Colonial Williamsburg and “tis the Season”

Illumination Weekend at Colonial Williamsburg

The first weekend of December is always Illumination Weekend at Colonial Williamsburg.  It is the kickoff of the holiday season and the historical part of town is full of Christmas decorations and wreaths that match the time period, which is the 1770’s.  That weekend and the whole month of December is […]

December 24th, 2014|Devons, Genectics, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Devons Working on the Western Range

Jenny Sabo of Harrison, MT sent in the following information and photos of Devon X Red Angus steers that the Sabos sold to Fishing Owl Farm of Livingston, MT. Fishing Owl Farm is owned by Kelly Niles and Jeff Welch.

They bought the steers in April of 2013 and summered them on irrigated pasture […]

May 21st, 2014|Devons, Genectics, Grass Fed Beef, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Udderly Predictable

“(B)y following the directions of M. Guenon, as laid down in the
treatise, anyone can tell with certainty whether a cow is a good milker,
or whether a heifer will become one, so that there need be no doubt as
to the profit of raising an animal, and no chance of being taken in the
purchase of one.”
National Tribute of the French Government
Paris, September 17, 1848


June 16th, 2013|Genectics, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Selecting for Tenderness and Quality

The Responsibility of the State: “Public life is a situation of power and energy; he trespasses against his duty who sleeps upon his watch, as well as he who goes over to the enemy.” – Edmund Burke

It is just as well I am of an older generation that believes men don’t cry. But my spirit weeps when I read the conclusions of today’s generation of “animal scientists”. They continue to turn out learned studies based on laboratory research, never understanding that the proper laboratory is the pasture and the milking barn. If only these scientists were smart enough to create a single stomach cow, then they might have an animal that would be efficient with grain feeding and only then might their research have meaning.


February 16th, 2013|Conventional Agriculture, Genectics, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Talking the Talk, Walking Off a Cliff!

Like most cattleman, I am always trying to find more information on breeding and genetics. Therefore, a recent learned paper put out by the University of Kentucky Department of Agriculture caught my eye. It had a promising headline— “Selection and Management Practices to Increase Consistency in Beef Cattle”—-and was written by two gentlemen who specialize in “animal science”. That should have been my warning; right there! By the time I was through reading the article I was thoroughly confused. Every technique they had discussed to “increase consistency” had been dismissed.


September 20th, 2011|Conventional Agriculture, Genectics, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Vision for Herd Improvement

When you’re out in your pastures and walking among your cows, what do you envision? Do you see cows that can give you the greatest return for the grass they consume? Do you see having a bull that is a genetic bank reserve for your future? Does your vision include a positive plan that builds and leaves a legacy of genetics and livestock for your children or those who may possess your livestock after you? Is your livestock operation managed as a business with quality control standards; each generation of animals is better than the generation that produced them?


May 16th, 2011|Genectics, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Understanding Phenotype & Genetic Expression & Nutrition In Livestock Production


As I have studied the philosophies and accomplishments of many of the world’s greatest stockmen I have learned the common denominator was their desire to produce an animal that was extremely functional in its environment. Grasping their thought processes for selection, management and breeding practices have been both mentally challenging and rewarding for me. While not always blatantly apparent, I came to understand that in order to produce cattle with the genetic ability to exhibit and recreate the correct body type ultimately requires the right nutrition, even prior to conception.


May 16th, 2011|Genectics, Health, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Muscle Mass: High Carcass Yield

The beef animal that has a high yielding carcass will not work in the feed lot system for the prescribed time of 150 days without becoming a yield grade 4-5 or greater. The high yielding carcass animal has multiple characteristics for utilization of feed stuffs through digestive abilities that the average animal does not possess today; this animal also has natural fat deposits that are requirements for grass performance; however the feed lot industry discriminates against that fat. Today no breeder I know of selects for this body type or fat, there are no market for these cattle except in the grass feeding industry.

September 16th, 2009|Genectics, Grass Fed Beef, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

Art of Breeding Devon-Purity

There are an estimated 100-million beef and dairy cows and calves of all breeds in America. What is more significant than numbers for a true student of Devon breeding is the average value of the animals produced each year and what they contribute to the quality of meat and milk production. Accurate statistics covering that point are not easily come by.

May 16th, 2009|Genectics, Selecting Cattle|0 Comments

The H.I.L. Quotient

Typically when one thinks of quality beef, words like tender, juicy, and flavorful come to mind. Smooth, rich, sweet, or creamy describe quality milk. You may be satisfied about the job in those areas.


December 16th, 2008|Genectics, Health|0 Comments