“Feedback from our customer base is buying a better bull is the smartest thing you can do in this industry. We apply technology to an old school approach. The cow/calf business, it all starts from the cow/calf part of it, and you’ve got to raise functional cattle that can survive in the real world.”
Eddie Blazek owns and operates mound creek ranch in Leona, and says expected progeny differentials, or epds, are important tools when making breeding decisions.
“You’ve got birth weights, you’ve got weaning weights, you’ve got maternal strengths, you’ve got carcass strength. They can apply these numbers that we have through Expected Progeny Differential, which again gives you the best estimate of what a given sire and dame, what the end product is going to be down the road.”
Blazek says commercial producers need to buy their seed stock from operations that have done their homework.
“If you can measure it, measure it. If you can record it, record it. When you pick the hide off the cattle that are being fed you’ve got to not only have predictable end product, you’ve got to know that going in and your customer has to know that because they’re going to ask for a premium for their product in order to be profitable.”
Selective breeding is a long-range process
“We’re looking at two to three to five to ten years down the road. Every year we make breeding decisions you have to look down the road.”
And Blazek says to be at the top of your game in the beef industry; producers not only have to keep up with the technology, but stay ahead of it.
“Again, let’s think outside the box, and we’re involved right now in DNA projects. Every heifer and every bull that goes through the system now, we’re pulling DNA on the production off the ranch.”