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Introducing The Banner – Beefmaster Seedstock Directory

The Beefmaster breed has emerged as one of the most popular choices for youth livestock projects. FFA students and 4-Hers from across the country have recognized the value of Beefmaster show calves. In Texas and Mississippi the Beefmaster junior shows are consistently the largest or second largest breed exhibited. In Texas alone, over $1.2 million of Beefmaster show heifers will be sold in 2015.

Beefmaster docility, performance, structural correctness and eye appeal make us ideal for project animals. Furthermore the benefits of JBBA membership add value to the FFA and 4-H youth when one considers the scholarship, educational, leadership and fellowship opportunities. Simply put, the purchase of a Beefmaster show calf opens the door to a multitude of opportunities for the junior livestock exhibitor.

With this in mind, BBU is unveiling The Banner – Beefmaster Seedstock Directory. This publication is designed to reach FFA and 4-H students at the grassroots level to promote Beefmasters in the FFA classroom and County 4-H Extension offices. Additionally, The Banner will be handed out at the major stock shows and beef industry trade shows that BBU participates in. The Banner contains articles that the junior exhibitor will find useful on topics such as selection, nutrition and management. This publication promotes the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) in order to draw new members and also promote JBBA activities and participation in leadership roles and especially scholarship opportunities.

The Banner features articles about how Beefmaster genetics add profitability to the commercial cattlemen with a strong emphasis on Maternal Heterosis and planned crossbreeding programs. The targeted marketing approach The Banner brings will allow BBU to be more effective in promoting Beefmasters at the largest, most important level, the grassroots.

Enjoy this publication and please share, download and read as much as you like!

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Seeing Stars, Part 2: Pacesetter Program

By Matt Woolfolk

In the last newsletter, I outlined the requirements and qualifications for the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Typesetter program. In this week’s edition, I want to bring attention to the BBU Pacesetter program. The Pacesetter program is designed to recognize Beefmaster cattle that excel in performance as part of the Weights and Measures Program. When you see one star beside the name of a sire or dam in a pedigree, this is the designation of a Pacesetter sire or dam. You may have seen these stars in the past and been unsure of what they meant. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand and appreciate the production goals that a sire or dam had to accomplish to receive this honored designation.

In order for a female to be recognized as a Pacesetter, she must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. She must be a Second Cross or purebred Beefmaster female.
  2. She must calve by 30 months of age, and this calf must be enrolled in the BBU Weights & Measures program to establish the cow’s age at calving, as well as calving interval data.
  3. She must have three (3) consecutive natural calves with an average calving interval of 375 days or less, OR one (1) natural calf followed by one (1) embryo calf with a calving interval of 375 days or less.
  4. She must have three (3) natural calves with weaning weight ratios of 105 or better in their respective contemporary group, OR one (1) natural calf and three (3) embryo calves with weaning weight ratios of 105 or better in their contemporary group.  To qualify, there must be at least five (5) animals in the contemporary group of each offspring.

The cow herself is not required to have individual weights and measures data for her performance of weaning weight. The cow’s calves must be enrolled in the Weights and Measures program and all of her progeny data must be entered into the program before the third calf is born.

For a sire to be recognized as a Pacesetter sire, he must sire five (5) females who have been recognized as Pacesetter dams.

As you can see, the qualifications of the Pacesetter program require a female to have her first calf on time, produce a calf that is the near the top of its contemporary group, and continue to do so in future production years. The Pacesetter program is designed to recognize hard-working, productive cows (and the bulls that sire those cows) in your herd. In order for your cattle to be recognized as Pacesetters, it’s important to be turning in your performance records to BBU! If you are not currently doing so, contact BBU today to get started on the path to Pacesetters!

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Central States BBA Beefmaster Bull Test Begins

The first annual Central States Beefmaster Breeders Association (CSBBA) Tested Bull Sale is building up steam as 194 Beefmaster bulls were delivered to Rosebud Feeders near Rosebud, Ark., on January 3 to begin the testing process. The bulls will be continuously evaluated and culled leading up to the CSBBA Performance Bull Sale on November 6 in Heber Springs, Ark.

Davin Vaughn (left) and Bill Pendergrass (right) evaluating some of the bulls at Rosebud Feeders.

“I am excited by the overall quality of the bulls in these kind of numbers,” said BBU Executive Vice President Bill Pendergrass.

Majority of the bulls participating in the test are registered purebred Beefmasters, with approximately 30 bulls being registered Beefmaster Advancers. For more information, please contact CSBBA President Davin Vaughn at 417-793-1830 or via email at dvdruggest@yahoo.com.

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Seeing Stars: The BBU Typesetter Program

By: Matt Woolfolk

As you study Beefmaster sale catalogs, you will notice cattle throughout pedigrees with anywhere from one to three little stars beside their names. What does all this mean? These are designations of cattle that qualify for the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Pacesetter and Typesetter programs. Animals with one star are designated Pacesetters (more on this program at a later date). Sires and dams with two stars are Typesetters, and those lucky enough to have three stars are both Pacesetter and Typesetter qualifiers. In this article, we will focus on what it takes for an animal to become a Typesetter sire or dam.

The Typesetter program allows breeders to identify cattle who have consistently produced offspring that achieved certain scores for conformation and underline in the BBU Classification program. Many Beefmaster breeders see Typesetter cattle in a pedigree and immediately think predictability. The ability of a sire or dam to consistently produce quality offspring and become a Typesetter adds documented proof of performance and value to their offspring.

For a bull to become a Typesetter sire, he must have 50 offspring that have been classified “U” with a conformation score of 1 or 2, with an underline score of 1, 2, or 3. There are several opportunities for a cow to become a Typesetter dam. Females who only have natural calves can qualify, as well as cows used as donors in an embryo transfer program.  For a cow to reach the Typesetter designation, she must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Three natural offspring that are classified “U” with a score of 1 or 2 for conformation and an underline score of 1, 2, or 3.
  2. One natural and four embryo offspring that are classified “U” with a score of 1 or 2 for conformation and an underline score of 1, 2, or 3.
  3. Two natural and two embryo offspring that have been classified “U” with a score of 1 or 2 for conformation and an underline score of 1, 2, or 3.

As you can tell, the key to having your animals designated as Typesetters is to participate in the BBU Voluntary Classification program. In order to be classified with conformation and underline scores, cattle must be at least 13 months of age. Registration certificates or applications for registration must be available to the classifier at the time of classification. If at all possible, cattle should be penned in a working corral, to make it easier to evaluate animals up close.

Fees for classification are $350 or $5/head, whichever is greater. If you and another nearby breeder would like to work together and schedule a visit at the same time, fees for visits can be split between both parties. To schedule a classification visit, feel free to contact me at 210-464-0923 or by email at mwoolfolk@beefmasters.org.  Before long, you’ll be seeing stars in your own herd!

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Schwartz Joins the Beefmaster Staff

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 8, 2015)Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) is proud to announce that Kelsey Schwartz of San Antonio, Texas, will be serving in a new position at the San Antonio office that will focus on member services and data entry. Schwartz will provide breed registration assistance for the over 2,800 BBU members throughout the United States and world. She began her duties at the office on Jan. 5, 2015. When calling the office, please help us in welcoming Kelsey to the Beefmaster family.

Schwartz grew up in Brenham, Texas, where she raised and showed cattle with her family. Her family currently operates Triple S Ranch, a cow-calf and replacement female operation, as well as operates Cattleman’s Brenham Livestock Auction in Brenham, Texas. Schwartz has an extensive background in Animal Science and her previous work experience includes working at a veterinary clinic in College Station, Texas.

She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. While at Texas A&M, Schwartz was active in various campus organizations. Beefmaster members are very lucky to have a dedicated employee join the staff and focusing on serving our members, while also improving our animal registration process.

“Kelsey is a bright young lady who will provide our members with superior service,” said BBU Chief Financial Officer Collin Osbourn. “BBU is dedicated to our members and providing the best member service in the cattle industry, Kelsey will ensure this continued dedication.”

For more information or to contact the BBU staff members call the office at 210-732-3132 or visit www.beefmasters.org. Stay connected to BBU through Facebook, follow us on Instagram, view our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. Receive our news updates through joining our mailing list.

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JBBA Updates and Reminders

1)      JBBA Board of Officers and Directors will be hosting a hospitality room in the meeting room of Barn 4 during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Friday, January 23, 2015 immediately following the Junior Heifer paper check in.

2)      E6 heifers will be allowed to show at the 2015 JBBA National Show and Convention. E6 Heifers and Advancer Heifers will show together and follow all JBBA heifer show and national show rules.

3)      Performance class will be added for both the heifer show and bull show at the 2015 JBBA National Show and Convention. Cattle will be carcass ultra-sounded during the 2015 convention for the performance class. Members will also be allowed to scan any animal they wish to have scanned during nationals. Proper age for animals to be scanned is between 320 and 550 days of age. Animals ultra-sounded less than 320 days and more than 550 days of age will not be included in the BBU database for EPD calculations.

4)      The Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) A.I. program is changing its format for the JBBA A.I. Program. In the past we have relied on donations of semen from breeders across the country for our junior members. This year breeders are allowed to nominate their top bulls to the JBBA A.I. program. Breeders will pay a nomination fee of $150 and fill out a form and return both back to the JBBA office by January 15, 2015. The JBBA office will then put a list of bulls that have been nominated with breeders contact information, pedigree and performance information together.  JBBA members will be allowed to purchase semen on these bulls for $15 per straw from March 1, 2015 through May 1, 2015. If you have any questions on how the new JBBA A.I. program will work please feel free to contact Allison Wells at amw4412@aol.com or at 979-251-0325.

5)      Anyone planning on attending the 2015 JBBA National Show and Convention in Bryan/College Station is encouraged to book hotel rooms early due to other events being held in Bryan/College Station the same week. JBBA room blocks are being held at:Best Western Premier at Old Town Center (979) 731-5300 and Courtyard Marriott (979) 695-8111.

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New Year, New Heights

By Matt Woolfolk, Field Representative & Commercial Marketing Director

To say 2014 has gone by quickly is an understatement!  With less than two weeks until 2015, it’s a time that many will use to reflect on the past 12 months, while preparing for the upcoming year.  Personally, this past year has been one full of transition.  The big transition from a graduate student to a working professional was tough at times, but the most difficult transition for me was trading my Tennessee driver’s license for a Texas edition!  All kidding aside,  I’m ready to see what 2015 brings starting with Live Oak, then the stock show season, then spring sales will kick off.  What a fun and busy time it will be!

The past year has been a year of transition for the cattle industry, as well as our breed.  A surging cattle market held steady through the fall sale season.  Lucky for us, the Beefmaster bull demand is at an all-time high.  The commercial cowman is excited about our product, and we are sitting on the edge of a great time for Beefmaster genetics in the commercial sector.  As the highest priced range bull breed on the market in 2014, we can look back and be proud of the work done to get to this point.  The ground work for becoming a lead player in bull market has been laid, but 2015 is the time to improve our product and maintain our position.  Collecting and providing more relevant performance data to commercial bull customers is a great way to increase the value of your bulls, while also providing you with information which can be used to influence and improve your breeding program.

As we head into 2015, I’d like to encourage everyone out there to set new goals for your operation, aiming higher than ever before.  Make it a priority to surpass your 2014 productivity.  Register more calves, begin collecting more performance data, invest last year’s profits in a better herd bull or AI, or make that facility improvement that will increase your operation’s efficiency.  Make an effort to improve not just as a cattleman, but also as a member of BBU.  Travel to a sale you may have never attended, support our juniors at the nearest JBBA show, or become involved in a committee when the opportunity presents itself.  If every member becomes just a little more involved, the results would be outstanding!

I hope that all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  If there’s anything that I can do for you and your Beefmaster operation, please do not hesitate to give me a call.  I look forward to working with you during the coming year.  See you at Live Oak!

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Guest Blog: NCBA-PAC Auction

By: Anna Lee, NCBA-PAC

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Political Action Committee (NCBA-PAC) will once again be holding our annual Silent Auction in conjunction with NCBA’s 2015 Trade Show in San Antonio, Texas, the week of February 4-7th.  The NCBA-PAC Silent Auction has always been a major source of revenue for our PAC.  We need your help to make our auction a successful one!

Last year’s convention was attended by over 9,000 people.  Donating an item(s) to the auction not only gives you the opportunity to showcase your state, your participation will help raise the necessary funds that will enable NCBA-PAC to reach its goal of becoming a 1.25 Million Dollar PAC.  In these volatile times, it is of the utmost importance that we continue to raise the level playing field in the political arena for the cattle industry. The money raised from our annual auction will be strategically used to support those who support the interests of the cattle industry.  Investing is a strong PAC will enable us to have a powerful impact with the policymakers who ultimately make the decisions that affect our future.

Please return the attached 2015 PAC Item Donation Form For Silent Live Auction form by Monday, January 5, 2015 to ensure your item(s) are showcased in our online Auction Catalog hosted by Lowderman Auctions prior to the convention. Bidding will begin in mid-January with a continuation at the convention.  We are very excited with our new approach to increase the level participation in our convention activities this will enable NCBA-PAC to raise the revenue needed to increase our level playing field in Washington, DC. This will allow those who are unable to attend the convention to participate in the auction.  Please include a detailed description of the item(s) you are donating, with a video if possible, and your organization’s logo.   If you are planning on shipping you item(s) prior to the convention we are ask that you ship them directly to the address below:

NCBA-PAC

C/O Anna Lee

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 300

Washington, DC 20004

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in the Washington office at (202) 879-9129 or alee@beef.org.  I look forward to working with all of you in the upcoming months to ensure the success of our event!

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Utilizing AI: The Perfect Gift for Your Cow Herd

By: Matt Woolfolk, Field Representative & Commercial Marketing Director

Ready or not, the Christmas season is here!  I hope that each of you get to take the time to enjoy your favorite traditions, whether it’s decorating your homes, singing Christmas carols, or just enjoying the time with your family and friends.

Personally, I enjoy watching a good Christmas movie.  My all-time favorite is without a doubt National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, starring funnyman Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold.  In a film full of one-liners, my personal favorite comes from the character known as “Cousin Eddie”.  After Clark receives his Christmas bonus from his company, he’s disappointed to learn that the year’s bonus is a one-year subscription to the “Jelly of the Month” club.  Without missing a beat, Cousin Eddie looks Clark in the eye and proudly exclaims, “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year!”

As Beefmaster breeders, there’s a gift under the tree that keeps on giving the whole year, waiting to be opened: artificial insemination (AI).  The perfect gift for cow herds from 1 to 1,000, bringing AI into the herd allows for increased genetic diversity and greater options when planning next year’s matings.  First and foremost, AI gives you as a breeder access to some of the breed’s greatest bulls whose genetics could not otherwise be brought into your herd.  You may not have been able to afford those high-selling bulls you fell in love with at the sales last fall.  But through AI, you can bring their genetics into your herd for a fraction of his purchase price!  Using AI also gives you access to trait leading sires with proven performance and progeny records, providing predictability and quality you might not find in your young herd bull.

Utilizing AI as part of an estrus synchronization protocol (also known as a timed AI program) leads to a shorter calving season, as well as a more uniform calf crop when it comes time to market.  Having a set of calves of approximately the same age and size is especially enticing for feeder calf and commercial bull customers, adding value to your cattle and money to your pocket.  Additionally, a tighter calving window from using AI streamlines herd management, thus saving time, labor, and costs for you as a producer.  Instead of bringing several small groups of calves to the pens for processing every month, herd work becomes a one-time affair with a uniform set of AI-sired calves.

If improving the quality of your calf crop is at the top of your wish list this season, AI is the tool you need to make it happen.  Availability of superior genetics and use of a timed AI program can help you produce a better, more uniform, and more marketable calf crop.  The added value that using AI brings to your operation truly is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.

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Live Oak BBA Bull & Heifer Gain Tests

Dear LOBBA Member:

In preparation for upcoming gain test opportunities I have met with the folks at Tom Brothers Ranch and your Board has approved three different calf development options. There is limited space for each option so we need to get a response from our members on your level of commitment to each option.

Option 1: As last year we will be starting our 2014 spring born Bull Development Gain Test for Bulls weaned this fall on February 1, 2015. These calves should be delivered in mid January. We have reserved 2 pens and can accommodate about 80 bulls. As we did last year we will attempt to make it possible to keep the top end of these Bulls all the way through to the 2016 Bull Sale with special recognition at that sale for all Bulls completing the test.

Option 2: A special heifer development program is being offered for 2014 spring born heifers that are being weaned this fall. This test will also begin on February 1, 2015 and will run for 112 days and will include Sonogram and performance  data. We only have one pen available and can accommodate 40 to 50 heifers.

Option 3: This is a real experiment, and if you read Bill Pendergrass’s article in the October Cowman about the lack of commercial bull sales in the spring of the year you will understand where we are going. We would like to round up about 40 Bulls born in the Fall of 2013 to go on a gain test beginning in early December. This test would end in March and the top end of these Bulls would be sold in a special offering after our Derby Sale May 2, 2015 at the Carr Sale Facility.  These Bulls would be sold at 18 to 20 months of age with complete Sonogram and performance  data. They would get their BSE at the Tom Brothers Ranch and be fitted and delivered to the Carr facility for the Sale.

Please, your prompt response to any or all of these options will help us plan and assure you of a place in these programs as space is limited at the Tom Brothers Facility. You may call Bob Siddons at 512-217-3400 or Anthony Mihalski at 210-415-0888 with any questions or to reserve space in these programs.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bob Siddons

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