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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Why Choose Midland?

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

What are the criteria for distinguishing animals held in high regard? 

I remember the old-fashioned way. Recognition only came through progeny – consistent sons and daugh-ters proving those genetics in production. These days, many operations are captivated by “fresh, cutting-edge” genetics from animals that haven’t had time to prove themselves. 

In true American fashion, we have lost reliability in trying to do more with less time. In this rush, we seem to have skimmed past the fundamental basics such as structural soundness, maternal instinct and frame capability – phenotypic signs which must be present to support the suggested probability of the genomic data prediction.

This tool of predictability is only useful and reliable when the actual, real evidence validates the prediction. 

These basics, still seen by the keen eye of the experienced cattlemen and women through years of calculat-ed observation, is the solution to the current dilemma – increased demand on a shrinking cow and herd size and soaring land and input costs with narrowing margins. 

Why choose Midland? Proof. 

We aren’t marketing a “possibility” here. We are proving through years of long-term selection one can keep structural soundness, frame size, weaning weight, mothering, milk and breed back, while having it all with efficiency and gaining as well, sometimes better than the average while eating less.  

The beauty of Residual Feed Intake (RFI) is it is independent of phenotypic traits. But, we MUST measure because even the most astute eye can’t spot efficiency. Without measuring, one is only assuming, and assumptions can take us down the wrong road. 

Take into consideration two sons of the same sire with relatively the same initial body weight. One bull ended with an RFI of nearly negative 4.7 and gained an average of just over five pounds per day, while the half-brother bull had an RFI of over five while gaining an average of approximately four pounds per day. 

The difference is almost 11 pounds of dry matter intake daily. Retaining daughters for long-term use would have a profound effect on input costs dependent on bull choice. We aren’t going to find an expected progeny difference (EPD) or a dollar value on a mother cow which independently raises a calf year in and year out with no human intervention.

But, if we stack those mothers and efficiency in the pedigrees, we’re going to see validation as our profits grow and our inputs decline. 

Midland offers validation of the projected expectations in the data we collect and publish to assist producers in finding the bulls that fit the criteria needed to advance their herd in the direction they want to go with confidence. 

In closing, here is a thoughtful passage applying to all cattlemen, women and breeds of today, shared by an astute cattleman and a great friend, TJ Gabriel:

Correct fundamentals

Some cattlemen either cannot or will not recognize correct fundamentals in an unfitted bull. We have found time-tested successful commercial breeders are among the shrewdest judges in selecting great breeding bulls. They can and will recognize correct fundamentals in a thin bull and are willing to pay good prices. 

Why? Through his years of successful operations, he has lots of bull experience. He has bought fat bulls and watched them get thin. Sad and costly breeding experiences have been his best teacher. He has bought well-conditioned bulls and has been impressed with their development, liveability and breeding performance. 

Yes, the practical cattlemen are looking for and demanding the very fundamentals that have made the Angus breed the greatest beef breed in the world. They are looking for and demanding red meat, bully bulls, with lots of natural thickness throughout the barrel, great depth of body and good legs with plenty of the right kind of bone. 

We believe he is entitled to these fundamentals. He is willing to sacrifice on some other fundamentals if necessary.  He is cautious and hard to fool on the fads and extremes which creep in and out of the breed. We need this kind of cattlemen and many more to fully develop the great potential of the expansion of Angus cattle. 

Written by Slayton Jennings in 1964 and published in the Ankony Hyland catalog.

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