Which brings forth the never-ending argument anytime two or more cattlemen get together – is crossbreeding or straightbreeding the better production system? That, Brink says, is not really the question.

“Here’s what I believe after being in feedyards all over this country, and buying cattle all over this country the last 13 years – I’m a friend of anybody out there who has a reasonable breeding plan and sticks to that plan over time. Because I see too many cattle that have no plan behind them, and they cost everybody a lot of money.”

“Plan” is the key word, he says. “Planned crossbreeding, it works. It’s first on the list. There’s a lot of value there if it’s done well. It’s got to be a disciplined, planned process with complimentary breeds,” he stresses. “We don’t need crossbreeding for the sake of crossbreeding. We don’t need crossbreeding for the sake of heterosis only. Heterosis is great, but it can’t stop there.”

However, the same discipline has to be applied to a straightbreeding program. “A well planned, well executed straightbreeding program with today’s genetics, it really can only be done with Angus and maybe Red Angus because of the value in those populations,” he opines. That’s because Five Rivers targets quality grade when it grids cattle.

But done with discipline and a plan, Brink is fine with straightbreds. “If there’s a plan behind the breeding program, the cattle that come to me are not really going to be a problem.”

See Powerpoint presentations and hear audio of many of the speakers during the BIF symposium.


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