A common denominator found while having volunteered at the recent farm and forest expo, is that once a person decides to raise their own beefalo.. little is known about what to do with them after that. Below is a compilation of these 2 articles: "Why Buy And Keep Register Cattle" & "Register That Bull". Many farmers feel it is not important to register their beefalo, making the comment: "If I want papers.. I'll get the Sunday Times". We may chuckle at this, but the sad reality is unfortunately the amount of financial loss and limitations for these farmers for not having "papers" on their beefalo.
Note: We do not raise just any kind of cattle, we raise a unique hybrid with a long and proud history. Being able to distinguish our breed from just any ordinary beef cattle is a privilege, not an obligation. It is my desire that in sharing this article from other cattle farmers, that we can open our minds to the positive aspects of registering our beefalo.
To Register Or Not Register That Is The Question
"I am often frustrated when browsing through facebook, it is apparent how passionate people are about their animals. So it continues to puzzle me why it is that so many people who appear to be passionate cattle breeders do not register nor buy registered animals.
I am such a strong proponent of pedigree cattle with on-going registration of offspring and I fail to comprehend why other passionate breeders do not share this same foundational golden rule. "-Pat White
So the questions lingers in the air.. why should anyone buy registered cattle?
Registration papers signify the genetic makeup of the animal you own or are about to buy. With one simple piece of paper you are able to trace that animals ancestry back at least 3 generations. Now why would this be important?
Well perhaps we should explore for a brief second "what is a breeder?".
The definition of a "breeder" is paramount and Wikipedia describes it as follows: "a breeder is a person or group that practices the vocation of mating carefully selected specimens of the same breed to reproduce specific, consistently replicable qualities and characteristics." So a breeder differs from one who simply "sells" or "keeps" a particular breed.
A beefalo farmer or hobbiest should look at his/her operation as a business and whether the amount they raise is large or small.. everyone should strive to profit from their sales.
"Let's look at a small example to help clarify this aspect; Trying to duplicate a particular animal by pulling the same ancestors out of the similar pedigrees. This is a common practice among breeders within their herd. When we recognize a superior animal out of one cow sired by a particular bull, we may try to reproduce some of that superior creature by repeating the breeding. Sometimes it works.. other times it fails. That is the fun and frustration of breeding livestock, we get to see what we can accomplish and hopefully learn from our mistakes. In your own herd, your memory or careful note taking rekolect such successes or failures. A purchaser of registered animals now has that same map to success when buying new breeding stock.
Without registration papers or without the transfer of registration to the new owner.. that animal is now effectively lost to the gene pool and is now considered no more then a grade or commercial beef cattle. It's lineage is lost, it's history is lost and in most cases it cannot be reestablished."- Pat White
Let's transition back for a moment to the breeding aspect as we grab a tid bit from the "Register Those Bulls" article.
"Genetic knowledge is critical to the future of the beef business. Without trying to upset anyone, bull circles encompass a lot of discussion, which is good. However, generally, if the breeder has done his or her homework, every bull has been registered and the genes that are available are known. Registration numbers are a pathway to the genetic offering through the various breed associations. Recently, I have been busy assisting producers at bull-buying workshops. These workshops seem to be appreciated as producers develop baseline or benchmark values for production traits of previous bulls utilized in the herd. Too often, the stumbling block is the lack of a registration number, which blocks access to the database that contains the bull’s information. Do not make the statement: “Well, the bull only will be used on commercial cows, so I do not need the bull registered.” That is wrong, just wrong. The biggest toe-stubbing problem in the beef industry is the lack of understanding of the value of individual animal identification. The point today is simple. Even if individual animal identification numbers are not available for all the cattle in the inventory, the registration numbers available throughout the purebred business are critical and the heart of the breed association." -Kris Ringwall
"Breeding registered cattle is highly rewarding both emotionally and financially. But buy registered cattle is not enough to creating the best, you must learn to study these registration papers and develop a feel for what a "A+" cow or bull is, if you want those papers to pay off. You need to develop the best you possibly can and market those genetics in any fashion that you can fathom. It means you breed reliable cattle that does what you expect, what your consumers expect and desire. You build a reputation for honesty, integrity and good cattle all at the same time. You back your word with deeds and make sure you take care of your buyers. Help them learn, help them market, help them become ennamered with registered cattle as you are.
It's not rocket science, but it goes a long way to cementing a relationship between you and your new buyer and a relationship between that new buyer and your association. Make registration your priority and instill that precident in every purchaser of your cattle. It takes a long time to build a respected reputation that new breeders will turn to as first choice for new purchase options or herd improvements.
So do those registration papers really matter???
The answer is an unequivocal... YES!
Anyone with cattle can market those animals for beef. And any registered cattle can produce beef, but opposite is not true. An unregistered animal is grade/commercial cattle; no matter how gorgeous, no matter the breed, no matter the confirmation or the temperament, and no matter how "pure" they may look it remains the same... beef.
It is why whenever I see a gorgeous breed of cattle, only to find that it has not been registered- I feel a profound sense of disappointment. I find the failure to maintain registration on any unique breed a travesty and a tragedy" -Pat White