Fellow Devon Breeders-

Your Red Devon USA Board recently met at Jacob Owens’ historic Brookview Farm, located just outside of Lexington, Kentucky. Brookview Farm will be the site of this year’s Fall Event, held on September 26-27th, and will focus on utilizing our unique genetics to the utmost and properly finishing prime beef on pasture. The event agenda will include farm history (dating back to 1810 in Jacob’s family), a herd tour, on-the-hoof cattle evaluation, chef prepared meals using local fare, a live carcass breakdown, show/sale animal evaluation and RDUSA-member scoring, newborn calf and expecting cow management procedures, a DNA class, and a fabulous show and sale! Last, but certainly not least, we will hear keynote speaker Forrest Pritchard (author on “Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm”). This will be an event that you shouldn’t miss, so please mark your calendars and join us in Lexington for fun, fellowship, and learning.
Event admission prices are $200/person, with an additional $100 for a guest. Ages 10-17 will only be charged $50, while children 9 and under and sale consignors (plus 1 guest) are free. Please contact RDUSA Administrative Secretary Sarah Wilkerson @ sarahkwilkerson@gmail.com to get registered early, and we will be posting additional information on the website as the conference approaches.

While finalizing the Red Devon USA Fall Event agenda, we also discussed Show/Sale methodology and criteria, DNA Timelines and Implementation Schedule, CLRC (new breed registry) Integration, Promotional Activity, Devon USA publication and RDUSA website improvements, and the 2014 election process.

This year’s Show will be judged by the membership, and all Show animals will be sold thru a live auction process. Charlie Trantham is chairman of the Show/Sale Committee, which will accept animals for the Show/Sale thru June 30th, 2014. We have included the Show/Sale Guidelines, as well as a copy of the Standards of Excellence. Please make an effort to get your information to Charlie ASAP, as we plan to prepare the sale catalogue well in advance in order to properly promote the animals. Please see the enclosed information which details our Show/Sale entry process.

Dr. Bill Walker will chair the Elections Committee this year, which will accept RDUSA Board nominations thru July 31st, 2014. Please send Board nominations to: wwalker207@bellsouth.net and sarahkwilkerson@gmail.com. This year we have the following Board Member’s terms expiring: Steve Campbell, Jeremy Engh, Greg Hickl, Jeff Moore, Pam Trent, Ted Stevens, and Bill Walker. As we are reducing our overall Board member total from 13 to 9 members this year, all nominees will be vying for 3 positions.

We are currently looking for a new webmaster, as Andy Wendt has taken full-time employment with a firm and is needing to transition his Red Devon USA website responsibilities. Please let Sarah know if you have anyone that you would recommend for that role, as we will be acting to fill this position ASAP. We are also seeking any interested Red Devon USA members to join a website committee.

The Canadian Livestock Records Corporation (CLRC) integration on our registry data is underway and progressing. As this is a lengthy and laborious process, please continue to use our existing registration services until notified.

Regarding our new DNA standards:

Red Devon USA will require DNA profiles for all herd bulls by January 1st, 2015. Additionally, any calves registered after January 1st, 2016 must have a DNA sire match. We will explain this new protocol in detail at our Fall Event and thru multiple web postings. As discussed previously, we will eventually phase into both a Sire and Dam verification, but felt that taking incremental steps would be prudent.

Website and Devon USA content request:

We are in constant need of good pictures, stories, testimonials, opinion pieces, etc. for both our website and Devon USA publication. Roy Doan (roydoan@hotmail.com) and Guille Yearwood (guilley@aol.com) have both done a tremendous job of pulling this type of information together, but have expressed a repeated need for content. Please take some time to send them this type of information so that they can continue to promote our Devon breed with fresh material.

Promotional Activity:

We are continuing our $25,000 Devon promotional campaign, and it appears as if folks are starting to see results of this effort. In the most recent issue of Devon USA, you will also read about many examples of grass-roots efforts such as Daniel and Linda Marquardt’s recent Upper Midwest Devon Workshop, David Collier’s upcoming June 28th “2nd Annual PA Regional Meeting and Keystone Devon Production Sale”, and Jeff Moore’s recent involvement with Dr. Ron Harrell’s Blind Taste Test in Florida. The duplication of these types of efforts, even if merely in the form of relatively informal educational Devon “chili suppers” that Gearld Fry has made famous, are the most compelling form of promotion and advertising we could ask for. Please let us know how Red Devon USA can assist you in more of these “boots on the ground” Devon promotional efforts in your area.

Lastly, I would like to ask that you make an effort as a breeder/member to consider placing one of your Devon “herd-builders” in the upcoming Show/Sale, and get the information to Charlie Trantham ASAP. We hope to promote this year’s event at Jacob’s both earlier and heavier than recent events, and a well-executed and timely sale catalogue goes a long way toward drawing interested Devon breeders.

We will be placing our Fall Event agenda on the website within the next couple of weeks, and would also appreciate your attention toward potential Red Devon USA Board candidates. We are at a pivotal and exciting point in the cattle market, and I believe our Devon cattle are in a unique position to fill most of the current needs.

Please save the dates of September 26-27th and join us in Lexington for fun, fellowship, and learning in Lexington, Kentucky. Thanks for your time, and enjoy the growing season!


Greg Hickl