Know the Source
It’s often I see unfortunate situations where new breeders get taken advantage of by a genetic source. The most common ones I see are (1) paying replacement seedstock value for cull quality animals/genetics and (2) buying genetics from a herd ran by people with no experience or practicality. Think of it like
the automobile industry….why do most of us go to dealerships that have been in business for 10+ years? Trust and risk management. We have a high level of confidence the dealership knows what a high quality, reliable vehicle is and how it should operate…and that they will stand behind it. It’s as simple as that regardless if it’s a $60K pickup or a $6K bull.
There’s a reason why cattlemen tend to return to certain genetic sources. Values are fair and the genetics are in line with their own enterprise goals (if you don’t know your goals then keep reading through my blogs). The mindset must be long term. Don’t buy a $3K vehicle off the street corner lot and expect it to perform like it’s worth more than it is. I see people coming into the Akaushi and Wagyu industries making this mistake often. If the animal looks like a roping steer, it probably should be one.
My largest endorsement for a fellow seedstock breeder is my repeated business. I do business, in some capacity, with many breeders in the industry. Some that are new to the breed and some that have ran Akaushi/Wagyu for 10+ years…but they all know how to ranch cattle no matter the breed. It doesn’t matter if they have been milking Holsteins for the past 20 years; they grasp concepts of practicality and stayability. Stocking rates, breeding/calving seasons, emphasis on maternal performance, body-types fitting environments, etc…these are terms you SHOULD hear from your source of breeding stock because these are fundamental components of cattle production.
I see and hear the same poor selection strategies by seedstock breeders that have been made in our cattle industry throughout the past several decades. If you are buying breeding stock from someone that talks pounds and size but doesn’t know what the infamous Frame Race of the 80’s-90’s is….you’re at the wrong spot my friend.
Finally, your genetic source should have a history of doing good business. Everyone wants to find that special deal or diamond in the rough. This is where people get taken to the woodshed and ultimately lose a tremendous amount of money, time and confidence. Hindsight is 20/20 of course but they get suckered into marketing story…a year later is when I get the call to help them start over. If it smells like a rat, your olfaction isn’t too far off.
Even the most experienced seedstock producers seek professional consultation. Develop a plan. Know your source. It’s science not fiction.