By: Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement
2020 was a year to remember, or forget, if you would like. Items like toilet paper and meat disappeared from store shelves amid the COVID 19 pandemic. People learned to work from home, and most learned how to use Zoom for teleconference meetings, albeit some are better at it than others. Personally, I am excited that we are in a new year and hopefully we will be able to slowly get back to normal in 2021. One thing that 2020 did show us is how strong and resilient the cattle industry is. Producers kept producing through tough times and sales brought us together during the year. I hope everyone keeps a positive outlook and sets goals for this new year. When making your resolution to go to the gym, or to get organized and drink less; don’t forget your cattle operation. Make sure that you are planning for the year and trying to make this your best year in the cattle industry. I encourage you to make goals to keep better and/or more records, while also using everything you measured to improve your herd.
This year when you are weaning calves try to collect mature cow weights and body condition scores, as well as the weaning weights of the calves. A mature cow weight with a body condition score will allow the breed to develop a mature cow weight EPD, which will strengthen our maternal index ($M). Mature cow weight is part of cow efficiency and sustainability. It is a measure that other breeds have been using for a while. We are the premier maternal breed in the industry, and we need to do everything we can to continue to prove it. Commercial producers use Beefmaster bulls to produce replacement females, so it is the job of seedstock producers to do everything they can to produce what the buyer needs.
Also, when planning for this new year it is a good idea to make sure you keep up with the latest news and advancements from across the beef cattle industry. Sign up for daily newsletters that cover the beef industry and start your day off with this information. Hopefully this year we will be able to have more conventions and field days that people can attend and learn in person. In 2020, there were various webinars presented to all who wanted to attend, and they were packed with great information. The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) posts facts and information on Facebook every Wednesday that is educational and at the front end of the industry. Keeping up with the industry is important, so that you can make the best decisions possible.
2020 has ended and I am glad to see it go, it was a crazy year, but we persevered and made it through. The cattle industry is resilient and will continue to provide high quality protein to consumers for years to come. I hope that everyone has a great start to 2021 and will make some new year resolutions for your cattle, as well as for yourself. I encourage you to always strive to make your cattle better and keep yourself educated on the happenings in the industry. Our job is to produce cattle for the commercial cattle producer, so that they can produce the best beef possible. Let’s keep pushing forward as a breed and keep making the best momma cow in the industry better, as well as keep ourselves up to date on industry happenings. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year.