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BBU Board of Directors Address Color Policy

 

Dear Beefmaster Breeders United members, Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association members, and other concerned individuals:

It is well understood that any viable pure breed of cattle in America today cannot exist without the demand for their genetics in the beef industry and by the commercial cattleman. Over the past ten years the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Board of Directors, staff, and BBU leadership have been very involved with the beef cattle industry and have represented the Beefmaster breed domestically and around the globe in a professional and honorable manner. This has included representation at many state cattlemen association meetings and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, as well as visits and conferences with major commercial feed yard operators, packers, sale barn owners and various academic organizations, institutes, and agricultural universities from around the country. Through the countless hours spent in these endeavors, the BBU team has promoted the breed to the fullest extent possible given the resources available. During this time, they also came to the realization that improvements to our breed must continue to be made in order to meet the ever-changing demands of an evolving industry.

These areas of improvement consistently focused on two major issues, carcass merit (Yield and Quality Grades) and the color of Beefmaster cattle.

As many of you will recall, past Executive Vice Presidents Tommy Perkins and Bill Pendergrass, as well as current Executive Vice President Collin Osbourn have had a consistent message to the membership that we need more data (birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, etc.), additional cattle scanned, increased use of DNA and to take action to improve the color of our cattle to meet industry demands. Beyond our BBU staff, industry leaders and commercial customers have told us to do something about the paint coloring. In one of our many educational sessions at a recent BBU convention, past president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and commercial cattleman told us to “get rid of the clowns”, referencing the paint colored cattle. This was not meant to be insulting, but to emphasize the importance of the issue.

Additionally, when Mackie Bounds was the BBU President, the BBU convention hosted an educational session and round table discussion called, “love connection”, two years in a row. Cattle experts from around the country were brought in to take part in the discussion, who were not all favorable of Beefmaster cattle. The intent was to have an open and honest discussion concerning what we as Beefmaster breeders needed to do in order to improve our status in the cattle industry. Again, we heard that we needed to increase ribeye size, improve marbling, add accuracy to our EPDs, and as before, do something about the loud paints. These remarks were not made to an individual about preferences, but was representative of the beef cattle industry from around the country.

As the BBU Board of Directors, we believe that the association and its members have a done a great deal to improve our issues with the exception of carcass quality and color. Most recently, talk in the industry about efficiency has turned a favorable light on the Beefmaster breed. Several of our leading breeders are now collecting data and our staff is looking into new EPDs to prove that we truly are the most efficient breed. Again, much is being done about other issues yet the breed is reluctant to address color.

This past April, the BBU Board of Directors had a meeting in Ardmore, Okla., at the Noble Research Institute (NRI). It included a conference and strategic planning meeting with some of its beef cattle experts. As they listed the favorable traits about Beefmaster cattle they also said that the breed had some major obstacles to overcome. When asked by one of our members what the biggest problem Beefmaster cattle needed to address was, the NRI expert responded, “you must do something about color”. The next day at the board meeting, the BBU Board of Directors asked the Long Range Planning Committee to put together a plan that would address what we have been asked to do for years from customers and members, address the color issue. From that point, the Long Range Planning Committee hosted multiple conference calls and then met in person at the annual summer meetings. After input from all members of the committee, a proposed color policy was created and unanimously approved by the Long Range Planning Committee to be presented to the Board of Directors at their meeting. During the remainder of the committee meetings, five other BBU committees including Advertising, Breed Improvement, International, Seedstock Marketing and Commercial Marketing addressed the color issue and either voted or agreed to support the proposed color policy coming from the Long Range Planning committee. These committees were composed of many breeders representing different geographic areas of the country and varying breeding programs and interest groups. Through all of the committee meetings there was not a single “nay” vote against support of the proposed color policy.

On Friday, June 29, 2018 the BBU Board of Directors met and the proposed color policy was made by the Long Range Planning committee. The proposed color policy contained an educational period and a ten year phase out plan for the removal of large areas of white coloring on all cattle sold or shown publicly. The proposed policy does not at any time remove paint colored cattle previously registered or born before January 1, 2021. It also only pertains to cattle sold or shown in public events. The chairman of the Long Range Planning committee went through the policy paragraph by paragraph and answered the questions of the board members concerning each part of the proposed policy. After edits were made, and pictures were shown in order to clarify proposed policy phases, the BBU Board of Directors voted unanimously to accept the proposed color policy. Once it passed with the requested changes, the board directed our Executive Vice President Collin Osborn to make the official edits and review the policy to ensure it was in accordance with the BBU by-laws.

Above is a very brief summary of how the proposed color policy came about and how it proceeded through the BBU committees and board of directors to this point. The BBU Color Policy was the result of years of communication with industry experts and customers, a request by the BBU board to the Long Range Planning committee to create a proposed solution, and a unanimous vote by the BBU Board of Directors. It was not the creation of any one individual or group of individuals and in no way was intended or designed to benefit any one group of breeders. The sole purpose of the acceptance of this policy by the BBU Board of Directors was to address an ongoing issue for the long-term betterment of the breed as a whole.

Please note the following:

  • At no point in the policy will paint cattle or cattle with white in excess of the allowable amount be refused registration. All colors can be registered.
  • The paper posted on social media has no clarifications, additions or subtractions that the board approved (it is not the approved document).
  • BBU will not be able to post a final version until all edits are made and the policy is thoroughly reviewed to be in accordance with the By-Laws.
  • No guideline or rule will go into effect until January 1, 2021.
  • The next six months is intended to be a comment period (in which the board of directors wants to hear from membership) with the educational phase set to start January 1, 2019.
  • The staff will begin the process of educating the membership with diagrams and material to explain the color guidelines after the six-month comment period has ended.
  • During the comment period, changes to the policy may be made or the policy rescinded as a whole.

Questions that have been frequently asked about the policy, as it currently exists, are as follows:

  • Can we register and transfer paint calves, cows or bulls after January 1, 2021? Answer: Yes, at all times
  • Can we sell paints off of the ranch and new owner register them? Answer: Yes, at all times.
  • Will white underlines be allowed to show or sell? Answer: Yes, at all times.
  • Will we be able to register or show a mottle faced animal? Answer: Yes, a mottle or white face can be registered, and shown or sold publicly.

In conclusion, the members of the BBU Board of Directors love the young people involved in the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) and many of them have given of their time, cattle, genetics and resources to support this organization. If not for the generosity of our BBU breeders this program would not be able to survive or have seen the growth that it has. The BBU Board of Directors believes that they are blessed with some of the greatest young people in the cattle industry. It has never been, nor ever will be the intent to do anything to intentionally harm the juniors or the JBBA.

The board would like to make it known that every member is important and asks everyone to understand that the board does not represent any one agenda, but the entire breed association as a whole. It has been and will remain to be the purpose of the BBU Board of Directors to do what is best for the betterment of its members and Beefmaster cattle breed as a whole.
The BBU Board of Directors looks forward to any and all comments concerning this matter and will take them into consideration.

Sincerely,

BBU Board of Directors

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15 Comments

  1. Jason Hendricks
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Attention BBU Board Member or Officer:

    The color mandate that has been voted to be put into place has no doubt cause a lot of hard feeling and financial uncertainty with many breeders. I honestly believe that the general principles for what you are wanting to do might have some merit. I do, however believe that the white color restrictions are a little over the top. If the main goal of the board was to eliminate louder paint cattle, that the general cattle markets deem undesirable. Then regulate it to a level that the average breeder can still breed quality cattle, without the fear of a little white creeping up above the dew claw, leaving them with an unmarketable calf. Having restrictions this tight in a breed of cattle that has never had color restrictions, even after 10 year, will result in breeders selecting bulls to breed to based entirely on color. This single trait mindedness has the potential to set the breed back quality wise, as decisions will no longer be made on maternal numbers, ribeye area, IMF data or feed efficiency.

    What I propose is that you introduce a new value added program much like the weights and measures and whole herd reporting. Call it Certified Uniform. Make this a BBU program, that requires a BBU representative to certify that the “Ranch” in question has met all of the color mandate requirements. If “Ranch” has met the requirements they become Certified Uniform and can advertise and hold sales as such. This will be a wonderful testing ground for the theory that solid color cattle will result in higher volume of sales to the commercial markets. If the Certified Uniform farms are selling more cattle at a better price, then no doubt other breeders will follow suit in a hurry. Let the markets dictate the change. Allow breeders to see for themselves that this program has the potential to add dollars to the bottom line. An approach like this will be received much better than standing over a rancher with an iron fist telling them the color of cattle they must market.

    I am involved in the feed industry and interact with ranchers all over central Texas on a daily basis. Beefmaster cattle are very well thought of and sought after in my area of business. Many ranches have purchased Beefmaster bulls to raise replacement females, and have been pleasantly surprised at the way the steer calves from those mating have mashed the scale. The breed is hardly in the “laughable” state as a certain board member has stated. That being said, we can always improve and strive to make the perfect cattle. I ask that you consider rescinding the vote on the color mandate for a more reasonable solution. I believe in a free enterprise and operate under the assumption that in time, true market demand will dictate the type and kind of cattle the progressive breeders will raise.

    Thank you for your time,

    Jason Hendricks
    979-219-0893

    • Zachary Lacy
      Posted July 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Mr. Hendricks. I would like to add though that I do not think the board had enough actual evidence. A series of “test sales” should have been implemented between a solids only sale and paint only sale to achieve proper data. The actions committees and the board on this issue should have been done in a totally different matter. This should have been a vote to the members, not solely on the board and committees. Since July 29th, I’ve spoken with 2 other breeders in my area that are no longer members about this and both have stated “We love the cattle but hate the way the association is run”.

      • Gary Veltrop
        Posted July 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        I agree with Mr. Hendricks. I understand the thought process but the colors are what makes Beefmaster a Beefmaster. I for one do not like or understand the whole hide thing because hide off is when the product is important. I know where it came from and I have no use for those cattle; however, they have the best marketing group of any business. We have a paint heifer who’s parents were both solid colored. We are proud of her and she’s dog gentle. Beefmasters genes have white and I for one do not understand condemning those with white on their cattle and the cattle themselves. We love the chrome and our cattle. Please reconsider because only selling whites private treaty is unfair and taking the freedom of our operations. Keep the chrome and work on the carcass.

  2. Lonnie Crawford
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Please reconsider this Policy. We have endeavored to DNA our cattle to prove their pedigree and now you tell us that Hereford, Shorthorn, and Brahma won’t throw an occasional paint and if they do, I will have to cull them. This sounds as tho’ there is a legal interpretation that will be misconstrued.

  3. larry miller
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    this is what’s best for the betterment of its members and beefmaster breed as a whole. good job. stand strong.

  4. Richard Miller
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    As stated many times over the last several years, single trait selection is not good for the breed. The BoD is now basically telling us that until all Beefmasters are solid color, choose our breeding based on color.
    I appears the BoD are listening to the top 5 or 6 non Beefmaster ranches that says we need solid colors and has completely left a great many of its paying members behind. Their are over a thousand members that fell the BBU has deserted them. For that reason, several members have suggested a split registry much like other breeds and the AQHA so paint calves can still be sold at a Beefmaster sale and shown by our great JBBU members.
    I know there are members and members of the Board on both sides that do not care for a split registry. Both sides say it would devalue their animals. There needs to be some action by the BBU that brings our divided members back together. Right now we are not the Beefmaster Breeders United and it is because of our Board and committeemen.
    I challenge all of the BBU to have an open mind and to develop a plan to benefit the entire breed and the color mandate is not it.

    Richard Miller
    rickmill_t@yahoo.com

  5. Ed Dannhaus
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Will white underlines be allowed to show or sell? Answer: Yes, at all times.—
    Dose this mean sell at a Beefmaster Approved sale?
    Will we be able to register or show a mottle faced animal? Answer: Yes, a mottle or white face can be registered, and shown or sold publicly —-Does this mean sell at a Beefmaster approved sales?
    What about baldies ? Sell at an approved sale?
    What about Dunn? Sell at at a Beefmaster approved sale?
    Mottled face with or without a white underline. Sell at a Beefmaster approved sale?
    Brindle – Sell at a Beefmaster approved Sale?
    The policy refers to Phase I and Phase II for each of the non solid red categories above when will the non sale be allowed at a Beefmaster approved sale for each one? I left out Brown in the above . I would like someone to look at the Presidents Council Catalogue sale in Oct 2017 and advise the disposition of each animal shown. Unlike some I depend on the income above expenses for the sale of my cattle. I only have a few and if I can clear $25,000 above expenses I make ends meet. ( I worked at Enron and Lost everything in at 65.) A simple excel spread sheet would be helpful on what to keep and what to send to the sale barn.

  6. Robert A. Summerford
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    To quote a very influential lady in the Beefmaster Breed, Mrs. Tom Lasater, “the color doesn’t matter when the steak is on the platter”.

  7. Xavier Pena
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering since when did the Noble Foundation become such a priority and why? Why cant we just leave things the way they were and those of you that believe breeding for reds is better, go for it, no one is stopping you. Why do you feel that it’s right to stop the rest of the breeders that do like the paints or some color in their cattle. I don’t hear any of them telling you that you can’t breed for reds. If you really feel that breeding for red is going to be good for you and bad for those that don’t, then what are you so worried about?? Beefmaster’s originated as a composite breed of which all have white. I feel we should be more concerned about breeding for performance and things like IMF and REA, weaning weights etc., which at the end of the day are things that should matter to every cattleman out there. Color has no bearing on these things. I hope that you reconsider this color mandate as it has caused much negativity in our breed and we don’t need that right now, we had a good thing going.

  8. Robert C. Siddons
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Beefmaster Nation

    I decided to get in the cattle in 1979 when the grass lease on our Webb County ranch expired. As I researched varies breeds of cattle I met Anthony Mihalski and he guided me toward Beefmaster. My question to him was why should I buy registered cows and pay four times the price of a plain commercial heifer. He said come to the Live Oak Bull Sale and you will see why. My wife Bonnie and I went to that sale, not to buy just to observe, and were amazed as Commercial Ranchers from all over Texas and several other states bought well over a 100 commercial Beefmaster Bulls. That LiveOak Bull sale convinced me that Register Beefmasters was the right decision for us. In my mind, if there is not demand and a solid market for our commercial Bulls there is no place for our breed in the beef industry. Without an outlet for our commercial Bulls we are no different than the Emu’s we all saw rise and fall.

    This brings me to the many challenges our breed has faced to remain relevant in the beef cattle industry. The biggest of these was the underline issue. I doubt anyone would recommend that we go back to four and five underline Bulls or bell shaped underline heifers and cows. Nolan Ryan was President of BBU when we tackled that problem. As you can imagine this change probably effected half the cattle in every Beefmaster Herd! In my personal herd the underline became the first cut on every calf that hit the ground. This put half of our herd back in the commercial business because the auction barn was the only place to sell the bad underline calves. But, because of the sacrifices of all the breeders that went through that period back in the 1990’s our bulls are in high demand and our juniors have tremendous looking cattle to show.

    There have been some very significant events envolving feed efficiency that are very favorable to our Beefmaster cattle. The “Gro-Safe” technology is now able to measure what Tom Lasater figured out 80 years ago. In recent independent studies Beefmaster cattle have proven to be the most efficient beef cattle breed. Feed efficiency is the next “buzz” word and that is us. I mentioned earlier that our Commercial Beefmaster Bulls were in high demand, but they could be many times more in demand if we fixed the few remaining criticisms of our cattle. Our critics tell us that our Rib-eyes need to be bigger and our IMF needs to be higher and last but not least the amount of white on our cattle needs to be limited. Color is the number 1 complaint we hear from order buyers and feeders, and therefor commercial Bull buyers are reluctant to take a chance that our Bull might throw paints and devalue their calf crop. We are all recognizing the importance of scanning our calves to improve our selection for bigger rib-eyes and higher IMF scores, but now we have to figure out how to address the color issue. I know we all want our breed to succeed, we all want our juniors to be successful and have a viable breed to come back to when it’s their turn to be the leaders of the Beefmaster Breed, so it’s incumbent on us to address all the issues that are holding our breed back. So, please, let’s work together to find a way to erase the legitimacy of our critics with the least amount of hardship on our breeders. Your board has taken some bold steps to begin to address this issue, the last thing we want is to lose or place undue hardship on any individual, but everyone must realize that 5% of our cattle numbers are giving the other 95% a reason to be discriminated against. I am very much committed to addressing the color issue, but I am open to suggestions on how best to accomplish our goal. I feel as long as we have a definite plan in place the cattle industry will give us credit for addressing the issue and the discrimination will fade. So, let’s come together with open minds and seek the right answer for our breeders, but most important for our breed.

    Bob Siddons

    • Posted July 10, 2018 at 1:53 am | Permalink

      Bob Siddons wrote:
      “I doubt anyone would recommend that we go back to four and five underline Bulls or bell shaped underline heifers and cows. Nolan Ryan was President of BBU when we tackled that problem. As you can imagine this change probably effected half the cattle in every Beefmaster Herd!”

      Bob I believe I know who you are and I can tell you our herd was not at all affected by what happened when Nolan was president in 2001-2002. My father, Watt M. Casey, D. V. M. (Tom Lasater’s brother in law), started using Lasater Beefmaster bulls in 1948. Dad realized the underlines were a terrible problem and really cracked down on his cattle in the 1950′s. I have been running the cattle operation for 14 years and nothing has changed. The proven most fertile breed in the world is the Jersey breed and last time I checked they did not have any sheath issues. Years ago someone told Uncle Tom he needed more sheath on his cattle to which he replied “all they need is a hole in the stomach”. We sell with great success to more ranches running black and red Angus cattle than ranches with any other breed including Beefmasters. One of the things we have heard is “your bulls are cleaner than my Angus bulls”.

      Regarding scan data I have been told our herd is the highest IMF herd in the breed. Perhaps it is it really doesn’t matter we do not single trait select. As previous EVP Tommy Perkins said after seeing our cattle here on the ranch, after he had seen Casey cattle in other states and Texas, our cattle had muscle, good udders, clean underlines, etc etc. Our cattle have to perform on grass and forage. They are never puffed up with feed like the bulls one can see in most of the BBU ads in The Beefmaster Cowman. We’ve had a 25-30 day breeding season year after year (since 1977) and the pressure on our cattle to concieve in that length of time is tremendous. Before dad died we talked about shortening the season to 25 days and we may do it. Perhaps that is the reason our cattle put on additional marbling. There are people who are much smarter than I am who might know. Our females preg rate has been 80%-89% in recent years. Perhaps not babying our cattle is one reason we are blessed to be able to sell Beefmasters to small operations to a ranch that is about a million acres running close to 7,000 females. Bulls and females are going to western TX and all over TX, AZ, ID, NV and other places that are extremely arid and to states like FL, GA, AL, KY, WI, NY and all over the midwest that are the exact opposite.

      I will stay out of the color issue since our herd is 99% red. What most people in the BBU do not know, my father knew, and I made clear to my Lasater cousins: Tom Lasater did not want his Beefmasters red because across the fence his good friends the Klebergs who operate a little spread called the King Ranch had developed Santa Gertrudis cattle and they were red. Uncle Tom did not want ANYONE thinking Beefmaster cattle were SG’s. That was a long time ago and times are different. I would venture to say most people in BBU have little idea who Tom Lasater is. I would encourage those folks to get a copy of Laurie Lasater’s book “The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising” and READ IT. Laurie wrote the book about his father years ago and we give out copies to people all over the country many of whom never come here or purchase cattle. Dad always said that book will be beneficial for any breed! We want our cattle red or close to it since 99% of our customers are commercial operators who operate in the real world, as dad called it, dealing with order buyers who look for any little reason to drive the price down a few pennies.

      This is the first time I have looked at the BBU FB site, I barely knew it existed till primo Lorenzo Lasater told me about it a few days ago.

      All the best,
      Watt Jr.

  9. Hall & Tate
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    This proposed new rule has already cost me money: I had a buyer for 10 straws of semen from the 2012 National Champion Lucky Sugar, and he emailed, “With the passing of the color mandate by BBU, I will unfortunately not be interested in Lucky Sugar.”
    Not to mention my two beautiful embryo heifers by Captain Sugar who are both paint – money has been poured into them (purchase and storage of embryos, vet fees, payment to calf raiser, etc.) and now they are second class citizens before they even get bred and have a calf!
    Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I didn’t know BBU was so close to formulating a color policy: I wish the membership had been given a chance to speak on the issue beforehand, rather than afterwards. Perhaps it was perfectly legitimate and above board, but it feels like those in power sneaked it by the general membership.
    Has there even been an effort to get a scientific opinion about whether you CAN breed the white out of Beefmasters? It seems that with color in all three of our foundation breeds, it would be impossible to guarantee that white never comes back.
    Right now I am furious with all the directors and committee members, and with the commotion on social media – my cattle were one thing I could count on making me happy: now I look at them and feel doubt and sadness.

  10. Posted July 10, 2018 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU)

    Board of Directors

    Dear Sirs and Madam,

    I own the foundation herd of the Beefmaster breed. This herd, has been closed for more than 70 years, and contrary to what the academics said in the 1950’s, continues to be a successful genetic experiment. This is largely due to the fact that an animal’s principal criteria to continue in this herd is functionality and productivity. Color does not affect a cow’s functionality, productiveness or soundness.

    I am opposed to the color mandate. It devalues the foundation herd, which is the cornerstone of the Beefmaster Breed. We are addressing color, when many in our breed do not pay attention to the six essentials. All six of the essentials trump color. The Beefmaster breed is no better than any other breed. What sets us apart is the “Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising”, whose cornerstone is the six essentials. If we stray and over-complicate our task, we will lose our competitive edge.

    There are those who mistakenly say paint cattle are a problerm within the breed, when the real problem is non productive, non functional cattle. The rule shows a glaring lack of focus on the real issues. If our breed has egg on its face within the cattle industry, IT IS NOT because some breeders choose to raise paint cattle.

    Our Breed’s problem is NON FUNCTIONAL CATTLE. The problem may partly be the popularity within the Beefmaster breed of the show ring. Beefmaster shows have become a very visible part of the breed; cattle shows promote non functional cattle.

    THE PROMOTION AND SALE OF NON FUNCTIONAL CATTLE IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM WHICH NO ONE WANTS TO ADDRESS.

    I have yet to meet a Superior representative, an expert with the Noble Research Institute, or a commercial cowman who can tell me the color of the animal’s hide when eating a steak……. As Mary Lasater said “the color of the hide does not matter when the steak is on the platter”.

    Experts often speak as if they are all knowing, and take us down incorrect roads. The success of this breed is largely due to the fact that Tom Lasater did not listen to all the “smart people” in the room. We should continue to be very selective in what advice we deem valid. I am fairly certain I could find a few “experts” who would tell us that the Beefmaster breed’s biggest problem is non-functional cattle.

    The commercial cattleman / our customers, are smart and agile enough to indentify the breeding programs which meet their criteria. Have we forgotten why we have prefix names? When you buy cattle, you should know the program from which you are buying and especially know the integrity of the breeder. If a breeder’s philosophy is not aligned with yours, and as such, is not raising the kind of cattle you want , you are free to go elsewhere to buy according to your needs. We should let market demand guide our breeder’s decisions. We should not legislate what color cattle Beefmaster Breeders can raise.

    Lastly, the color mandate could be viewed as a veiled attempt to exclude competition, which comes under the heading of monopoly power. This rule would not seem to pass the monopoly power sniff test, which leads me to say that anything regarding color should be optional. I am not an antitrust lawyer.

    We must be vigilant of individuals who, while hiding behind the breed association cloak, promote standards and rules which could be to the detriment of other members, and be a detriment to the founding principles of the breed.

    Jason Hendricks suggestion of an optional color certification program would seem to have merit. We must let the market decide.

    A few thoughts:

    1. Tom Lasater said, “all my decisions are economic decisions”.
    2. A dislike for the show ring was a fundamental part of Tom Lasater’s cattle raising philosophy. To be clear, Tom Lasater was against any activity or way of thinking which did not promote functional / productive cattle.
    3. I have yet to meet a cattle judge who can tell me which two year old heifer will thrive on the grasslands of the planet, daily walking a mile to water, and have a calf on time every year for 7 consecutive years starting on her second birthday.
    4. The show ring has a positive place in beef production as it creates an interest and love for the cattle with young people
    5. I cannot afford to cull a cow based on color.
    6. Cow color is not an indicator of functionality / productivity
    7. A pendulous sheath negatively affects a bull’s functionality. Color does not affect functionality.
    8. Two of my yearling keep bulls in 2017 were brindles.
    9. Our most prolific herd Sire in many years is a Dun white face. He is our new Semen Bull.
    10. We must remain UNITED
    11. History is full of slippery slopes and they are dangerous.

    We should be ashamed of the manner in which this issue has been discussed on Social Media. Lorenzo Lasater is a good cowman and bleeds Beefmasters. He has selflessly given more to the association and its members than I will ever give. It is an unfortunate statement of where we are as a nation. Have we turned into the savages that Kurtz found when he arrived at the inner station in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

    Thank you for your service to the Beefmaster Breed.

    Best

    ____________________________
    Alex Lasater
    Foundation Beefmasters
    The Foundation Herd of the Beefmaster Breed
    Matheson Colorado

  11. Rachel Simons
    Posted July 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Beefmaster Breeders United (Including but not limited to the Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, JBBA, and other Official Chair holders within the Organization):

    RE: 2018 Beefmaster Color Policy – OPPOSED

    My name is Rachel Simons, my son Dylan Simons is an active JBBA Member of your organization. We oppose your 2018 Beefmaster Color Policy regardless of its finality. We oppose this change in the Breed as it goes against the foundation in which the breed was founded upon. Therefore, we ask that you recall the recent release of a Color Policy or the discussion of such a policy mandate. There was not a problem with the coloring of the cattle in any setting other than some prefer the marked cattle and some do not. Therefore it was and should still be based on the owners of the cattle to make the decisions based on the markets in which they thrive to grow their herds.

    We are thankful for the relationships of all of those that we have been fortunate to make thus far in our journey. We have had the pleasure of extending our Beefmaster family even in the state of Oklahoma where we have recently moved our family due to work and are hopeful that those relationships are not lost due to the decisions of this Color Mandate/Policy.

    My concerns are primarily in focus from the Junior (JBBA) perspective due to that is as far as we have grown in this process. We are very small but had dreams of being larger contributors to the breed, encourage others Juniors to be part of the breed due to what the breed of cattle offer among a few of our family goals. Below is the comments placed before your organization on Monday, July 9, 2018 via your facebook page. I also am enclosing additional information that are meaningful from our family and hope that your organization will reconsider the planning currently underway to enforce this Beefmaster Color Mandate. We appreciate your response to the questions and concerns below.

    This JBBA National Convention is a show that many many Junior exhibitors will be attending – this is an EXPENSIVE trip for us and to some like us it is their family vacation that they have saved for. The thought of putting so much work into getting ready to attend the event, not only from the kids perspective, the parents that have taken time away from work, the time put into their cattle (that MANY will be non compliant with this color rule as they have too much white) regardless of anything else the cattle may have to offer is concerning for me as a parent. I will not allow my son and his project to be humiliated due to the color policy.

    What does the BBU intend on doing to address these issues with all of these JBBA Members …. Juniors …. Kids …that were thought not to care about this mandate…and who were thought to be the first ones on board with this mandate on the no color policy?
    What are we families truly going to be faced with when we arrive?
    Are we going to be “educated” on how we are non compliant and be discouraged by the BBU to own such an animal at the very show they have all waited a year for?
    How can we feel that the colored cattle – the ones with white that do not comply with this rule in 6 months from now – will be fairly judged and not be viewed by way of their color?
    How will we know that the Judges that have been selected to participate in this event will not be biased, or fearful that if they do place an animal that may have too much white go against what the BBU is mandating??…the thought of this in itself is unsettling and concerning as a parent of a JBBA member.
    PLEASE RESPOND UPON RECEIPT WITH YOUR CLARIFICATIONS.
    Please help us – our family – along with so many more – understand and give us some sort of hope to want to continue with your organization not only as a family but where my son would want to continue as a JBBA Member and be a part of an organization.

    It appears that this really has affected the “little guys”. Well our family is a great representation of what the “little guys” are. Every single person in this cattle business started somewhere. Whether it was a small herd, show heifers, and so on….my point is this – your policy mandate on color has limited so many of your little guys that it is near impossible to be part of the breed. Was this the underlying plan – camouflaged with the “make the breed better”, educate the people, go against what the breed was actually founded upon. My son wrote an essay about the foundation of this breed, watched history documentaries about the founder of this breed and essentially fell in love with the cattle of this breed. All was based on the six essentials and what it offered him in his future.

    I understand that change is inevitable in many things through life, I understand that change can bring great fortune, I also understand that with change comes great resistance. In my opinion, when the proposed change is met with great resistance it means that the change should be reconsidered by those attempting to enforce the change. At that time, the change should be revisited and perhaps the plan to make the change be altered or reconsidered for the better of all as no not kill the drive of the team, create mass animosity. The other side of this scenario would be when great resistance is met with the change, you cut out the ones that met your resistance….I feel this is exactly where our family finds ourselves in the BBU 2018 Color Policy. We feel that we do not have a positive future in this organization and that the “big guys” get to walk on the “‘little guys”. Don’t get me wrong, we have pretty thick skin and will certainly move on. It is not without great sorrow for so many that could have also had a great future along side of us and I feel sorry for those that we did not get to share the great experiences with here in Oklahoma to show that this great breed of cattle are not just in the great State of Texas. The JBBA is one of the leading advertisements for the Beefmaster Breed. Whether everyone agrees with showing cattle or not – it is proven by the number of Juniors that are at the major livestock shows exhibiting their cattle. We know first-hand of the advertisement we gave the breed in March 2017 when people traveling through the livestock area at the HLSR just to look at “cows” stopped and asked to take photos because she was so “pretty”, she was “hearty” and so many other descriptive words that the laymen person used to describe her. Granted these people did not know what the 6 essentials were, but the point is this – when they go and talk about the “cows” they saw, they remember BEEFMASTER.

    In our current area – Tulsa, Oklahoma – there are very few beefmasters, nothing in comparison as to the great State of Texas (our home). When we moved here, we were really worried about how we would continue with many things – school, Ag, raising a beefmaster in long hair cattle country. Well, we began our search and found that there were many tried and failed beefmaster organizations. I vowed to help educate as many people as we could and up until June 29th, we were doing pretty good at getting positive feedback on the breed, other children in our school as well as neighboring cities were really considering the breed. They saw the ease in care, the physical differences in the breeds. Once a man at an even went so far as to say, “… this heifer (referring to our Black and white heifer) this is what the long hair cattle people try to make their cows look like…there is no hiding anything on her – she is damn good looking beef cow….” Not once did he mention her color. Most long hair cattle are died…obviously this is an opinion of one man – a man that I do not even know….to that point – this color mandate is one man’s opinion on one day.

    In closing, we respectfully request the BBU Board and the Committees REVERSE this 2018 Beefmaster Color Policy. This may not affect every single JBBA kid and their families, but it surely does effect a large majority of them.

    We would love to continue this journey and get back to what we love to do without the black cloud of “concern of color”. Our son is the proud owner of a heifer (one of three) that he has purchased from an amazing breeder that has become a member of our family. We do not for one second regret any of the three heifers we have purchased from them, nor do we hold them responsible for the heifers they sold us, they are reputable stand up people that have done nothing but become amazing friends and leaders through this journey for our son.

    Thank you for your review of our concerns, considering the negative impact on this decision should it push forward and thank you in advance for your responses.

  12. Mary Sue Cole
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Laird, you stated this so well. The decision makers manipulated the data received by considering only the respondents they wanted to talk to, and they were not breeders for the most part. Then the “research paper” was written to sell the selected data. Evidently the breeders spoken to had few or no paints. I want to know how the Six Essentials fit into this policy. Are we trying to breed the shorthorn out of the breed? Let’s think about why the breed includes the basic battle that it does. Seems to me by selection of only red cattle we are forgetting the quality genetics that Beefmaster cattle are famous for. Let’s hear from some DNA folks. I’m not even sure that the would hold up in court if the breed definition, of braham, shorthorn and hereford, was challenged.
    Oh, and let’s hear from folks who finance the Beefmaster association, i.e. the members.

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