I was asked to be on a panel discussion at the American Akaushi Association convention recently. The two main questions I received were regarding sire selection and future growth of the breed. A common denominator could be found in both of my answers. In terms of genetic improvement within our beef cattle industry, 90% of is made through sire selection. Therefore I strongly encourage even the most seasoned Akaushi bull buyers to utilize professional support when making those crucial decisions.
The next question ties in with the first one. The growth of Akaushi will mean more fullblood cattle and new breeders. Most new breeders want "elite genetics" but end up with middle tier cattle for the same price. Again, I strongly encourage breeders utilize professional support while making capitol investments.
Finally, I was asked to write a concise summary of my vision in quality beef production and consumption for an international publication. .....Below is what I wrote:
Quality and consistency will continue to be important to beef consumers in the future. Accountability, traceability and healthiness will become increasingly important to beef consumers. There will be continued industry exposure to source verification and certification of husbandry practices with auditing. Consumer premiums will reflect an aggregate of these factors.
As a cattle producer, the goal is to raise beef cattle in extensive operations within a commercial budget but yet market on a premium basis. Akaushi will be the breed that contributes greatly. Akaushi are the most biologically efficient cattle in producing beef with elevated levels of marbling above commodity product while being raised in extensive environments.
Commercial cattle producers are receiving and demanding more information when purchasing fullblood/purebred bulls. Stud breeders will continue to demand their breed associations provide scientific selection tools for use in breeding and marketing. Genomics will be the primary focus, but holding generationally proven phenotypic criteria as a priority will be the greatest challenge.