At the fourth Cattlemen’s Congress, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays had the chance to talk with the Executive Secretary and CEO of the American Shorthorn Association, Montie Soules, about the strengths of the Shorthorn breed.
“It has been a great event for our breed this year,” Soules said. “We are right here within three head of what we had last year, and our sales have been extremely strong since we came here. I think last year, we had the highest grossing of all the breeds here, quite honestly.”
In 2023, Soules said, the American Shorthorn Association saw some successful sales and new memberships.
“The great thing about when you get some new members is that they need to buy a few cows,” Soules said. “That really helps the process and helps the membership.”
Soules said registration has remained strong, as 2023 was the third consecutive year that the breed broke 15,000 registrations.
“We have developed a lot more commercial acceptance within our breed, which was a goal that we had set,” Soules said.
More importantly, Soules said those who are using Shorthorn genetics for crossbreeding are seeing enhanced hybrid vigor. More Shorthorn bulls have been sold recently, Soules said, as many ranchers are crossing them with Angus or Hereford cows.
“The maternal side of our breed is what we like to brag about,” Soules said. “We are working on giving some more performance data that would boost that maternal value, and it does give a lot of value to the industry.”
Soules said it is important to keep a good blend of strong maternal traits along with some carcass traits.
“The commercial producer that we are going to sell these bulls to- they are going to want to keep the daughters back and harvest the bulls,” Soules said.
One of the qualities that helps Shorthorn fit into this equation, Soules said, is genetics he has observed within the breed that other breeds do not have.
“These cattle will put fat and marbling into their beef before they put it on their back,” Soules said. “That’s value.”
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