What is in this article?:
- Commercial Cattleman Builds Back His Herd Using DNA Marker Technology
- Using the data
- Knowledge is dangerous
By combining a low-density DNA marker test on its commercial cows and calves with a high-density test on the bulls they buy, the Vest Ranch is positioning itself to rebound from drought.
Knowledge is dangerous
Ty says there is a downside to learning more about your cattle – you risk learning that your cows aren’t as good as you think they are. Beyond that, however, he sees nothing but upside to incorporating DNA data into the ranch.
“We’re not going to improve our herd overnight, by any means,” Ty says. “But with DNA testing, you get there quicker. It’s one more tool in your toolbox.”
And making the ranch better is important to them. “With Samann being a fourth-generation rancher working to ensure this ranch gets to a fifth generation, we have to be sure that not only what we’re doing on a daily basis, but what we’re building long term, helps that generation get to where it wants to go,” Ty says.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s being a good steward of your land as far as your grass, your wildlife, your water or your cowherd. It’s the same thing. That’s been our approach and it’s vitally important to what we do.”
Ty & Samann Watkins believe that managing each cow on the ranch to her genetic potential will be enhanced because they’ll be better able to select bulls for a specific set of cows.