Monday, December 13, 2010

Letter from AMAA Breeder

Below is a letter that Dennis Garwood included in his recent sale catalog. I respect the successes Dennis has made as cattle producer , and his morals as a person. He is a valuable member of the Association that will fight to keep the Maine Anjou breed moving in the right direction.

If I could, I would like to bring up a subject that I personally feel needs to be addressed. It is not my intention to “get on a soap box" or to “make a big deal” which is why I have asked Craig, our sale manager, to include this discussion later in the catalog. I want to remain positive and upbeat about this great breed of cattle and the people that represent it.

I would like to encourage my fellow Maine-Anjou breeders and producers to provide accurate, honest and dependable information when submitting cattle for registration and to genuinely and honestly represent the cattle you have worked so hard to produce.

In order for our associations (AAA & AMAA) to generate accurate and dependable EPD’s (which can be a valuable tool when making mating and breeding decisions), accurate, dependable, and complete information must be submitted. If we want to have faith in our EPD’s we must be faithful in what we report. Birth dates, birthweights, weaning weights, weaning dates, etc. “pulled out of a hat" so to speak if not changed or manipulated equally on the whole herd provide inaccurate progeny ratios which in the long run negatively impact individuals and the breed as a whole. On another note, as we all know, one of the major strengths of the Maine-Anjou breed is phenotypic excellence. Many are involved in this breed because of a desire to compete and excel in the show ring and that's a good thing. But I would like to encourage us especially to report accurate birth dates and birth weights out of respect for fellow breeders and a desire to exhibit personal integrity and character that others (especially family members) would be proud of and want to model. Controlling and manipulating information for personal immediate gain will eventually run its course and take its toll on us as individuals and corporately as a breed.

The Scriptures say in Titus chapter 1 and verse 2 that “it is impossible for God to lie". What a diļ¬€erent world this would be if we chose for it to be “impossible for us to lie ” as we strive to follow His example. IDEALISTIC? Maybe so, but from a “Big Picture ” perspective I believe that there is much more to this life than just the “here and now”. I am especially looking forward to the “there and then. ” (I John 5:11-12-13) I am so thankful to have the privilege of being a part of such a great group of people that represent Maine-Anjou cattle.

Dennis Garwood

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What does hair taste like?

As we get into winter, it is the time when all the hot young sires begin to be promoted, sales throughout the Midwest are happening in droves, and people are getting ready for the stock shows. Growing up in Nebraska for most of my life, and now living in Texas for the past 10 years, it makes me a jealous, and a little resentful seeing all the Northern cattle with their 4 inches of hair pictured to the tee. I used to have so much fun clipping on these hairy furballs every winter, making them look how ever you wanted them to look, but now my new milder climate has made it a lot more work to make these shaggy cattle, and no matter how much work I do, it still can never compare to a few -20 degree days. This all being said, so what are we really promoting these days in the show world, when a sire is promoted with a ruler beside a fitted leg that is 10 inches thick due to hair? Will he really produce higher quality cattle for the industry because of this? Will his hair make him taste better to the consumer?

It seems the beef industry has resorted to classifying the quality of bulls by using a spreadsheet or by the amount of hair they have. I'll get into the spreadsheet thing at a later date, but the fact that an animal has so much hair that it can be sculpted into the perfect specimen, does not mean it is a better animal. The fact that so much of advertising this days is based around that one perfect picture of a bull, has really created a disadvantage to those cattle born at the wrong time of year to have the maximum amount of hair, and a disadvantage to those in the southern regions that just can't grow hair like further north. Are these cattle of less quality because of this? I doubt it, and if so, it is because of a multitude of other things other than hair. So let's advertise that, not just a pretty picture. I love clipping and fitting hairy cattle, but in the end, it's what is on the inside that matters. I've eaten a lot of hair in my days, but I prefer STEAK!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fall Cleaning Semen Tank Package

I just recently went through my semen tank to take inventory of the semen I had. We have several bulls in our tank that are outstanding producers now, or in the past, but just don't quite fit the direction we are trying to take our herd. Here is the opportunity!

6 units Hannibal - $10 per unit
3 units About Time - $12 per unit
1 unit Cookie Monster - $5 per unit
1 unit DJ Caesar - $15 per unit
3 units Brother Joe - $10 per unit

Package price is $120 for all. Pick up of semen is in Ft. Worth area. Also ask about adding some Montego Bay semen to the package.

Contact Zane if interested.