There are some in the beef industry that are solidly against the show ring. They believe that it has had the tendency to corrupt the point of the point of the whole industry which is to produce a quality beef product for consumers. I humbly beg to differ. The show ring allows many youth the opportunity to learn the industry and livestock shows provide a basis for selection that makes for better cattle breeders in the long term. EPDs and other selection tools cannot be ignored but the task of visual selection for structural soundness, growth, fleshing ability and muscling is essential to making the right kind of cattle for the commercial industry.
The Limousin breed just wrapped up a successful NWSS which includes its annual meeting and banquet. Both the Yard and Hill shows were up in numbers and were very solid in quality. We had a very successful National Sale that averaged around $9,100, which should make it the highest averaging sale on the Stock Show grounds. My congratulations to all the winners from this past NWSS and thank you to all the Limousin exhibitors for bringing an outstanding group of cattle.
As I attend the major stock shows, it is hard not to realize that the top end of the major cattle breeds are becoming more uniform in type and kind to the point that it would be fair to say that the only difference is hide color. This is a great step for the beef industry, which has long been held back by people (judges and breeders) who select with breed character as a major factor. It is nice to see that folks have moved from the days of the right head shape or color pattern towards making the right kind of cattle for the industry. The beef industry has always had a problem competing with other proteins, chicken and pork, on a uniformity basis. The advent of seedstock producers moving toward the type of cattle that work in the commercial industry is refreshing to see and a first step toward moving the industry forward as a whole.
If more cattlemen can focus on making the easy fleshing, sound made, heavily muscled cattle that we are seeing in the winners’ circle at stock shows like the National Western, then it will be all the better for the entire beef sector.
During the NWSS, a leading geneticist made a comment that was very profound to the seedstock sector, to paraphrase, “the beef industry is driven by seedstock producer’s selection of bulls at weaning.” From what I’ve seen of the bulls brought the NWSS (the granddaddy of bull displays) this industry is headed in the right direction.