I started raising cattle for our store in 2013. Now we continuously sell my homegrown Devon meat through the store. My father saw there was a void in locally raised quality beef, and he was beyond pleased with the quality of Devon beef. I am one of the only Devon breeders within a 50-100 miles radius, and I am very excited to show fellow farmers what the Devon breed has to offer.
My passion is in the grass-fed beef industry, and my focus in the last several months has been searching for a meat research project. I am confident that grass fed beef is the direction that will help the beef industry move forward for many generations to come. There is a plethora of health benefits to eating grass fed beef, and in particular, Devon beef. This is why I am exploring test options, so we can show others in the beef industry what Devon beef can really offer. Since my passion and life’s work surround the Devon breed, I am excited and humbled to run for a position on the Board. I hope my enthusiasm and dedication to this trade will be an asset to the organization, and I look forward to working with other members (if elected) to propel our group into the next step.
Dawna Bicknell Tanner
Blue Bear Farm
568 Lewis Road
Cairo, GA 39828
How many of you have attended four annual Devon conferences without owning a single cow? I have. The expression “big hat, no cows” was, I expect, intended for folks like us. Yet, this past January our mentor and friend, Jeff Moore, agreed we were ready and delivered our first animals to begin our herd. Late the next day, an enthusiastic welcome by our “herding” dogs sent our dazed cattle on an overnight walk-about through our woods and into our neighbors’ pasture. Thankfully, all turned out well and our small, but expanding herd has settled in and is now happily rotating through the grasses in our south Georgia pastures.
I am a 1978 graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in Humanities. Throughout my 34 years of employment, I served as a program and staff director for The Florida Bar and worked directly with boards and committees made up of lawyer volunteers. I also served on committees related to matters of accreditation. Rule and policy drafting, budget preparation, publications, meetings and promotion is familiar territory to me and perhaps I can apply those skills for Red Devon USA.
I like to think that cattle ranching in my family skipped a generation. Many might say it skipped two, but I believe my time has finally come. My grandfather will always be my inspiration, but our methods will be quite different from his. My husband, Mike Tanner, and I are dedicated to expanding and preserving the Devon breed, rejuvenating our soil, restoring our grasses, and producing quality beef in a deliberately natural way. I am new to this venture, but my passion runs deep and I would consider it a privilege to serve on our board.
Dawna Bicknell Tanner
8909 Keady Rd.
Lodi, New York 14860
Over the past three years I have produced a brief history of the Devon breed for inclusion in the breeder handbook, reviewed and scanned some of the “Devon Quarterly” journals that spanned four decades from the 1940s-1990s. Some of those have appeared in the Devon USA magazine in the past few issues.
I have worked on promotional activities for the organization along with board members David Fell and Christian Ramsburg and volunteer Dawna Bicknell. We have explored additional print media sources for advertising as well as social media and digital alternative methods to both communicate events and news of interest to members more rapidly and to expand our outreach to potential Devon buyers and breeders. We will soon have available for purchase a variety of promotional items for sale at RDUSA events and on the RDUSA website.
If reelected, I would like to continue my work in organizing, preserving and disseminating the historical record of Devons in America and perhaps write more historical articles of interest for the magazine and the website.
I would also like to see us continue the process we have begun to expand promotional activities including experimenting with regional advertising, working in partnership with regional Devon breeders to include advertising and articles in more local sources such as state beef producer organizations.
But looking at the organization from a more universal perspective I think that there are some major challenges facing the organization in the next few years that must be addressed if we are to grow and prosper as an organization and effectively promote the Devon breed.
Our number one obligation is to maintain a breed herd book and to provide the membership with fast, and accurate registration and transfer of cattle. We have struggled with that as we sought to maintain stability at the same time we are seeking out alternatives to what has not always been a smooth running relationship with CLRC, the registry that maintains our herd book and services our members. I believe we will soon be coming to a decision about how to proceed and it will be a challenge to make that transfer while insuring the integrity of the herd book.
Our second challenge is financial. We have had some very memorable annual meetings and shows and sales in the past several years, but we cannot afford to continue on that same scale in the near future. We must scale back on that annual event while still abiding by RDUSA by-law requirements to hold an annual meeting. I also believe it is important to provide our members and potential members with an enjoyable and meaningful networking experience.
Finally, for those who do not know me, I have a 70 acre farm in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York where my partner Karel Titus and I have been farming for the past forty years. We have been raising Devon cattle since 1989 and currently have a herd of 20-25 cows. We sell breeding stock and feeder calves in an all grass program and have been using intensive rotational grazing on our farm since 1980. We raise Devons because they are enjoyable to work with as are the Devon people we have had the pleasure and privilege to meet and work with over the past several decades. If the membership should elect me to another term, it would be an honor to serve.
Anne M. Derousie
Kittanning Hollow Farm, home of the Keystone Devons
309 Kittanning Hollow Rd.
East Brady, Pennsylvania 16028
Scott Brady Red Devon
Premier Auctions & Real Estate
1260 N. Bunyan Rd.
Susanville, CA. 96130
I've had a great interest in cattle since I was a young child, purchasing my first steer when I was 10 years old. I got more serious about raising beef cattle and more specifically registered Charolais, when I was 16 years old. I bought a heifer, then a cow/calf pair, a bull and shortly after another heifer. I had registered Charolais for 42 years, in eastern Oregon, until I had to sell my small herd in 2011.
In 2010, I purchased a "mini Jersey" heifer calf and have raised a few "mini/mid" sized Jerseys. My original heifer, grew too tall to meet the height requirement of "mini", so she is considered a "mid sized" Jersey. I have raised five calves from her and have retained two heifers at this point. When getting started with the "mini Jerseys", I became very interested in the "grass fed" industry. What I read about the health benefits of "grass fed" food and the good the soil can receive from such practices, made a lot of sense to me. In my reading, I came across the Red Devon breed of cattle.
The breed intrigued me for their ability to gain weight and fatten on grass, not to mention they are beautiful cattle. They seemed like a great fit for "grass fed/grass finished" beef. I discovered as a breed, they have a great disposition, are docile and easy to be around and work with. Over the course of four years of learning about the breed, and seeing Red Devon on a few farms I visited back east, in 2015 I went to my first Red Devon event at Daniel Marquardt's farm, Hillside Pastures, sponsored by the Mid West Breeders. I met very nice and welcoming Red Devon breeders, learned even more, and bought my first Red Devon; a very nice, high quality cow/calf pair. Since that time, I've had that cow flushed, raised more natural calves from her and purchased another quality cow/calf pair. My herd is growing and I'm very pleased with the quality of cattle I've chosen. My goal is to continue to raise high quality breeding stock and develop a niche in my area for "grass fed/grass finished" beef.
My purpose in running for the board of directors, is to help the breed grow, assist breeders in their pursuits to raise quality cattle, and help expand the exposure of the Red Devon breed. As breeders and as a breed, there is always room for improvement and growth. I see great opportunity for improvement, growth, and efficiencies to help breeders register their cattle, improve the quality of cattle we raise, and enjoy raising Red Devon. I will be happy to assist in any way possible to contribute to the growth of the breed and our association.