By Tom Brink, RAAA CEO

 

The best seedstock breeders in the beef cattle business never stop working to make their herds better. As soon as a calf crop hits the ground, they’re already thinking about which bulls to use on the replacement heifers they will eventually keep out of those calves. Herd improvement with the next generation is always on their minds. Study and evaluation of new potential AI sires and new herd bulls is a perpetual, year-around effort. These breeders never stop analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of their own cattle. They are focused on multi-trait improvement, and are working a plan to make it happen.

 

Below are 7 key attributes/actions that are common to the best breeders in the business:

1) Top breeders are always focused on making their cattle better. They are never satisfied, never complacent and constantly seeking to improve.

2) They think almost daily about which bulls to use on the next round of in-herd matings. Breeding decisions are never far from their minds, even when the bulls won’t go out for months.

3) Ever on the lookout for genetics that will bring desired traits into their herds, top breeders are always in search mode. From evaluating the latest EPDs to countless phone conversations, they never stop seeking good sire-side genetics. They know the best genetics are worth the money and are willing to spend more than average breeders to get what they want.

4) They work toward specific goals of their own making and design. Top breeders have a clear idea of what they are trying to accomplish in their herds. They stay on their defined pathway year after year without, without sway.

5) Top breeders do not compromise. They cull ruthlessly. Only the best heifers wind up in their replacement pen. When a well-planned, highly-anticipated mating fails to meet expectations, the resulting animal is gone without a second thought. Discipline drives everything they do.

6) They use technology wisely and have a lot of cow savvy. Both innovation and tradition mark their operations. They experiment and take calculated genetic risks, while also relying on tried-and-true methods that have served them well in the past.

7) They love what they do. The line between work and fun is often blurred when they are involved with their cattle. A passion for improvement is the hallmark of their efforts, and sharing that passion with others comes easily for them.

Does this describe the way you approach your business as a Red Angus breeder? If so, you may well be on your way to the top of the breed.

 

Source: Red Angus Association of America