A Moment with Matt: Making Your Priorities a Priority


By Matt Woolfolk

Like everyday life, the purebred cattle business can throw a lot of things at someone and it can be hard to focus on what you view as important. We all have things that we view as important, on and off the farm, and where we believe our time and resources should be allocated. Often times, distractions come along that make it even harder to focus on our priorities. Whether at home, in the office or on the ranch I feel that this quote is a gentle, yet powerful, reminder of keeping focused on what matters most:

“Set your priorities right. If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”

Obviously, I can’t sit here and tell anyone how to prioritize their personal or professional lives and I don’t intend to by any means. Rather, I hope to simply offer my input into how you can become more focused on what you feel is important to making your Beefmaster operation successful.

Within your operation, it is important to have a primary goal that drives all your decisions. Identifying that goal can sometimes be the hardest step. Do you want to sell commercial bulls or are you better equipped to market show heifers? Take inventory of what you already do well, as well as what you can improve upon. Doing so will give some insight on where to focus your program. Once you establish a direction, it’s time to pour as many of your resources as you can into making your operation successful. Before anyone gets the impression that I am implying you should select for a single trait, which is NOT the point I’m trying to make. It takes more than one trait to make a good bull or a good female. It’s important to pinpoint all the traits it takes to succeed in your market and then to attack them collectively. Your cowherd will already do many things well, so build upon that foundation. Advance your weaknesses through genetic selection or alter some management practices to improve upon performance. The hardest part of focusing on your priorities is staying the course through the ups and downs that come with the cattle business. It was a lot easier to be excited and aggressively pursue your goals when feeder calf prices were more than double what they are today. I know it is a lot tougher right now, but staying the course and remaining focused will pay off in the long run. Every step in the right direction, even the smallest step, gets you closer to your end goal.

Whether it’s at home, the office or the barn I hope you are able to devote your time and resources to the things that you deem important. Goals and priorities, both personal and professional, are what drive us to succeed and keep us excited. I hope you are all excited about your own herds and are actively pushing yourself towards those important priorities you have set for success. One day, we will all be able to catch that rabbit that we are chasing.

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2016 Convention Educational Seminars


Did You Miss Convention?

If you were unable to attend this year’s convention and would like to view the educational sessions held in Branson, please visit to view the educational programs. Videos will also be available on Beefmaster Breeders United Facebook page and YouTube channel.

You can also download the presentation handouts for each seminar by clicking on the seminar name in the paragraph below.

The educational seminars sponsored by the Beefmaster Educational Endowment Foundation (B.E.E.F.) were successful in providing new information to members. The educational seminars featured EPDs & Selection Indices by Dr. Matt Spangler, DNA Parent Verification & Genomics by Dr. Jared Decker, Cattle Nutrition by N.T. Cosby Purina and Feed Efficiency by Dr. Evan Whitley. The convention also featured two panelists discussions about seedstock marketing and commercial marketing, also known as “The Love Connection”. The seedstock marketing panel featured sale managers Derek Frenzel, Mike Green, Bruce Robbins and Anthony Mihalski. The commercial marketing panel featured stockyards manager Skylar Moore, feedlot manager Mark Sebranek and commercial cattleman Mike Turner.

The videos of the educational seminars can also be accessed at the links provided below.

EPDs & Selection Indices with Dr. Matt Spangler

DNA Parent Verification & Genomics with Dr. Jared Decker

Seedstock Marketing with Derek Frenzel, Anthony Mihalski, Mike Green & Bruce Robbins

2016 “The Love Connection”

Feed Efficiency with Dr. Evan Whitley

Cattle Nutrition with N.T. Cosby

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Back to the Basics with Bauer: What are EPDs?


By Lance Bauer

Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are a tool that can be used to compare an animal to another animal or the average of the breed.  The numbers can tell you how the progeny of one animal is expected to perform when compared to others for that same trait. There is an accuracy associated with the EPD that will improve with more information for a certain animal. The value of the EPD can change as well with more information on an animal’s progeny. EPDs are calculated using the estimated relatedness of animals based on pedigree, the performance of the individual, the performance of related individuals and other factors that could influence the trait that is being calculated. These other factors are put into the equation in order to be factored out and create a more even playing field for all animals. Once an animal has offspring the performance of the offspring is included in the calculation of the EPD. The use of EPDs can be used by seedstock breeders, as well as commercial producers to improve the performance of their herd. It can be difficult at first to know how to properly utilize the information that EPDs present, but that task can be made simpler by the using indices that combine and weight EPDs to come up with a single value that can help in the selection of animals for a specific part of production. The calculation of EPDs is a process that is changing with new genomic technologies.

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Beefmaster Honors Outstanding Cattlemen at Convention


SAN ANTONIO – The 56th Annual Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Convention “The Magic of Beefmasters” was hosted in Branson, Mo., at the Hilton Branson Convention Center from October 26 – 29, 2016. The official kick-off of the 2016 convention was highlighted with award winning speeches from the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association members and the pickpocket magician Gene Turner entertaining the crowd with magic tricks, laughs and ways to prevent pickpocketing.

New this year to convention was the Beefmaster Shotgun Classic sponsored by Datamars – ZTags, The Beefmaster Cowman and Creative Awards. The winning team was the Live Oak Beefmaster Breeders Association with team members Tony Psencik, Trey Scherer, Melvin Scherer and Anthony Mihalski.

During the convention Beefmaster Breeders United held their general membership meeting. At the meeting BBU members elected new Board of Director members and officers. Steve Carpenter of Tecumseh, Okla., was elected president and Bob Siddons of Lakeway, Texas, was elected vice-president. The following individuals were elected to the BBU Board of Directors with a three year term: Kendall McKenzie of Angie, La., Justin Williams of Savannah, Tenn., Derek Frenzel of Temple, Texas and Gary Halepeska of Goliad, Texas.

Beefmaster breeders from throughout the United States attended this year’s convention. Attendees enjoyed seminars, the annual President’s Council Sale and fellowship with other cattlemen and women, while also enjoying a little “magic” in Branson. The educational seminars sponsored by the Beefmaster Educational Endowment Foundation (B.E.E.F.) were successful in providing new information to members. The educational seminars featured Dr. Matt Spangler teaching about EPDs and Selection Indices, Dr. Jared Decker speaking about DNA Parent Verification and Genomics, N.T. Cosby of Purina talking about cattle nutrition and Dr. Evan Whitley teaching about the importance of feed efficiency tests. The convention also featured two panelists discussions about seedstock marketing and commercial marketing, also known as “The Love Connection”. The seedstock marketing panel featured sale managers Derek Frenzel, Mike Green, Bruce Robbins and Anthony Mihalski. The commercial marketing panel featured stockyards manager Skylar Moore, feedlot manager Mark Sebranek and commercial cattleman Mike Turner.

The evening activities provided members the opportunity to meet and greet with new members, first-time convention attendees and satellite members. The first night hosted the “meet and greet” sponsored by Neogen GeneSeek, the social was filled with great fellowship and mesmerizing magic from pickpocket magician Gene Turner. The second night was highlighted with a highly entertaining and magical performance by Chipper Lowell.

The convention was concluded with the annual awards luncheon, where top honors in the Beefmaster breed were announced. Melaine Hardwick of Milner, Ga., was selected as member of the year. Golden Meadows Ranch LLC owned by Chris and Mark Cooley of San Antonio, Texas was selected as new member of the year. Collier Farms owned by Mike and Rhonda Collier of Brenham, Texas was announced as performance breeder of the year and the environmental member of the year was awarded to Santa Ana Ranch owned by Dr. Alvaro Restrepo of Mc Allen, Texas. Breeder of the year was awarded to V-Seven Beefmasters owned by Melvin and Marilyn Scherer of Meyersville, Texas. Beefmaster Cattlewoman of the year was awarded to Cindy Emmons of Fairfield, Texas.

On behalf of the BBU staff, officers, board members and the convention committee, thank you to all our generous sponsors, trade show partners and auction participants. Join BBU at their 57th Annual Convention held in Galveston, Texas from October 26 – 28, 2017.

For more information or questions please contact Beefmaster Breeders United at 210-732-3132 or visit

Click here to download photos of the award winners.

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Buongiorno Beefmasters

By Doyle Sanders, BBU International Committee Co-Chair to Europe/Asia

The “Buongiorno Beefmasters” event was hosted in Rome, Italy on September 24, 2016. It was a great event that was developed to introduce the Beefmaster breed into Italy, while it grows into Western Europe from Northern Ireland and Eastern Europe from Poland. Opportunities to extend into Northern Africa and Russia/Kazakhstan are also now being considered due to this event. U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. (USLGE) has supported the effort to export and grow the Beefmaster breed into Europe since the first project was identified for Italy in 2013, Poland in 2014 and the United Kingdom in 2015.

The project to launch Beefmaster genetics into Europe required strict compliance with European Union (EU) bovine health restrictions over a long term process. Certified Semen Services (CSS) semen is not accepted under EU regulations for semen importation. Doyle and Dorothy Sanders’ DBL D BAR Beefmaster Ranch in Austin County, Texas went through a high risk process to certify their herd and obtain special EU certification of embryo collection standards not commonly used in the United States for beef cattle. No outside funding has been used to develop this project. Some USLGE funding was applied to partially offset educational programs for breed promotion for potential European beef producers.

Giulio and Francesca DeDonatis’ Tenuta dell Argenta Resort Range and Feedlot at Civitavecchia and their meat markets in Rome, Italy formed a relationship with the DBL D BAR Ranch to kick off the project in late 2013 that has grown to include Poland and Northern Ireland.

The special event was attended by approximately 100 guests, representing various aspects of the beef industry in Italy and Central Europe. These guests included breeders, feedlots, feeder cattle suppliers, major grocery and meat supplier, beef professionals involved in agri-marketing, beef journalism professionals and graduate students developing beef research projects at the University of Bologna.

USLGE sponsored travel for the seminar speakers which included Beefmaster Breeders United President-Elect Steve Carpenter, Dr. Joe Paschal of Texas A&M University and Charlie Bradbury of JBS, the largest beef company in the world. Other hosts and speakers included Doyle Sanders of DBL D BAR Ranch, Giulio DeDonatis of DD-Italia Beefmasters and Lukasz Karmowski, from his ranch in western Poland. The topics were well received and a lot of interest was evident in expediting EU certified Beefmaster semen into these markets for crossbreeding with the various native herds.

The staff from the Tenuta dell Argenta Ranch, Feedlot, Meat Markets, and Restaurant/Hotel did a great job preparing the conference and providing a special luncheon for all the guests. Beef roast was served Italian style along with some very special Italian Chianti vino from the DaVinci winery just up the coast in Tuscany. The ranch overlooks the Port of Rome that welcomes cruise ships for Mediterranean destinations. Go to “Beefmasters Europa” on Facebook to see scenic photography around the purebred calves and their Marremano recip dams. The Marremano breed has flourished in this area of Italy since the Roman Empire and now they are joined by our Beefmaster breed, for at least the next 2,000 years.

Join the “Go International Team”

The Beefmaster “Go International Team” is a special program used to increase international sponsorship and participation from the overall membership of BBU. The BBU “Go International Team” has incentives for sponsors to help promote international capabilities through special recognition and participation in marketing, ranch visits, mission or reverse mission field days, semen sales, and opportunities for travel with BBU International Committee members.
To join the “Go International Team” please contact Lauren Lyssy at 210-414-2119.



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Back to the Basics with Bauer: How can we use genomics?

By Lance Bauer

We are starting a new blog series where I will get back to the basics and review beef industry technologies, why these technologies are used and answer our most frequently asked questions here at BBU. So let’s get “Back to the Basics with Bauer”. Today we are discussing genomics.

Genomics is the study of the genome. A genome is the complete set of DNA that an animal or person has. The study of the genome is a fairly recent development in the field of genetics. In the past few years more progress has been made in the field of genetics because of the ability to study the genome of an individual. With the new technology associated with genomics, a variety of tools are becoming available to beef producers. These tools are not new tools, but help to improve old selection tools that have been used for years. New technology allows for parent verification in animals that may be in a multi-sire pasture or a neighbor’s bull jumped the fence. In the case of genetic abnormalities, many times there are genetic tests that a producer can do rather than doing an extensive progeny test to determine which animals are carriers. Another new and exciting development is genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE-EPDs).  EPDs are a tool that has been around for a long time and relies on an animal’s own records, as well as the records of related animals, they also rely on how related animals are. With GE-EPDs, the relatedness of animals is more precisely known and can lead to more accurate EPDs. The fields of genetics and genomics are advancing more rapidly than ever and there are exciting things to come in the beef industry.

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DNA Frequently Asked Questions


Dr. Jared Decker from the University of Missouri will be conducting a DNA Parentage Workshop at the 2016 Beefmaster Convention in Branson, Mo. If you will be attending convention this year and you have plans to DNA test any animals in your herd or have any questions regarding DNA, this seminar is highly recommended. The workshop will also be recorded and will be available on the Beefmaster website for anyone who is unable to attend so that they can have access to the information.

Until the workshop, here are some answers to the most frequently asked DNA questions.

1. What is the difference between STRs and SNPs?

a. STRs – The proper name for STR is Short Tandem Repeat analysis. This is the old type of marker analysis that was used previously before the industry transitioned to the new SNP analysis in 2012. When a sample is tested with STR analysis there are 11-14 NUMBER markers that the lab looks at and can compare with another animal’s markers to determine parent verification. As the labs have now moved to SNP analysis, STR analysis is no longer used except on a case-by-case basis.

b. SNPs – The proper name for SNP is Single-nucleotide Polymorphism (often referred to as snip). This is the new type of marker analysis that is currently used in today’s genetic market. Every sample submitted to either Zoetis or GeneSeek for a Genotype panel or Parentage Analysis is run on SNPs. Contrary to the STR analysis, when a sample is tested with SNPs there are 80-110 LETTER markers that the lab looks at and can compare with another animal’s markers to determine parent verification.

2. My sire/dam was DNA typed back a few years ago on STRs. Why can I not compare back to that now, or why is there an additional charge to do so?

When a sample is submitted for genotyping or parent verification it is run on a SNP analysis. If the sire or dam of this animal was DNA typed back several years ago and only has STRs on file they cannot be compared to the SNPs as this is two different types of markers (explained above). If possible, it is in your best interest to either submit a new sample for that parent so it can be run on SNPs, or if the sample on file is viable for additional testing to have that sample pulled and run on SNPs. If that sire or dam is no longer alive to have an additional sample submitted for SNPs and the sample on file is not viable for additional testing, then that parent cannot be compared back to the calf using SNPs. As a last resort, the calf can be run on STRs to be able to compare back to the parent but there is an additional cost for this testing and approval from BBU staff is required.

b. If either the parent has to be run on a SNP test to compare to the calf or the calf run on an STR test to compare back to the parent there is an additional fee, as the lab now has to run a completely different test. The fee is $15.00 for an additional STR or SNP test.

3. What is the difference between the HD and LD genotype?

a. The High Density (HD) Genotype is a panel of 50,000-150,000 SNP markers. When your animal is run on an HD Genotype it will receive Genomic-Enhanced EPDs (GE-EPDs) and parent verification if the parents have DNA on file. To qualify, all A.I. sires and embryo donor dams are required to be run on the HD Genotype and must be parent verified back to both sire and dam.

b. The Low Density (LD) Genotype is a panel of 30,000 SNP markers. This testing is currently only offered through GeneSeek. When your animal is run on an LD Genotype it will also receive GE-EPDs and parent verification if the parents have DNA on file.

4. What exactly do I get when my animal is genotyped?

a. The first and most important thing that your animal will receive when genotyped on the HD or LD panel is GE-EPDs. GE-EPDs have increased accuracy over the general EPDs and ONLY animals that have been genotyped will receive these enhanced EPDs. Parentage Analysis is also included when having your animal genotyped, as long as the parents have DNA on file. There is no additional charge for parent verification when your animal is genotyped unless there is an issue with STR vs. SNP comparison, as discussed above. Only then would there be an additional charge to have that animal parent verified.

b. Unlike when having an animal parent verified, there is no official report that you will receive when an animal is HD genotyped. Again, you will see the results of this test when the GE-EPDs are available. BBU will send you a confirmation report that simply states that your animals have successfully been genotyped and the information has been recorded with our geneticist.

5. What does it mean when my animal comes back as DNA disputed?

When you receive a DNA report that states that your animal is DNA disputed this means that the animal either did not qualify to the dam, to the sire or to both parents. When comparing SNP markers only 1-2 DNA exclusions is allowed and if there are any more than this the animal is considered excluded to that parent. This means that the sire or dam provided is not the correct parent of the calf.

6. What is the process to resolve a DNA dispute?

After receiving a DNA report that shows a DNA dispute the first step is to contact BBU. You will need to inform us of an alternate sire or dam to have the lab test against. If that parent has DNA on file to compare back to, the lab can run a re-look on your animal. If it does qualify back to that parent your next step would be to then return the certificate for the animal to have it corrected in the system. If that parent does not have DNA on file but you believe it is the only other possible option we can make the correction per the breeder’s authorization but cannot record the animal as parent verified as the parent does not have DNA on file to compare back to. In this case, you would still need to return the original certificate of that animal to have the parentage corrected.

7. What if I have several different sire options that my calf could be out of? How do I apply for the DNA?

a. If you have multiple sires that your calf could possibly be out of, DNA is the best way to accurately decipher which sire is the correct sire. You can submit a DNA sample for the calf and have it tested to the multiple sire options to see which sire qualifies.

b. When submitting the DNA sample for the calf, on the submission paperwork you would list ALL possible sire options the calf could be out of. When the sample is submitted to the lab they will test the calf against each option, as long as that sire has DNA on file, and can tell you which sire is correct.

8. My animal qualified to both the sire and dam on an individual basis but it is excluded at the mating pair (trio)? Why is this? How can this occur? How can I resolve the issue?

a. This can happen in rare cases where the calf will qualify to the sire on an individual basis and the dam on the individual basis but will exclude at the mating pair. This means when the sire and dam were compared TOGETHER against the calf there were exclusion markers present. As this is a rare occurrence, it is handled on a case-by-case basis. Normally this happens because the actual sire or dam is closely related to the sire or dam that the calf was tested against. It could be a full sibling, half sibling, etc.

b. The first step is that an alternate sire or dam option should be given to test against to see if we can get it to qualify. If the dispute is still not cleared up after trying several other options, it would be recommended that a new sample be submitted for the calf and possibly the sire and dam, if necessary.

9. How do I get sample cards to submit for DNA testing?

To request DNA sample cards you can contact BBU at (210) 732-3132 or you can email someone in the office. When requesting sample cards we need to know which lab you are currently using, Zoetis or GeneSeek, how many cards you would like, and if you would like blood cards or hair cards. Normally, if you are requesting more than 50 cards at a time we will have the lab send them to you directly. When the sample cards are mailed out we also include the DNA Submission Paperwork. This is what needs to filled out, signed and submitted with the DNA cards after the sample has been collected.

Download Beefmaster DNA FAQs

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2017 SFA Bull Development Program

Stephen F. Austin State University is preparing for its Bull Development Program set to begin January 13, 2017. The program is designed to assist producers in selecting and managing bulls. It offers producers relief from providing additional facilities, labor, and feed to retain young bulls. The program is designed for bulls born January 1, 2016 to May 31, 2016. Bulls entered into the program are fed through mid-October. At the end of the development program, bulls may be consigned to the Purple Premium Sale scheduled for November 2017. Producers are issued a monthly report on the performance of each bull in the program with information including BW, ADG, and carcass ultrasound traits. The bulls are developed for 120 days on a grain-based diet and finished on forage with supplementation (depending on forage conditions). Information on the program is available here Spring 2017 bull development program.

For more information contact Chris Koffskey or Dr. Erin Brown

(979)224-8178  or (936)468-6948

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Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Agriculture Heifer Development Program

About the program:

Stephen F. Austin State University is preparing for its Heifer Development Program. The program is designed to assist producers in selecting and managing for replacement heifers. It offers producers relief from providing additional facilities, labor, and feed to retain young heifers. The program is designed for heifers ranging in weight from 400-700 lbs. Heifers are entered into the program in mid-October and fed through May. Producers are issued a monthly report on the performance of each heifer in the program with information including BW, ADG, REA, RF, and IMF. Additionally, heifers can be entered into the breeding program and be artificially inseminated at the conclusion of the feeding period. Heifers should gain 1-3 lbs per day in the program.


1. Heifers must be weaned and bunk broke for a minimum of 2 weeks.
2. Ear tag identification is required indicating owner and calf number.
3. Heifers must be dehorned or tipped (no longer than 2 inches).
4. Vaccination for brucellosis is recommended.
5. Heifers must be dewormed and deloused a minimum of 30 days prior to entry.
6. Heifers must be free of active Pinkeye, ringworm and warts.
7. Any bull exposure must be disclosed before entry.
8. Vaccination for the following must be completed according to the manufacturer’s specifications a minimum of 2 weeks prior to entry.
  • 7-way Clostridium
  • Haemophilus Somnus
  • Pasteurella H&M
  • Lepto and Vibrio
  • Moraxella bovis (Pinkeye)

9. Unsound heifers will be reported to the owners and will either be treated at the owner’s expense or removed from the program.

Program Timeline

The 2016-2017 program is accepting heifers for fall 2016. Heifer calves weighing between 400-700 lbs are eligible for the program. Acceptance into the program will be first come first serve, based on availability of space. Contact Dr. Erin Brown (936)468-6948 or Chris Koffskey (979)224-8178 for reservations.

  1. 1. Sign-up prior to October 1st
  2. 2. Drop off heifers on October 8th, 14th or 15th between 8 am and 5 pm with prior notification.
  3. 3. Feeding trial starts November 4th
  4. 4. Weights recorded monthly November- April
  5. 5. Ultrasound for carcass data (if desired by producer)
    1. 6. End Feeding trial end of April
    2. 7. A.I. program begins end of April
    3. 8. Synchronize and breed eligible heifers by timed A.I.
    4. 9. Ultrasound for conception mid- June
    5. 10. A.I. heifers go home mid to late June

Program Cost

Cost will be figured by entry weight starting at $2.00/day for a 400 lb heifer. An additional $0.15 will be charged for each cwt above 400 lbs. The cost will remain fixed for each individual heifer throughout the program. In other words, a heifer coming in at 600 lbs will be charged $2.30 per day until it leaves the program.


Entry Wt Cost/day
400-499 lbs $2.00
500-599 lbs $2.15
600-699 lbs $2.30
700-799 lbs $2.45

Price is subject to fluctuation with market values of feed. Additional costs include medical treatment or veterinary care if deemed necessary by the SFASU staff. Unthrifty heifers will be brought to the attention of the owner before consideration for removal from the program. Billing is conducted on a monthly basis. All bills must be paid before cattle are allowed to leave the facility. For more information or to visit the facility contact:

Dr. Erin Brown (936)468-6948 or Chris Koffskey (979)224-8178

Stephen F. Austin State University, SFASU Beef Farm 442 CR 123, Nacogdoches, TX 75965

Click here to download program agreement form: SFA Heifer Development Program 2016

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A Moment with Matt: Go For The Win

By Matt Woolfolk

As we roll out of summer and into fall, it’s time to gear up for the season of sales. I’ve written about this before, but fall is also the exciting start of the college football season. As many of us live in SEC country, we understand the importance of kicking off the three months of battle on the gridiron. There’s nothing more fun than winning a friendly wager with a buddy who happens to be a fan of a rival opponent and nothing hurts worse than having to pay up when your alma mater doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

Most of you know by now that I’m the biggest Mississippi State fan in the Beefmaster business (followed closely in second by John Long of the Swinging B Ranch). I love my alma mater and will support them no matter the circumstances. The head coach of my Bulldogs, Dan Mullen, is arguably the best coach Mississippi State has ever had. Last fall, I wrote an article about how Coach Mullen took Mississippi State from bottom of the league to #1 in the country. However, he is by no means a perfect football coach.  He has a flaw that annoys me to no end as a State fan. When a “big game” pops up on the schedule my beloved Bulldogs play differently, and not in a good way.  Everything changes from a “play to win” mentality against the week 1 small schools to a “play it safe” style when the big time rivals come to play.  Everything on the field, from play calling to leadership, changes when Alabama, Texas A&M, or Ole Miss is the opponent. Simply put, Coach Mullen and the Bulldogs play like they are afraid to make a mistake instead of trying to make the plays to win.  And after seven years of this philosophy in Starkville, it’s clear that playing scared doesn’t work against the big boys.

We, as Beefmaster breeders, can learn from Coach Mullen. In the cattle business, a lot of us play it safe.  We do things the way we always have and we don’t really want to try something new. A big reason that we don’t want to try something new is the fear that it won’t work. Whether it’s football, cattle, or business nobody has the perfect game plan for success. Mistakes will be made on the way to victory.  However, those that are willing to branch out and push their limits are often the ones with the biggest reward at the end. You can settle for the field goal to tie the game or go for the winning touchdown.  You can use the same management program that has kept your herd in the same spot for years or you can try that new idea you’ve always wanted in an effort to move your program forward. It may not work, but you will never know if you never take the opportunity to try.

As you settle in on a Saturday night this fall to watch your favorite team on the field, take notice of the attitude of the teams that are winning the big games. The teams that are well-prepared by their coaches, execute their game plan and takes some smart, calculated risks are usually the ones doing the victory interview with ESPN. The coaches that have their teams uptight and playing afraid of making a mistake on the big stage? Well, that team is probably supported by a lot of disappointed fans.

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