Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is featuring comments from the Director of SimGenetic Development at the American Simmental Association, Luke Bowman, about the Simmental breed at the 2023 Cattlemen’s Congress.
“This is the preeminent show for us,” Bowman said. “Nationally, every year, when it comes to a halter show, showing cattle based on phenotype and visual appraisal, there is just not another ‘Super Bowl’ force of the show season than Cattlemen’s Congress in Oklahoma City.”
The Simmental breed, Bowman said, is traditionally considered a continental breed, and, therefore a terminal breed.
“Anytime we can add some growth and performance to the cattle, that is what we want to do,” Bowman said. “Pounds of beef is worth more dollars. We want these cattle to have some growth.”
Calving ease is a trait the Simmental breed is known for, Bowman said, which is why the SimAngus composite is growing in popularity nationally. Bowman said the ASA also had an EPD for temperament, and the genetic trend for temperament has improved over the years.
“Simmental considers ourselves very open-armed to a lot of folks,” Bowman said. “We don’t look at the fact that you have to use straight Simmental or go home. We don’t have the philosophy of ‘breed them all Simmental,’ we have the philosophy of ‘have Sim genetics somewhere in your herd.’ Your herd doesn’t have to be 100 percent Simmental, but if you use some of the genetic traits that we have for maternal superiority and carcass excellence, you can’t lose.”
The Simmental breed, Bowman said, balances and complements many other breeds.
“What we will find, especially with our SimAngus deposit, is these cattle are extremely sound and super maternal, and they still have some utility to them, so you can still have some stouter bone and a lot of power behind these cattle while still being somewhat calving ease,” Bowman said.
The Simmental breed’s growth in numbers at every show, Bowman said, shows that the market is leaning toward Simmental genetics.
Bowman also talked about the new geneticist joining the ASA team, Ryan Boldt.
“He brings a lot of openness, and he was with the Red Angus Association of America, and he is going to bring in a lot of thoughts and ideas from other breed societies to Simmental,” Bowman said.
For 2023, Bowman said he is looking forward to growth and expansion.
“A lot of breeds kind of trend one direction or another, but we are trying to fill all buckets in growing the value of commercial bulls,” Bowman said. “Superior Livestock Auction, over the years, has shown that the value of Sim genetic feeder cattle are the highest priced calves out there.”
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