisdom, but to reach a greater understanding of what we're working with.   While I have learned to respect my elders, none of us are infallible.  Smile      When I was still a relatively young buck, K.A. Clark, at age 83,  told me one man's lifetime isn't long enough to accomplish much.    J.B. Lingle said breeding beef cattle is one of the most difficult jobs in all of agriculture.    G. Falloon now in his 80's says his 120 year program has barely begun.    In my lifetime, I can attest that birth weight/calving ease has probably been one of our more major genetic problems to overcome in this industry.  So, when S. Wright says the principles are exceedingly simple, THE DIFFICULTY IS IN THE APPLICATION, the depressing reality is that our own time is too short for all of us to get things figured out.

I enjoy reading all the endless comments, different opinions and debates over the pros and cons of different types.   I believe one of the most difficult jobs for any of us is to finally decide on an acceptable  type ...and then stabilize that type.   Trying to increase the production of types is usually the first order of business, stabilizing a type seldom is.    I particularly enjoy DF's comments who as a teacher and statistcal  analyst measures all of our experiments from all of us when none of us don't really have a thorough genetic understanding of what we're doing .  Smile      About 25 years ago GJ, a prominent performance breeder,  suggested to me that maybe what we're doing is the best that we can do.....perhaps, but I don't think so.

I had to laugh when DF said "This is not my site but I do enjoy reading it. If I could make one suggestion, I would encourage more complete explanations. Obviously from my post you can see short answers tend to be "poking with a stick" and not normally useful to the discussion.  ".   Academia are alot like lawyers using several pages citing many references for authenticity to their papers, so I suppose I have learned to imitate them......especially since I lack the authority like that behind the simplicity of the Ten Commandments.....the principles thereof are exceedingly simple,  but ......

Historically and traditionally in beef production we have bred parent stock to also be the production stock from conception to consumer as we debate the economics of this or that.     I needn't repeat all our own private innermost frustrations that we all have, otherwise, we wouldn't witness all the high monetary values that are placed on the outliers of the registered parent stock in this seedstock business.   If mating the best to the best worked to all of our satisfaction, after all these years, we would only have the best left and yet someone would be seeking the very best of the best in our unending quests for individual superiority.

The only consolation I have in all our controversial directions is that a cow's basic fundamental job never changes and so if we start with the cow, the reality is that we can only get out of cattle what we are willing to put into them.   Certainly we have a wide array of types of cattle to choose from and the dairy cow is surely the most "maternal" and most demanding of them all, and the "double muscled" breeds are the most muscular.    The outliers in both groups also come in larger and smaller packages, from "miniatures to giants" and so in the beef business as we bounce around somewhere in between these outliers selecting different types, this was the fundamental basis to my crude spherical distribuition charts.  

While we have always placed high monetary values on registered outliers, the only purpose I see in a more functional purebred is to improve the prepotency of the purebred's type....a very time consuming proposition that must ultimately improve the economics of beef production in order to have any lasting value.    Most of us would agree that improving the consistency of production while reducing problems is a noble goal, the difficulty is in the application.    So I can appreciate what Dennis said: ".....Much of the misunderstanding people have with me has to do with conceptualism. My advice is, study conceptualism, study the value of ideas and if you can do that you can transcend much of the "crap"."

The "crap" Dennis refers to usually originates via our marketing schemes.    When we talk about conceptualism, I doubt many commercial producers would argue with the worthinesss of the Tru Line concept.    The difficulty is in the economic and time constraints iin the development of the parent stock and in the application.  Obviously, no prepotent parent stock can be "terminal" and some types will cost more to maintain than others.   Mike asked the final question, "Will the end justify the means".....and I happen to believe it will.

DF wants .... responsible,  legitimate measured "data proof".     We do this by measuring the values of the individual parent's own performance,  then  the measures of  their progeny from that random half of the parent's genotype based on trusted integrity.   Certainly measuring the differences between mongrelized genotypes is all we can do when that is all we have available to measure.     I can imagine how prolonged and difficult it was to establish some semblance of across breed EPD's who's averages are constantly changing...... but I cannot even begin to imagine the economic variances that can evolve from their application trying to create order out of chaos.

When I was once asked to give a brief talk on the importance of unmeasured "convenience traits" at an annual BIF meeting, I said that they were not only of great importantance, they were essential to a commercial cowman's profitability.  Since BIF was/is a "performance" oriented society, you can imagine how the silent reponses were deafening.   In our attempts to create more genetic order,  I found it interesting when in practice Dennis said "So far, we have found here in the breeding of sheep, cattle, horses and dogs, the differences in full sibs, linebred or otherwise, to be as different as night and day in most cases."   So true in most cases, I also find that DF's "data proof" to also be not much proof at all since it was developed from randomized and not so randomized mongrelized populations.   But then, what do I know .... we have lots of  tools to use in this business which attempts to measure the differences between genetically mongrelized populations....there really are no other alternative measures when seeking the best genetic mongrels of them all .

Genetic complementarity often clouds those first generation measures so we certainly have our work cut out for us trying to simplify these mechanical complexities.   Beef is the product we produce from our beef cows just as milk is the product produced from our dairy cows in traditional directions to maximize $B or $Milk....and the twain shall never meet as Dennis said ".... backward thinking where each little poster puffs and toots his way along like toy trains at Christmas...."    IMO, it was a grave mistake during the 80's for AAA to abandon its structured sire evaluation program for end product values in favor of gathering universal field data from registered breeders.    How else could we identify individual universal "outliers" while propagating arbitrary registered monetary values?   I suppose it is just too time consuming and expensive to have replicated trials under similar environmental conditions to measure genetic differences.....and it's easier to measure progressive change in lieu of improvement.....perhaps I am the one that remains confused between progressive change and sustainable improvement.

DF also said in parts, ".....variation in breeds is greater than across breeds......Reproduction is a "messy" trait in that it has low heritability and thus greatly impacted by environment. As part of this trait is adaptability and finding animals that excel, not just survive, is a continual challenge in some environments. Consequently, most data shows inbreeding to have a negative effect on fertility. I think it can be overcome with time and increasing inbreeding levels slowly could save some heartburn for those willing to go this route.....What must be kept in mind is poorly designed crossbreeding is still poorly designed crossbreeding......I am discouraged that neither participate in data collection, which I think still has value to commercial producers. Quality data submitted for an analysis could show the most profitable maternal cows are produced just outside of Nancy, KY. Those cattle may be the perfect answer to KY cattlemen's woes. But we will never have the data, which I like, to prove. Instead we will rely on the integrity of the breeder......".

IMO "fertility" is basically genetic, "reproduction" is contingent on management and selection, as past data  becomes obsolete, the new paradigm will need to rely entirely on the integrity of the breeders.   AAA gathers most of its collection data paid for at the breeder's expense, so to alleviate some of your discouragement DF, rest assured that if not public, private RELEVANT data collection is not only important, it is essential and will not be proven by academic analysis, but by the commercial cattlemen's competitive profitability.....otherwise,  any new paradigm will be doomed to be just another failure in our attempts to improve the economics of beef production.

So while producing sour grapes remains part of our continual traditional habits,  economic inputs are always a major factor of the equation in beef production as well as output.   It has been  customary for registered breeders to overlook the $EN maintenance requirements, seemingly preferring to correct one production problem while adding more......a methodology which I call planned replacement to sustain the monetary value of registered outliers.    I cannot do or say much to change these traditional systems, but I did make the choice to separate myself from the "registered hypocrisy" and its monetary values.   One thing for certain beyond death and taxes, the debates on KC will go on.   Time has a way of reaching out for better resolutions.....if anyone has a better idea than harnessing hybrid power for more efficient beef production, I would be thankful to hear them.

DF asked for more discussions on the future rather than the past, so I'll just end this post here with MK's statement  "But we know some young men who are capable of going further ; and what encouragement that is...maybe they will in time be able to answer the only question left to be answered 'DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS' ?. "
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:29 am

Hilly wrote on 4-05-2011

Reading Larry’s last few posts had me reflecting on the “progress” that has been made and how subjective that word has become much like the over used and in my case misunderstood word “Sustainable”.

I suppose to the casual observer they would rightly question why I put so much stock in Tru-Line as being the answer, when genetics play such a small part in my overall profit here on the farm.

Tru-Line to me is much more then cattle genetics as the natural law based principals it is based on can be applied to most anything and it would seem to me, it forces progress to be measured by sustainability within the laws while at the same time stressing the importance of freedom and independence of individuals in the quest for this progress, in our current paradigm....

But the exciting part for me and the take home message I get from Tru-Line is the opportunities in harnessing the power of interdependence between these independents. So in my Tru-Line paradigm, to be a cult follower and be dependent on someone else you could not qualify to move forward with other independents.

I know I probably sound like a broken record, and I don’t for a minute think I have figured out how to make this type of progress and with the pictures I posted of all the iron up here I probably come across more than a little hypocritical as I’m certainly not independent and may never be.

Ignorance is bliss... wasn’t it the knowledge of good and evil that got us into this mess?

Chief packed everything I just rambled on about in the following few unwasted words

Chief Two Eyes wrote:

Chief Two Eyes ears hear cult followers speak of papers for proof.  Chief laugh when he hear no trust among thieves.....  say papers only proof of  blue sky, not other half of moon sky.   Chief wear smiley face,  not worry, he know King and Little Sitting Bull will win war of attrition with truth, no need help.

Eccl. 1:9  “:and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Or moon sky Smile )
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:30 am

on Fri 15 Apr 2011 , Larry wrote Ignorance is Bliss

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe".....Albert Einstein

DF wrote:

.....What the high profit bulls have in common is that their daughters apparently stay in the herd. In other words, they must not cause problems. They don't cause calving problems and have calves without assistance. They don't have excessive milk (normally) or mature size. ASA members have simply quantified in SM what I believe LL and others are trying to accomplish without data. ASA members might work with the whole breed where some Angus breeders are working only within their own herd.......Are you talking about 3C Wally or the Simmental breed in general? Are you talking about Shoshone (not entirely sure what that is yet) or the Angus breed in general?

On behalf of commercial cattlemen  everywhere, I want to thank  DF and the ASA for helping registered breeders identify "what high profit bulls have in common".   And when DF asked,  "What do you think is the latest fad?",  Mean Spirit answered,  "I think I know, and I think it might have something to do with how well the wye sale went last weekend.", I did have to put on my smiley face thinking  the latest fad might be the development of an EPD to  measure our own human stupidity.....surely the traditional registered beef industry has accumulated enough historic data to establish a base average of the stupidity of our ever changing directions.  Smile

From my own ignorance, I must admit I am at a bit of a loss to know what " LL and others are trying to accomplish without data", especially  since .I am unaware of any breeders trying to accomplish something without some sort of pertinent data.    I am disappointed that the summarization of my 45 years of accumulating roomfuls of comprehensive data are deemed meaningless and considered to have little validity until it is all reaffirmed by the academic researchers over and over again..   And when DF says he is not entirely sure what Shoshone is yet, I do apologize for my ineptness on the many pages of my reflections using real life examples.    I don't feel too bad though, since DF does not recognize Bonsma's observations either without academic proof.....incidentally, his book describing his observations is entitled "Man must Measure".    

I also need everyone to know that in reality there is nothing unique about a "Shoshone", I have seen these type of cattle in nearly every commercial herd I have ever visited.....there just doesn't seem to be enough of what I call "Bonsma type cattle" that sporadically appear in every breed in different sizes.   Now that academic research has enlightened us by what high profit bulls have in common, perhaps the ongoing search for that elusive efficient cow will be resolved along with the ongoing measures of RFI.   Surely we all need to know why today's mainstream cow's maintenence requirements have dramatically increased compared to the 1930's when everyone was still ignorant without modern academic sponsored measures.    

I am anxious for academia to teach the registered mainstream how to profitably produce and sustain a more efficient cow since the 200 years of research data I have in my cluttered files reveals that crossbreeding is only a sporadic temporary cure for what ails beef cow inefficiencies.   I would be very happy to offer my piles of research data and records to academia for conversion into some form of mathematical formulas and equations for verification and clearer understanding, I just don't know whether my customers can afford their services or not.    The past 70 year track record of our land grant institutions does speak well for itself.

I do have considerable compassion for DF when he told MikeK "If you had any clue what researchers go through, your attitude would be different. Everybody thinks researchers have it easy, but few want to do their job."  From several years of first hand experience trying to combine the art and science of breeding cattle, I did come to learn how difficult it is to teach science the art of simplicity. the same time I hope science understands how difficult it is to breed more profitable cattle and sustain them beyond just saying we need to "maintain heterosis to avoid regression" while measuring differences based on arbitrary and incomplete economic indexes.        

In regards to the statement that "some Angus breeders are working only within their own herd", an old proverb says when a man travels with others, he must wait until they are ready, but he who travels alone can start anytime.    I just didn't have the patience 30 years ago to wait until the mainstream was ready.    With breeds going in every direction, it didn't seem too difficult for me to understand why "some Angus breeders are working only within their own herd" rather than the whole breed.    From the onset I tried to make it clear that I was breeding a" breed within a breed"...... I still don't understand why academic research persists in their primary focus of comparing whole breeds with one another.    My ignorance is truly bliss compared to the chaos I've witnessed from those utilizing the progressive academic proof of across breed EPD.

Now I know that my breeding philosophy goes against the grain of tradition and I tried to clarify my reasons by my crude distribution charts that Hilly highlights.  The basics to these spherical distributions was provided by valid research data done in England many years ago.    About that same time,  Chief Two Eyes made a pilgrimage to the white man's American Museum of History in Washington, D.C.    It was not the spaceships, rockets or all the other scientific technologies that intrigued ole Chief Two Eyes, what most intrigued the Chief was the perfect symbolic model for modern traditional beef breeding in the "whatchamacallit contraption" section.  

These perpetual motion  contraptions began with a bicycle, powered by human driven pedals, which turned a continuous series of devices and paraphernalia with pulleys, belts, chains, different sized gears, sprockets, counter weights, balls, bells and whistles which accomplished nothing more than movement of the devices without going anywhere until the strongest human leg power could no longer turn the pedals.    Chief Two Eyes thought about white man's stupidity, he wondered why they didn't begin their project with an Indian motorcycle to make progressive movement go longer.   Chief noticed one of these contraptions was built by Bootheels grandfather.

I also enjoyed Bootheels pictures of Sniff the Wind and Sam in the land of Fort Revelation.   DF said he liked the Sam bull, asked how is he bred.   MK said Sniff will be the cowmaker, Sam the beefmaker.   DF countered, "Pure opinion but no data. If there was good data, then the debate would be over. Instead around and around we go as the marketers continue to brand their product, never wanting their product to be "taste tested" for fear the truth will come out.......Why would anybody use Sam as a beefmaker....."    Chief Two Eyes' spirit works in mysterious ways, it gave LL the power to talk with cows, and now it sent LL a picture of one of Sam's paternal sisters from Sustainable Genetics.   For proof, I am posting this non-Shoshone picture here as a perfect symbolic Bonsma model of what "high profit cattle have in common" is difficult to teach the academic world the art of simplicity, isn't it Mike..... perhaps DF should pay you for your time and would only take him a few minutes of your time once a year to learn how form follows functional selection.   Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections Condensed   Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:06 pm

ROI by LL Tue 19 Apr 2011

I especially want to thank DF for bringing up the subject of commercial ROI in beef production. When DF said the first liar never has a chance, I laughed reminded of how humans have even developed contests for who can tell the biggest whoppers. Talk is cheap or I wouldn't be a part of this forum, and though we clown around and needle each other playing gotcha games while working on these public forums, this business of supplying seedstock to an entire beef industry is a very serious and responsible competitive business.....but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy Smile .

Sharing my reflections on an interacting public forum the past several months has been an interesting study of human nature. We all seem to have to experience our own personal successes and disappointments before we can recognize many genetic realities. I have no doubt that experience is the best teacher but it is also the most costly.....too few of us have learned how to properly apply all the research data that is available.

When we talk about commercial ROI, we enter a much different world of monetary values than registered returns on investment. Most of us here are familiar with the traditional registered business so there is no reason to reiterate all the reasons why DF insists on documented proof of all our claims. . I do however, have a major problem with the broad scope of how field data is collected and used in both breeding and marketing. When the EPD models were initiated, I thought it was finally a great system that could measure parent values rather than an individuals own performance where we've measured heritabilities etc. And we're all familiar with how this system spawned our new usual races for individual supremacy which cause our many cycles of correctional changes and chaos in the breed populations. We also know these events are largely driven by the registered industry's outlandish values for their own ROI's offering quick fixes. Over the long term looking at the big picture, summaries of collective data show the millions of traditional dollars spent trying to improve beef cattle which arguably has had an overall negative impact on improving commercial ROI in several ways. Understandably the debates go on.

Research data usually consists of many pages of details and ends with an overall summary of the projects findings. Since I am inelgible to compete for MK's prize of $100 for the best summary of my reflections under 500 words, I must admit it is hard for me to imagine how many wasted words I've written in vain saying about the same thing over and over again over the years. From my very first post here on KC, my basic objective was never to promote my cattle, but "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 as it relates to commercial ROI.

Apparently, either my communicative skills are seriously flawed or my breeding objectives are whacky. When I posted the picture of the cow I received from Bill Hodge, the Waigroup rep in GA, a 41/97 dau #63S (from a blending of old line Wye/Graham/Rito), it was in response to DF's post which stated " What the high profit bulls have in common is that their daughters apparently stay in the herd. In other words, they must not cause problems. They don't cause calving problems and have calves without assistance. They don't have excessive milk (normally) or mature size. From an experienced eye, this cow symbolizes those virtues plus exceptional fertility and beefiness in her production, certainly not a longhorn type Smile Yet.DF said - I took this to mean that she is an ideal cow; some of you apparently have concerns????? I didn't say she was my ideal type, I did say she was an ideal Bonsma model for her paternal purpose since paternals are parents of seedless fruit (steers or spayed hfrs). I presume DF's latter statement was in response to Double D's post "When I looked at the cow I thought what a pretty cow, but I also wondered if she put to much on her back and not enough in the calf,, never thought that cow won't be able to keep her calf alive though. So what is the story can she raise a calf or should they cut her head off?
Any experienced eye can see this cow carries a minimal amount of backfat by the absence of fat in the flanks, tailhead and brisket without the need for ultrasound. Her known purebred ancestry is indicative that the fat is intramuscular, expanding the natural muscling and other things that come attached with it. Increasing performance comes with increased capacity which is nothing more than selection for increased appetite with RFI, but has anyone noticed how the latest fad is presented in todays featured bull sale attractions....what they have in common are large middles creating sway backs.....maybe they need to be crossed with roach back cows Smile .

Smaller size is somewhat correlated to shorter gestation so I did enjoy DF's comment when he said "Well, MK, it looks like that type conference might come in handy yet! Will it be free or will you be charging?" It has to be free, otherwise it would reduce any potential ROI Smile I just hope someone brings supportive proof to Bonsma's statement that "obesity reciprocates low fertility, and vice versa"......maybe if someone would bring some of those patchy fat, coarse hairy animals to display, we'll quit wondering why academia has measured fertility from our selection as being very low in heritability.....of course, registered breeders blame it on certain individual bulls like 6807 and others in their quest for fleshing ease.....never on type or nymphomania Smile .

Any "type" conference is going to take an awful lot of preparation, MK & DF will need time to gather up all their data . However, I doubt a type conference with resolve Jack's post when he reported the results of his sale - "...Double High selling sire group was a deal that went like this. I kept the tailend of my heifers a few years ago to use in a ranch rodeo I was putting on. I was going to just run them open but I couldn't keep them home when they would cycle so rather than fight it I just threw out a little left over calving ease bull that was a half bother to most of the heifers. Long story short I let a guy come in and pick off six of the heifers and I kept the rest. The bulls out of these hfrs were the high selling sire group and the contending bidder for the high selling bull was the guy that bought the six hfrs. Hmmmmm, how many times have I observed this "phenomenon", perhaps DF's data will provide a better answer than the ones I have formed Smile

Sounds like the two Jim's at 5bar should've attended your sale Jack, one is beginning to like smaller cows that produce big growthy bulls and the other one said he likes MK's tail end cows but Fay-ro told him to cull all his cows who wean over 600 lbs of calf. Smile As the data accumulates to establish an EPD for human ingenuity, the trait leader last week comes from Texas raising those miniature Longhorns who claims the smaller they are, the more monetary value they bring in the marketplace...with 18# birthweights, they could play a dual role as lawn ornaments during the off breeding season for DV in the vicinity of the two dot bridge and also could be replacements for Bootheel's says they'd be smarter, don't die as easy and I know his kids (not the goats) would enjoy riding them playing cowboy and indian defending their fort. Smile

I agree with Jack when he says "I love this business", there is so much potential left for advancing commercial ROI. TruLine is certainly not an original proven concept, the major difference between the Beefboosters, LCC, Nichols, MARC, etc who are developing special purpose strains is that they deliberately avoid close breeding......they must be breedomg "imbalanced" stock Smile Their methodology allows those seedstock breeders more ROI quicker. Right or wrong, I simply believe the long term approach of TruLine harnessing hybrid power will be more enduring and has the greater potential for commercial ROI by offering more consistency via genotypic complementarity rather than reliance on the randomization of heterosis. The reward is in the challenge climbing the mountain, not my own ROI, as DV would say, any monetary bonus beyond that is the frosting made from contented smiley Hilly says, priceless.

A priceless ROI is when I discovered at my great grandson's fifth birthday party last week that Max has the same genes as MK. Max has been swingin a golf club since he's been a year old, had spent the afternoon at the golf course. That evening his mother asked him to do something, Max looked up at his mother and said in disgust," You know I've been golfing all day, geez Mom, can't ya see I'm tired." Geez, I too get tired of trying to prove some things that should be so obvious. Smile
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