What exactly did it take to ruin PB Simmental?
It began with poor leadership (Board of Directors) as more emphasis was placed on one sector (Show) than any of the others. The choice to move away from our base of remaining more commercially-focused was the beginning of the end for Purebred Simmental.
Visionaries of the past, that realized the need for change and to remain more commercially-focused had no intentions of taking PBSM down the path to ruin with the inferior genetics of the show prospect.
Today. the Purebred Sector of Simmental is a conglomeration of the worst genetics ever quantified in modern times — and penned as inbred show mongrel genetics.
The Downward Spiral of PBSM
- Poor Leadership (without Vision)
- Too much Emphasis on the Show Sector
- Allowing Breeders to Opt-Out of Total Herd Enrollment THE
- Inbreeding (Legacy)
The Solutions to bring back PBSM
- Make Remaining Commercially-focused our Mission Statement
- Require all breeders to be Active in the THE
- Dump most of the Legacy Genetics within PBSM
- Continue the Carcass Merit Program (CMP)
- Less emphasis on the Show Sector as it has no function in the production of meat
We began producing Full Blood Simmental in 1998. After only a few years; we knew these high milking, large framed cattle required too many inputs and didn’t match either our available forage base or climatic conditions, which is key to survival and success in the cattle business.
We needed cattle that suited our particular situation.
For the next several years; we utilized the best genetics that our, now, Pure Bred Simmental (PBSM) cows had to offer by using their EPD’s to match-mate cows to AI Sires that would influence our cattle in a positive productive way.
By 2005, our PBSM cattle were better, but still didn’t fully match our available forage resources and climatic conditions of southeastern Georgia. We also noticed that many of the PBSM cattle originated from a very small genetic pool and that someday many would be closely related or inbred.
As in life, every business comes to that ultimate crossroad and decisions have to be made that may influence success for years to come. Thinking about which path to follow, we chose SimAngus™ cattle.
This decision really made the big difference in our success and in 2007 we had our first SimAngus calves born at the ranch. Another direction we chose that generated further successes, then and even today, was/is by utilizing Artificial Insemination (AI) on 100% of our cattle and by using the best PBAN AI Sires to produce Simmental-based SimAngus™ cattle.
Today, all of our cows exceed the ASA Hybrid Simmental (SimAngus) EPD averages across the board for every single trait of economic importance.
As we moved away from PBSM catttle we did, however, maintain a few. We own the highest API/TI Red (Non-Legacy) Purebred, Simangus and Simbrah cows in the USA.
Did you know that there are still buyers that base their bull and semen selections on Phenotype (outward appearance) and never consider Genotype (genetics). As long as people are basing their selections solely on phenotype they will never progress. These days, with Genomically Enhanced EPD’s backed by DNA, we that actually want to improve our bottom line — can.
My analogy for buying a bull or semen without a full understanding of EPD’s is like buying hay without a forage analysis– it can be green, touch all the senses, but still have a lower Crude Protein and TDN. — “You just can’t tell by looking”.
I’m not saying that a visual appraisal isn’t necessary, but all bull buyers should have a good understanding of EPD’s, which will assist them in their decision-making processes. Ask your bull providers for Genomically Enhanced EPD’s as the “proof is in the pudding”.
This has become an ethical issue for many. If your bull providers don’t test their bulls (which only costs $25) then they are telling you it’s easier to keep you in the dark and/or you aren’t worth twenty-five dollars. Luckily for some seed stock providers, there are still buyers out there that don’t pay any attention to genetic defects. They don’t realize it, but they are on borrowed time.
I started ranching at 20, from scratch, and I’m the only rancher my age for miles and miles. Can you stand by and watch your friends get their new homes, cars, boats and RV’s while you struggle to make ends meet?
If you can — you may just have what it takes to begin a cattle business. Do something like I did — find a mentor that you trust and one that will tell you the truth — how it takes time — how everyone pays dues — how this isn’t really some romanticized existence, instead it’s hard work and this is why we are so few.
This is what it takes to be free.
I’m here to share my experiences with the world — what worked — what didn’t and why (maybe). And, yes, if I had to face floods, droughts, ice storms, destroyed hay, equipment failures, activists, lightning, doubters, my fears, death loss, fires and disappointments; I would definitely do it all over again………