Beef Buzz News
Legendary Nebraska Angus Breeder Bill Rishel Uses The Past To Predict the FutureMon, 20 Jul 2020 09:24:55 CDT
It’s been said that in order to know where you’re going you must know where you have been. With that in mind, Bill Rishel, legendary angus breeder from North Platte, Neb., and a speaker at the recent Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) virtual symposium, reviewed the past to predict the future.
On today’s Beef Buzz, we hear the first of several segments on how Rishel thinks the future will evolve for the beef industry.
Rishel said it is necessary to look back to recognize “paradigm shifts” when new ideas become accepted over traditional ways.
If there is one thing you take with you from this conference is the message to embrace change when there is obvious economic merit and long-term sustainability involved, he said.
Industry changes are woven into the fabric of today’s beef business and Rishel said we should not take these innovations for granted.
The first of these paradigm shifts would be the development of performance records programs first embraced by the dairy industry in the 1940’s.
One major obstacle to overcome was the availability of portable scales.
It was the fact that gathering weights, second nature to us today, required having a scale, he said. Very few scales were available at that time.
This should add some perspective to the extreme shift performance records were to our industry, he said.
You can’t improve the things you can’t measure, he said.
Another paradigm shift was artificial insemination (AI).
The great economic impact of AI for genetic improvement began in dairy herds in the 1930’s and beef industry in the 1950’s, he said.
Prior to the 1970’s, restrictions on AI in some purebred associations was limited to just the owners of the bull, he said.
These restrictions slowed down genetic improvements for both commercial and purebred businesses, he said.
When AI finally opened, we witnessed a great opportunity for improvement that also impacted the long-term sustainability for our industry, Rishel said.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more comments from Bill Rishel.
The Beef buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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