Braford News | Volume 34 | Issue 3 | Fall 2020

Page 1


COW POWER BRAFORDS: The Perfect Blend of Brahman and Hereford.

Harvey rancH Okeechobee, Fla.

Jim & Rene Harvey, Owners • 863697.6624 Ronnie Trythall, Manager • 863.697.2182

BEEFMAKER Fall Edition

OCTOBER 19, 2020

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Roy and Marie Barnes, Owners 447 Whitlock Ave. I Marietta, GA 30064 Kevin Atkins (256) 706-9405 1644 Piedmont Hwy I Cedar Town, GA 30125







































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Gary R. Hedrick (678) 858-0914 Ben Hedrick (404) 216-4274 Herdsman, Diego Gutierrez (678) 629-1804 James Atkins (404) 922-6508



United Braford Breeders P.O. Box 808, Reynolds, GA 31076 UBB Registration Office P.O. Box 1177, Kingsville, TX 78364 Braford News is the official publication of the United Braford Breeders (UBB). It is published four times a year and is supported by paid advertisements and subscriptions. Advertising and subscription information can be obtained by contacting the editor. Editor: Bailey K. Herrin, Production: Herrin Livestock Services 816.824.0002

Zoetis is a corporate sponsor of United Braford Breeders POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 808 Reynolds, GA 31076. The publisher reserves the right to refuse publication of any material which we feel is unsuitable for the publication. Although the highest journalistic ethics will be maintained, the United Braford Breeders limits its responsibilities for any errors, inaccuracies or misprints in advertisements or editorial copy. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertisements printed, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising from such advertisement made against the publisher. Advertising rate card is sent upon request. Articles from this publication may be reprinted with the permission of the publisher. Copyright 2020 United Braford Breeders



PRESIDENT’S NOTES, by robert mills


EXECUTIVE’S NOTES, by bailey k. herrin




NJBA UPDATE, by gene natali


LIVING THE LEGACY, by bailey k. herrin









by lauren brockman






BY: ROBERT MILLS, UBB PRESIDENT I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe this summer amid this global pandemic. As I sit down and try to gather my thoughts for this article, I have many mixed emotions. I do not know of one person whom the events of the last several months have not affected in one way or another. Disruption of markets, cancellation of events, restrictions on travel, closing of certain businesses, mandates on masks, social distancing, and consumer supply shortages – just to name a few. No matter where you stand on the political side of this mess, it has affected every one of us. Our Youth Activities Committee had to make the decision to cancel our All American National Junior Show. It was a decision that was made after lengthy and thoughtful discussion. Every part of that decision was weighed for pros and cons, and for the safety of participants, their families, and spectators. Added to that were the restrictions put on the event by the county-owned facility as well as government mandates. In the end, the decision was unanimous that it was in the best interest of all to cancel the cattle events. However, the rest of the contests were held virtually online with most of our Junior members participating. Congratulations to the winners of those contests and all our Junior members who participated. Many of the events anticipated for fall are still in the planning stages. The task is cumbersome when the rules and circumstances are changing daily. UBB is experiencing the same obstacles, as plans are beginning for our fall Annual


Meeting that was postponed in early 2020. The plans are to try to hold that meeting in October if possible. Updates will be sent in our emailed Newsletter and on social media. The UBB office and staff have been conducting business as usual with only some limited days and hours in the office in Kingsville. Our UBB Board of Directors have all been moving forward with Board Meetings via conference call or Zoom. I encourage everyone to remain positive. Remember that Ag-related businesses and people are the foundation of our existence and our great nation. When I was a youngster growing up in rural America, our county agent used to tell a story at every meeting at which he was asked to speak or be the MC. It went like this: “If you eat, wear clothes and live in a house, you are dependent on agriculture.” Just remember that our job of raising replacement breeding stock and beef for consumers is never-ending and will always be an important part of our society. I am asking each of you to be an advocate for the Braford breed and the beef industry. Tell our story to whoever will listen. Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner at our house! It’s the best-tasting and best protein source on our planet. Stand up and be proud of what we do as breeders and share your story with fellow Americans. We still produce the finest eating experience and the safest food in the world right here in the good ol’ USA! I look forward to a time in the near future for us all to come together in good fellowship. Until then, God bless you and your families.

2020 UBB Show Female of the Year


Grand Champion Braford Female at Houston Livestock Show Grand Champion Braford Female at State Fair of Louisiana Reserve Grand Champion Braford Female at Fort Worth Stock Show Reserve Grand Champion Braford Female at Dixie National Reserve Grand Champion Braford Female at Four States Fair

Embryos Available Soon! Proudly Owned By Kelly Vesper of Vesper Ranch

Cotulla, TX • Chad Springs, Ranch Foreman, 512-517-2455 FALL 2020 l BRAFORD NEWS


EXECUTIVE’S NOTES BY: BAILEY K. HERRIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Does anyone else find new irony in the old saying, “Hindsight is 2020”? I sure do. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2020 to be a distant memory. Everywhere you turned, another event had been cancelled. Unfortunately, one of those canceled events was our NJBA All-American. The Youth Activities Committee struggled with the decision to cancel. The committee and I agreed that this was the best option for everyone’s health and safety since the show was just outside of Houston, which was one of Texas’ hotspots for COVID-19. The Youth Activities Committee was proactive; they had gone ahead with a set of virtual contests from June 18 to 20 in case we did have to cancel the live event. Our turnout was great! For the most part, the events went off without a hitch and we received positive feedback. The winners of the NJBA All American Virtual Contest are on page 15. If you see any of these exhibitors in the near future, be sure to congratulate them. The NJBA was also proud to award three scholarships this year. Garrett Manuel of Washington, La., was the recipient of the $2,500 NJBA Alto “Bud” Adams Jr. Memorial Scholarship. This year, the committee awarded two Winton C. and Emily C. Harris of Greenview Farms Memorial Scholarships of $200 to Brady Harrington (Iowa, La.) and Kaitlyn Johnson (Iowa, La.). Congratulations to these three tremendous seniors; the UBB wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

We believe in the power of positive thinking and are planning to hold the UBB Annual Meeting at Graham Land and Cattle in Gonzales, Texas, on Oct. 17. Graham Land and Cattle has generously offered to host us and provide a delicious meal. Bulls and heifers for the Advancing the Braford Breed Sale will be available for viewing that day as well. The 14th Edition Advancing the Braford Breed Sale will be hosted online via SmartAuctions. The sale will open on Dec. 1 and close racehorse-style on Dec. 4. Be sure to mark your calendars for both events. 2020 has brought along several changes for the UBB shows. The biggest change is that all UBB Sanctioned Braford Base shows will now become F-1 shows. This was voted on by the board after the Show Committee made the recommendation. By transitioning to a Braford F-1 show, the committee decided to create an F-1 Show Animal of the Year award. The board also voted to remove Four States Fair in Texarkana, Ark., from the UBB Points System of Shows. For full details regarding these changes, please refer to page 21 in this issue of the Braford News. This year has challenged us mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. As cattlemen and women, we can affirm one thing for sure: We are resilient. We will bounce back, and we won’t give up. I truly appreciate everyone’s patience and kindness through all of the changes and challenges the association has faced this year. I look forward to being able to safely travel soon and continue to meet our amazing members.

UBB DIRECTORS President | Robert Mills | Athens, Texas | 903.676.8930 | Vice President | Bill Rainer | Union Springs, Ala. | 903.780.6455 | Secretary | Elliott Stanton | Poteet, Texas | 832.291.8349 | Treasurer | Corey Doucet | Lake Charles, LA | 337.802.5473 | Region 1 Directors | Florida Zach Adams | Fort Pierce, Fla. | 772.215.6268 | Dr. Jim Harvey | Okeechobee, Fla. | 863.697.6624 | Will Moncrief | Tallahassee, Fla. | 850.544.5195 | Region 2 Directors | Louisiana Bryan Alleman | Rayne, La. | 337.278.2586 | Corey Doucet | Lake Charles, La. | 337.802.5473 | Scott Harrington | Iowa, La. | 337.496.5189 | Region 3 Directors | Texas Robert Mills | Athens, Texas | 903.676.8930 | Rodney Roberson, PhD | Bullard, Texas | 936.569.4872 | Elliott Stanton | Poteet, Texas | 832.291.8349 | Region 4 Directors | All Other States Jonny Harris | Screven, Ga. | 912.294.2470 | Toni Meacham | Connell, Wa. | 509.488.3289 | Bill Rainer | Union Springs, Ala. | 903.780.6455 | 6 BRAFORD NEWS l FALL 2020

NEW MEMBERS Emma Andrus Holiman Cattle Co. Finley Armentor Blaine Johnson Laura Armentor Delinda Landry Jessie Baham Lazy R Cattle Bougaroux Farms, LLC Kinley Leblang Brister Blades Seth Manuel Adrian Carlin Jeremy McDaniel Hunter Conner Derek Shaw Jr. Conner Farms Dalton Simpson Diamond T Farms & Paige Smith Good Earth Cattle Co. South Creek Cattle Co. Jacob Farmer Sunset Cattle Co. Drew Greene Heidi Wilkerson Brynn Hardie Megan P Williams Linsey Harrington Wrights Farm Madison Holcomb

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For Sale Private Treaty

Braford & Hereford Bulls • Braford & Hereford Heifers

Greenview Farms, Inc. 334 K-Ville Road Screven, GA 31560

Jonny Harris | 912-294-2470

Paul Harris | 912-294-2472




BY GENE NATALI, NJBA PRESIDENT With my term as NJBA President coming to an end, I would like to take the time to thank the directors for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. Although the past five months have been a challenge, I am grateful for the experience. I am thankful for a great group of directors to work with and for all the support given to us by the breeders of the UBB during the year. It is an understatement to say that the past several months have dealt our families and our way of life adversity; however, as James Allen is quoted, “adversity does not build character – it reveals it.” Moving forward, I would like to encourage all of our membership to keep working and to

have faith. It is times like these that give us the opportunity to show character and perseverance. Even as juniors, we all have a place in the cattle industry. We may not be able to find that place during this trying time, but we must continue to work toward our goals. During this time, I know that my family has spent more time at home than ever before, and we have spent that extra time in the barn with our cattle. I challenge each of the juniors to do the same. I hope that everyone stays healthy and safe, and that soon we will be on the show road again.

NJBA DIRECTORS President | Gene Natali | Iowa, La. Vice President | Kaitlyn Jonson | Iowa, La. Secretary | Miriam Hargrove | Manvel, Texas Treasurer | Kalli Smith | Gilliam, Ark. Reporter | Brady Harringon | Iowa, La.


Director | Luke Natali | Iowa, La. Director | Luke Mhire | Welsh, La. Director | Joe Natali | Iowa, La. Director | Mason Mhire | Welsh, La. Director | Hayden Hyman | Fouke, Ark. Director | Ashlee Primeaux | Bell City, La. Director | Brynlee Boudreaux | Iowa, La.

Bill rainer cattle company

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Bill Rainer | P.O. Box 243 Union Springs, AL 36089 | 903-780-6455


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124 Mann Rd | Poteet TX 78065 Cell 832-291-8349 | Office 210-331-8727






By Bailey K. Herrin


very cattle producer dreams that the legacy of their farm or ranch will live on for future generations. Running M Ranch will do just that when Payne Midyette’s grandson, Will Moncrief, takes the reins this fall. Payne Midyette, 93, has had a passion for cattle for most of his life. Midyette first shared this passion with his father, Payne Midyette Sr. In the 1930s and 1940s, his family had Hereford cattle that they eventually crossed with Brahmans. The Midyettes were producing Brafords prior to them becoming a nationally recognized breed. In 1977, Midyette bought 391 acres in Madison County as an investment opportunity. He had all intentions of reselling the property; instead, he ended up running cattle on it. By the early 1980s, Payne had purchased three Braford bulls along with 125 Braford heifers from Bud Adams, his lifelong friend. Midyette fondly reminisces: “Bud Adams and I were good friends; we grew up together. As high school boys, we both worked for one of the top cattlemen of the time. He’s the reason I got hooked on Braford cattle.” By 1991, the ranch and Braford herd had grown large 10 BRAFORD NEWS l FALL 2020

enough that a ranch manager was necessary. “For nearly 30 years, Kit Storey has been the ranch manager at Running M,” Midyette notes. “Kit is a good cowman, good planner, very dedicated to his job, but most of all he has a big heart. We seem to complement each other. I’m thankful for all he has done for us over the years.” In 1992, Midyette retired from Midyette-Moor Insurance Agency to focus on, and expand, Running M Ranch. He was able to grow the ranch to almost 500 brood cows, with most of them being registered Brafords. At one point, the farm was up to 2,580 acres, with the bulk of it being owned property. To reduce their workload as their age increased, Midyette and Storey opted to reduce the cattle numbers and plant pines in some of the cattle pastures. The herd at Running M Ranch is down to about 300 brood cows and replacement heifers. A large part of the herd still consists of Braford cows, but the ranch has expanded its Braford Plus program. “We’ve been running Red Angus bulls on some of our Braford cows,” Moncrief explains. “The Braford females make good mommas and the Red Angus adds a little extra

carcass merit to the calves. With us starting to finish our own cattle for a pasture-to-plate marketing opportunity in Tampa, we need to maximize the carcass traits in our calves to guarantee we are producing a premium product to our consumers. Brafords play a key role in our operation. One thing we have realized is that you have to maximize the value of the calves with the resources available.” Running M Ranch is teaming up with River Bend Cattle Company, a specialty beef company, that is marketing Fresh from Florida, dry-aged beef. This new opportunity allows both Running M Ranch and the specialty beef company to cut out the middleman, all while delivering a premium product. Moncrief has been gradually getting more involved in the management and breeding decisions at the ranch over the last few years. “Grandpa has always kept extremely detailed records,” Moncrief explains. “He has decades worth of records on this cow herd. His meticulous notes make it easier for us to select our replacement heifers and make other management decisions. We prefer for our replacement heifers to be born early on in the calving season. This allows them to be a little bigger at breeding; it also shows that fertility runs in that cow line.” Moncrief stresses that fertility, maternal ability and carcass merit are some of their top criteria for a cow to stay in their herd. He is meticulous about details: “We prefer the cows to have pigment around the eyes to reduce the chance of eye problems in the future. We also like for them to have a good pretty red color with not too much white. Our goal is to raise moderate-sized, efficient cattle that are able to grow and stay fat on grass. I think we are a little different from most purebred guys. We try to utilize winter grazing for developing our replacement heifers and bulls to minimize the amount of input costs. Everything we develop is weighed consistently to calculate the weight per day of age and average daily gain. Our cattle survive strictly on forage with minimal supplementation, so we expect our replacement cattle to do the same.”

The ranch continues to be a family affair, as Aren Moncreif, Midyette’s daughter, handles the books, and Moncrief’s wife, Celina, is always willing to lend a helping hand on the ranch. “I can count on Celina to help whenever we need it,” Moncrief says. “She’s always willing to help, whether it is working cattle or in the hayfield. I think we make a pretty good team.” Each year, the cattle are gathered for marking and branding in late spring. All of the registered cattle at Running M Ranch have a hot brand that consists of a four-digit herd identification number along with the Running M brand. The cattle are also tattooed and tagged to guarantee that identification is available at a later date. While the cattle are up, they are vaccinated, castrated, dehorned and implanted. As Midyette and Storey start to reduce their roles at Running M Ranch, Moncrief is eager to carry on his grandfather’s legacy. “Grandpa has worked hard over the years to build a phenomenal herd of cattle,” Moncrief says, beaming with pride. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to continue the legacy of Running M Ranch. If it wasn’t for Grandpa and Kit, it wouldn’t be where it is today. They did a great job managing both the land and cattle. It makes my life easy when I have a good foundation to build from.” Both Midyette and Moncrief have a wealth of memories on the ranch. “That kid grew up on the place,” Midyette recalls with a smile. “He likes to ranch, and I am excited that he can continue to do what he wants – which is to work cattle and horses. I hope he can continue to do what he loves. It’s important to keep the land and family business going, but it isn’t easy.” What is worthwhile seldom is – but Payne Midyette can indeed rest easy. Running M Ranch is in the hands of someone who shares his passion for ranching and Braford cattle. The dream of a generation-spanning legacy is sure to come true.





Genomically Enhanced EPDs By Lauren Brockman, United Braford Breeders Summer Intern


rafords continue to add durability, profitability and growth to producers’ herds. Whether you are running a seedstock or commercial operation, Brafords have the ability to diversify and add value to your business. As more beef producers begin recognizing the reliability of these cattle, advancing the Braford breed calls for providing producers with cutting-edge technology. Genomically enhanced EPDs (GE EPDs) have gained popularity among other breeds and are now available for Braford producers. The UBB offers 50K genomic testing through NEOGEN labs. There are three possible DNA samples to send: Tissue Sampling Units (TSUs), blood, or hair. Note that blood cannot be tested on twins and hair samples incur an additional $4 cost, said Dr. Jamie Courter, NEOGEN beef products manager. TSUs not only are the preferred method but also prove to be a more convenient choice, as it takes less time and can easily be done while collecting chute-side data. The desire to increase productivity while maintaining traditional values is a feeling that beef producers know all too well. In the cattle industry, as with anything else in life, the ability to adapt is a sure-fire way to make your good operation even better. GE EPDs offer producers a way to better adapt to changes thrown at them and make positive 12 BRAFORD NEWS l FALL 2020

differences within a herd. GE EPDs are more accurate than standard EPDs, but environment and management still impact how cattle will perform. While genetic testing allows for a more accurate prediction of how an animal may perform, it is still important for producers to gather performance data. The introduction of genomics into cattle selection is used to enhance rather than replace existing selection tools. It is easy to overlook the importance of consistently turning in performance data, as more focus shifts to genomics. Collecting data and evaluating it is crucial to see where a producer’s herd stands and help optimize production. While it is important to each individual operation, it is equally important to continue turning the data in to breed associations. Turning performance data in to associations helps other members and customers make more informed breeding decisions and helps calculate selection tools. Performance records and economic indexes can be considered the best criteria for beef cattle selection for seedstock and commercial producers. Industry standards and consumer preferences are ever-changing. The ability to make quicker decisions in your business yields long-term and profitable results. GE-EPDs increase the accuracy of young, unproven animals.

“Improving accuracy leads to less change in EPDs over time,” Courter said. Genomically enhanced EPDs combine DNA markers with pedigree and progeny data, which allow producers to make more informed decisions for their herds. These keep the gold standard of the tried-and-true EPD but add an extra boost of confidence by introducing genomics. “Once you add the genetic test, it’s basically the same as having eight to 33 progeny records, depending on the trait, already on file,” Courter explained. The introduction of genomics into performance data allows for a decrease in generation intervals. When using a standard EPD, it could take two to four years before you get carcass traits on a bull or substantial reproductive data on a heifer. This information allows producers to make real-time decisions to improve their herds and have more confidence in young calves. Introducing genomics does not cause all EPD calculations to go up, but it does give you additional indicators on the genetic merit of an animal causing it to be more reliable. Now, producers can analyze traits that are typically measured later in life, or at the end of a life cycle. Traits such as weaning weight, feed efficiency and carcass merit have high economic relevance to producers but are

hard to measure without genomics. Being able to select for these economically relevant traits earlier helps operations become more profitable. GE EPDs are able to give an estimate of that animal’s genetic merit on hard-to-measure traits the day it is born. The ability to have this data so early in an animal’s life can drastically change the genetic make-up of a producer’s herd. “That decreases the generation interval and allows us to turn over those really good genetics faster,” Courter noted. For commercial operations, genomic technology can not only improve its own breeding methods but also be reassuring when purchasing animals from seedstock producers. Genomic enhancements mitigate risk by supplying buyers with more accurate information. As seedstock producers begin incorporating genomics into their operations, businesses can have more confidence in their ability to provide commercial customers with animals that will best benefit their production needs. Introducing genomics into an operation is an investment that will yield a high return. The advantages of using genomic technology can be tied back to one premise: the ability to make more accurate decisions more quickly. Genomics provides an opportunity to maximize profit and produce cattle with high-quality genetics. FALL 2020 l BRAFORD NEWS


Bred by necessity to handle adversity.

The Braford breed is one of the best kept secrets in the beef cattle industry. Braford cows are highly productive in southern production environments. Braford bulls work extremely well on your adapted cows and produce outstanding replacement females. -- Rodney Roberson, Thunderstorm R Cattle Co.


Virtual Contest Results t

Junior Division All-Around

1. Adeline Vidrine

Quiz Bowl Harlie Smith Adeline Vidrine

2. Harlie Smith

3. Claire Beth Baccigalopi


Photography 1. Harlie Smith 2. Claire Beth Baccigalopi 3. Adeline Vidrine

Livestock Judging

1. Adeline Vidrine

1. Harlie Smith 2. Adeline Vidrine

Sales Talk 1. Adeline Vidrine 2. Harlie Smith

Intermediate Division

1. Ellen Deshotel

Quiz Bowl


1. Baughman Crew 1. Ellen Deshotel - Aiden Baughman 2. Gracie Lambright - Ava Baughman 3. Grady Richard - Andrew Baughman 4. Megan Williams 2. Texas Shoot Out 5. Braden Smith - Braden Smith - Gracie Lambright - Hailey Sheffield


2. Hailey Sheffield

3. Braden Smith


Livestock Judging

Sales Talk

1. Hailey Sheffield 2. Braden Smith 3. Megan Williams 4. Andrew Baughman 5. Gracie Lambright

1. Hailey Sheffield 2. Aiden Baughman 3. Gracie Lambright 4. Ellen Deshotel 5. Grady Richard

1. Ellen Deshotel 2. Braden Smith 3. Andrew Baughamn 4. Ava Baughman 5. Hailey Sheffield

3. The Braford Bunch - Ellen Deshotel - Grady Richard - Molly McNabb

Senior Division 1. Miriam Hargrove

Quiz Bowl


1. The Carnival Crew 1. Kalli Smith - Seth Manuel 2. Emily Deshotel - Garrett Manuel 3. Audreanna Richard - Gavin Ortega 4. Karlie Ford 2. Braford Queens 5. Miriam Hargrove - Miriam Hargrove - Kalli Smith


2. Gene Natali

Poster 1. Miriam Hargrove 2. Karlie Ford 3. Brynlee Boudreaux 4. Madison Holcomb 5. Gene Natali

3. Emily Deshotel

Livestock Judging 1. Gene Natali 2. Miriam Hargrove 3. Gavin Ortego 4. Emily Deshotel 5. Karlie Ford

3. Big Ballers

- Audreanna Richard - Gene Natali - Brynlee Boudreaux

Adult Division Photography 1. Stacey DesHotel 2. Carla Denison 3. Jennifer Vest 4. Dianne Owens 5. David Owens

Livestock Judging 1. Babe Scott 2. Shelby Phelps 3. Michael Boudreaux 4. Danny Boudreaux 5. Jessica Richard

Sales Talk 1. Miriam Hargrove 2. Brynlee Boudreaux 3. Emily Deshotel 4. Gene Natali 5. Kalli Smith


IMPACT OF BRAHMAN GENETICS on Body Temperature of Heifers on Pasture Under Heat Stress. Raluca Mateescu, Ph. D, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida


os indicus and Bos indicus influenced cattle, such as Brafords, are better able to regulate body temperature in response to heat stress due to a number of physiological and cellular level adaptive traits. The multibreed herd at the University of Florida (UF) Beef Research Unit allowed us to quantify the change in body temperature in heifers with various proportions of Brahman genes per unit increase in heat stress as measured by temperature-humidity index (THI) and to assess how different breed groups responded to varying intensity and duration of heat stress. A total of 299 two-year-old heifers from six breed groups ranging from 100% Angus to 100% Brahman were evaluated under hot and humid conditions during 2017 and 2018 summer days. 16 BRAFORD NEWS l FALL 2020

The variation in environmental heat stress conditions ranging from days with moderate heat stress conditions to days with severe heat stress conditions provided us with the opportunity to compare the response of different breed groups under a range of heat stress environments. There are two important observations illustrated by our data. As shown in Figure 1, the heat load in 2017 was severe for three consecutive days and the body temperature of all heifers, regardless of breed group, was elevated. Under these extreme heat stress conditions, even the purebred Brahman heifers are not able to maintain body temperature below 39ËšC. When heat load was moderate or high during 2018, Brahman heifers had a significantly lower body temperature compared with all other breed groups (Figure 2). During

these days of medium to high heat stress, Brahman heifers were able to maintain body temperature below 39˚C for most of the time. This is important because it was estimated that uterine temperature exceeding 39˚C was associated with a reduction in conception rate. Same temperature was shown to reduce blastocyst production in Bos taurus indicus cows as a result of compromise oocyte developmental capacity. Based on our data, considering the 39˚C body temperature as a threshold to indicate inability to cope with heat stress, we can infer that days with a heat load greater than 34 present a challenge for all heifers, regardless of breed, to maintain body temperature bellow 39˚C. It is important to note that during 2017 when heifers were exposed to severe heat load for three days, the body temperature of Angus heifers was significantly higher than for Brahman heifers only for day 3. This could be an indication of a superior ability of Brahman heifers to adapt to several days of severe heat stress in a row. On the other hand, during 2018 when heifers were exposed to moderate and high heat load (first and second day in 2018, Figure 3), the body temperature in Angus heifers was significantly higher than in Brahman heifers for most of the day, approximately between 9 a.m and 8 p.m. Data presented in Figure 2 would also suggest that the critical factor in the ability to maintain a lower body temperature might not be the number of hours with high or extreme THI but rather the lack of opportunity to cool down during the night hours. During the three nights in 2017 that preceded the days with extreme heat stress conditions, the THI was not lower than 71. The body temperature for Angus heifers when environmental THI is low, was 0.06°C greater than the population average body temperature under low THI. The body temperature of all other breed groups under low THI was not different from the population average. The body temperature for the 100% Angus breed group increased by 0.417°C for every 5 units of THI. The body temperature of the 25%, 32.5%, 50% and 75% Brahman breed groups showed a numerical decrease with the increase in percentage of Brahman genes, but they were not significantly different from the population. These results suggest that cattle with 100% Brahman genetics have a superior tolerance to heat stress, reflected in a smaller increase in body temperature in response to an increase of 5 THI units in environment. Angus cattle have a significantly lower thermotolerance reflected in a larger increase in body temperature. A heterosis effect, defined as the deviation of the crossbreds (50% Brahman) from the average of the two parental breeds (0% Brahman and 100% Brahman, respectively), was estimated for the tolerance to heat stress. This moderate heterosis of -8.35% indicates that the resilience to heat stress of an Angus X Brahman crossbred is 8.35% better than the average of the parental breeds due to heterosis. The beneficial effect of Brahman genetics is dependent on the magnitude of environmental heat stress. When breed groups were exposed to moderate or high heat stress, the

Brahman group had a significantly superior resilience to heat stress, but when exposed to severe heat stress even the Brahman group could not adequately cope. Along with the number of hours under high heat stress THI during the day, the opportunity to cool down during the night seems to be the critical factor. Climate change predictions with heat stress conditions intensifying and expanding into currently temperate zones indicate the imperative need to develop effective strategies to ensure sustainable beef production systems. Effective strategies will require the identification of the genes conferring the superior thermotolerance in Brahman cattle. This will allow genomic selection within breeds for superior productivity under hot and humid conditions or introduction of thermotolerance variants in thermo-sensitive breeds through targeted introgression or gene editing technology. Raluca Mateescu is a Professor of Quantitative Genetics & Genomics in the Department of Animal Sciences at University of Florida. For more information visit

Figure 1. Hourly body temperature (˚C, left axis) for purebred Angus (red line) and purebred Brahman (green line) for three consecutive days during 2017 when the heat load was severe for three consecutive days. The hourly temperature humidity index (THI, right index) is depicted as blue-shaded bars following the scale in the graph. When exposed to severe heat stress, even Brahman heifers are not able to maintain body temperature below 39˚C.

Figure 2. Hourly body temperature (˚C, left axis) for purebred Angus (red line) and purebred Brahman (green line) for three consecutive days during 2018. Heat load over the first, second and third day was moderate, high, and high, respectively. The hourly temperature humidity index (THI, right index) is depicted as blue-shaded bars following the scale in the graph. When heat load was moderate or high during 2018, Brahman heifers had a significantly lower body temperature compared with all other breed groups and were able to maintain body temperature below 39˚C for most of the time. FALL 2020 l BRAFORD NEWS



Six Essential Practices for

REPRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY By Lee Jones, DVM, MS, University of Georgia


eproductive efficiency is crucial for cow/calf herd production and profitability. Without pregnancies, calves aren’t born or weaned and sold. Pregnancy has significantly greater economic impact than any other production trait, and reproductive efficiency is more important than growth or carcass traits for the cow/calf producer. There are a lot of things that challenge reproduction in our cow herds. While fertility is the single most significant factor for cow herd success, infertility is considerably costlier than scours, calf respiratory disease or any other non-fatal disease. Infertility can be defined as a cow failing to breed, breeding but not delivering a live calf, or breeding late. The fact is that if the calf isn’t born alive and healthy and weaned, we don’t have anything to sell. There are six key management areas essential for reproductive efficiency for beef cow/calf programs: heifer fertility, cow herd management, bull fertility, controlled calving season, pregnancy diagnosis, and culling. Heifer Fertility Selecting heifers for fertility and longevity is essential for lifetime productivity. Numerous studies have shown that heifers that breed early and calve early (first 21 days of controlled calving season) are more productive over their lifetime and stay in the herd longer than heifers that calve later. Heifers that calve early as 2-year-olds and maintain early 18 BRAFORD NEWS l FALL 2020

calving throughout their lifetime can produce 100 pounds more calf each year than heifers that calve two cycles later. Traditional methods of heifer selection rely on physical traits such as weight, age and pregnancy status to determine who to keep. Genomic tools show potential to improve our ability to identify the more productive heifers earlier than traditional, phenotypic selection tools. However, selecting heifers by physical traits and overall phenotype is still a valuable tool to build a fertile cow herd. Proper management and selection of heifers that will conceive early is critical. The use of estrus synchronization and AI to breed heifers at the beginning of the breeding season is also an effective tool to produce productive heifers that have longevity. Cow Herd Managing body condition of the cow herd is the best practice to maintain reproductive performance in herds. The cow’s body condition at calving determines her opportunity to get bred in the next breeding season. Cows that calve in poor body condition (BCS 4 or less on a 1-9 scale) likely will not be cycling when the bulls are turned out and have fewer opportunities to get bred than a cow that calves in good BCS. Cows that calve in BCS of 5 or 6 are usually cycling by 60 days after calving and have a better chance of maintaining a 12-month calving interval. Likewise, if a cow calves late

in the calving season, she will have fewer days to get bred back. Managing cows to calve early and maintain adequate body condition during the dry period helps cows get rebred. The ideal time to improve cow body condition is between weaning and calving. Colostrum quality is also affected by cow body condition. So, managing for BC improves not only fertility but calf health as well. Bulls Managing our bulls is another important part of reproductive efficiency of the herd. Using fertile bulls will get more cows bred earlier than using sub-fertile bulls. Several studies show the benefits of a thorough annual breeding soundness exam (BSE) consisting of a physical examination, a thorough reproductive tract examination, and a semen evaluation including checking motility and morphology of the sperm. Bulls that pass a BSE produce more calves and heavier calves than bulls that don’t or bulls that haven’t been examined. Fertile bulls get more cows bred in the first service. Sub-fertile bulls can take two or more services to get cows bred. Every cycle a cow goes open is 40-50 pounds of calf lost at weaning, so testing bulls and using only fertile bulls helps keep more cows bred and bred early. While bulls should be low-maintenance during the offseason, it is easy to neglect their basic nutritional needs. Bulls need to maintain good body condition and be in good condition for the breeding season; BCS 5-6 is optimal. However, a bull can be in good condition and still fail his BSE due to mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Therefore, a complete nutrition plan for the bull pen including adequate vitamins and minerals is essential.

facilities aren’t adequate, they can’t get a vet – and the excuses go on. However, anywhere from 10 percent to as high as 35 percent of the cows exposed to bulls don’t calve each year. Removing these non-productive cows from the herd can save in winter maintenance costs. Not only does it save by not paying to keep non-productive cows; removing the non-productive ones frees resources for the productive cows, improving their production and fertility. Producers have several effective techniques to find open cows today. Blood tests, rectal palpation, ultrasound and even heat patches are all proven tools to find open cows. While knowing pregnant or open status is important, knowing the age of gestation is even better. This allows for better pre-calving season decisions. Collecting additional data, such as body condition score (BCS) and condition of teeth, is also helpful for managing cows. Thin cows can be fed or turned onto better pasture to gain BC before calving. This improves calf health and cow fertility. Cows with short or missing teeth can be fed differently or just culled if feed inventory is marginal. Each cow must pay her way each year, either with a calf or with her own sale value.

Culling All cows are culled or cull themselves eventually. However, strategic culling is in the best interest of the cow and the farmer alike. Most cows are culled due to not being pregnant or not having a calf. Yet, some might be culled due to injury, disease or just not being very thrifty. Cows with a bad bag have been shown to have calves with more health problems or higher calf death loss and poorer-doing calves. Cows that have eye problems, including possible cancer eye Controlled Calving Season that is very small, lame or bad feet and legs, poor disposition, Having a controlled calving season helps facilitate efficient, or calves that just don’t perform as well as those of the other effective cow herd management not just for feed efficiency cows in the herd can all be considered for culling. It takes just and body condition but also for herd health. Matching herd as much grass to keep a good one as a bad one, said a wise production with forage availability is essential for efficient farmer. Older bred cows can be calved and kept in a separate herd production. It is important that the cow herd’s highest pasture with no bulls if it’s their last year. This could save on nutritional needs coincide with the availability of sufficient, bull power, too, since they don’t need to get rebred. high-quality forage. Feed cost is the single highest expense We don’t have a sure way to predict when or if an older in a cow herd. The most efficient herds manage their cow cow will get injured or go down on us, but keeping a cow herds so cows satisfy most of their nutritional requirements beyond her productive years is taking a chance that she might through grazing available high-quality forage. not be marketable one day and we lose that income. While A controlled calving season also facilitates better herd some cows might earn a special place in the pasture in their health programs. Cow and calf vaccination programs can be twilight years, most cows need to be evaluated as they get better timed for more effective protection and convenience, older to make sure that they leave the herd on our terms. and to allow for more vaccine protocol options. Other Reproduction is more than just getting cows pregnant. advantages include better marketing options and more It is also about getting live healthy calves and helping them efficient use of labor and calving season supervision. grow to their genetic potential, getting cows to rebreed after calving, and getting cows to produce enough milk for Pregnancy Diagnosis their calves to grow and flourish. A few simple steps and a Overall, only 1 in 5 beef herds are checked for pregnancy strategy to manage our herd’s fertility will make for some each year. This is a real opportunity to improve cow herd good healthy productive cows and a lot of personal pleasure efficiency. Some farmers claim that it’s too expensive of raising good cattle. (compared to an open cow?), they don’t have time, the



Corey & Jodie Doucet 120 Tans Rd. Sweetlake, LA 70607


Robert and Carol Mills Trey Abney 15535 C.R. 1123 • Athens, TX 75751 903.489.0869 • 903.489.0837 Heifers, Bulls And Semen Available


RMR 5199 MUSCLES 1054

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Nathan Hyman |Owner & Operator | 903-826-3666 20 BRAFORD NEWS l FALL 2020


UPCOMING EVENTS September 1, 2020 Commitment Deadline for Winter Issue of Braford News September 10, 2020 Material Deadline for Winter Issue of Braford New October 1, 2020 Commitment Forms due for Bulls born Dec. 1, 2019 to Feburary 29, 2020 Commitment Forms due for Heifers born March 1 to May 31, 2020


The UBB plans to host it’s annual meeting at Graham Land and Cattle in Gonzales, Texas on October 17, 2020. This meeting will include a guest speaker, meal and the opportunity to view bulls consigned to the Advancing the Braford Breed Fall Sale. Please watch your email and social media for more details.


February 1, 2021 Commitment Deadline for Spring Issue of Braford News

A recommendation from the UBB Show Committee was made to replace the Braford Base Show at Houston and other UBB sanctioned Braford Open Shows with a Braford F1 Show. Cattle in these shows must be true F1s out of registered/UBB enrolled Brahman and Hereford. If bred, these F1s must be bred to Brahman or Hereford bulls or bulls that will produce purebred Brafords. If shown with a calf at side, the calves must be registered with the UBB and must be purebred Brafords; ¾ Brahman and ¼ Hereford; or a ¼ Brahman and ¾ Hereford. Along with this change in breed composition, an F1 Braford Show Female of the Year award will be created. Show points will be assigned using the same point system as the Braford Show Female of the Year award. For an F1 Show Female of the Year to be awarded, there must be a minimum of three (3) F1 Braford Open Shows during the show sequence and each must have a minimum of twenty (20) F1 Braford females that compete in the show ring. An award for both the exhibitor and the breeder will be presented using the Braford Point System, as long as the owner and breeder are UBB members at all times while points are being earned. NJBA, LJBA and TJBA are still allowed to have a Braford Base Show and are not required to replace their Braford Base Show with a Braford F1 Show. The UBB Board voted to replace the Braford Base Show with the Braford F1 Show at all UBB Sanctioned Open Shows on June 18, 2020.

March 4, 2021 International Braford Sale Houston, Texas


October 17, 2020 UBB Annual Meeting Graham Land & Cattle Gonzales, Texas October 29, 2020 UBB & Junior Braford & F1 Shows at State Fair of Louisana Shreveport, Louisiana December 1 -4, 2020 Advancing the Braford Breed Sale Online at SmartAuctions January 15, 2021 UBB Braford Show at Fort Worth Stock Show Fort Worth, Texas January 31, 2021 Herd Inventories Due to UBB Office PO Box 1177, Kingsville, TX 78364

March 6, 2021 UBB Braford & F1 Shows at Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Houston, Texas March 31, 2021 Late Deadline for Herd Inventories Mail to the UBB Office PO Box 1177, Kingsville, TX 78364 April 1, 2021 Commitment Deadline for Summer Issue of Braford News July 1, 2021 Commitment Deadline for Fall Issue of Braford News Send calendar additions to


The Braford and Braford Base shows at Four States Fair in Texarkana, Ark., has been canceled for 2020 and will tentatively be removed from the UBB Point Show.

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Save the Date!

Live On-Line bidding will be available By: Cattle In Motion

Home of the Adams Ranch BRAFORD® ABEEF® ARRAB® AND ARGEL® Save the date November 12, 2020 Adams Ranch 42nd Cattle Auction

ABEEF®, ARBRA®, ARRAB®, & ARGEL® are registered trademarks that identify Adams Ranch Braford, Red Angus, and Gelbvieh cross cattle that meet criteria for a sound production animal that is free from genetic flaws. Adams Ranch is the Certifier.

Adams Ranch Office (772) 461-6321 Office Fax (772) 461-6874 P.O. Box 12909, Fort Pierce, Fla. 34979-2909 Adams Ranch website: Call Billy Adams for Bulls (772) 370-0114