Anyone who was not in Winchester, KY on September 26 & 27 missed a premier event featuring education, gourmet food and lots of beautiful Devon cattle.

Our Host: Historic Brookview Farm

Monnie Gay and Douglas and Jenny Owens of Brookview Farm hosted the event on their historic farm with lush rolling pastures filled with healthy red cows, calves and bulls. The Owens have converted a former post office building to a Farm to Table restaurant aptly named Graze and a former grass seed mill into a conference center. The meals, meetings and lectures were held there. Of course, the pastures were used for hands-on experiences with the cattle.

Red Devon USA 2014 Conference Presenters

 

Learning what features to look for in a grass-finished Red Devon steer.

Learning what features to look for in a grass-finished Red Devon steer.

The conference participants enjoyed high caliber education sessions from Gerald Fry, Jeremy Engh and Guille Yearwood who gave valuable information on evaluating brood cows and steers as well as managing expecting cows and newborn calves.

Dr. Greg Rentfrow of University of Kentucky Meat Science Program

Dr. Greg Rentfrow of University of Kentucky Meat Science Program presented an informative and entertaining demonstration of a carcass breakdown including some nontraditional cuts that can yield more tender cuts from a carcass. The new breed registry through CLRC was introduced by Glen Clark who explained the process and capabilities including improved on-line search functions. The new RDUSA website developers, Aaron and Susan Von Frank of bitTyrant, were present during the whole conference, taking many photos, talking with members and explaining the soon-to-be-live website.

 

The 2014 Keynote speaker, author of Gaining Ground, Forrest Pritchard.

The 2014 Keynote speaker, author of Gaining Ground, Forrest Pritchard.

The Keynote speaker, author of Gaining Ground, Forrest Pritchard, gave an engaging presentation about his farm’s philosophy, history and overall enterprise including financial analyses followed by a book signing.

New Board Members

The RDUSA Annual Meeting included installation of new members of the Board of Directors: Guille Yearwood, Jeremy Engh (re-elected) and Greg Hickl (re-elected). After the general membership meeting the Board of Directors met to elect new officers for 2015. Roy Doan of Blountville, TN was elected President. Jacob Owens of the host farm will serve as Vice-President and Paul Colucci of Gardiner, NY will take over the duties of Treasurer.

Cattle Show

The cattle show this year took an innovative approach to judging by having the conference attendees score the classes and choose Overall Grand Champion and Reserve Champion. While all the entries were outstanding breed specimens the class winners were:

  • Open Heifer: First Place went to Brookview Farm’s A6 and Second Place went to Brookview Farm’s A65.
  • Bred Heifer: First Place went to Full Moon Farm’s Michelle, Second Place went to Full Moon Farm’s Laura and Third Place went to Full Moon Farm’s Nancy.
  • Bred Cow: First Place went to Circle K Devons Mary, Second Place went to Lakota Farm’s Stonebridge S56, Third Place went to Lakota Farm’s S307.
  • Cow/Calf Pair: First Place went to Lakota Farm’s Z43, Second Place went to Lenoir Creek’s N311, Third Place went to Lakota Farm’s Oak Hill T2
  • GRAND CHAMPION: went to Circle K Devons Mary
  • RESERVE CHAMPION: went to Lakota Farm’s Z43

The event finished up with a very successful sale with auctioneer Brian Curless. Several new Devon farms were started and many existing farms added to their gene pool. Sheldon Heading’s Grand Champion commanded the top bid of $11,500. The second highest bid of $9,250 went to Lenoir Creek Devons belonging to the Trantham family on Lot 17. Lakota Ranch’s Lot 8 followed with a bid of $7,500. The 17 lots averaged almost $5,700.

Many new friends were made and old friendships strengthened through the mingling and sharing of information throughout the conference.

More Conference Photos


Created with flickr slideshow.

Seeking Host For the Red Devon USA 2015 Conference

Anyone who is interested in hosting the event in 2015 and would like to have your name added to the existing list of interested parties needs to contact Sarah (sarahkwilkerson@gmail.com) or any member of the Board.

-Laura J. Watson