The Open Box K Ranch L.L.C. Irish Black Cattle

Beef's Best Kept Secret

Written by Maurice Boney, Founder of the Irish Black/Red Breed.

The Beef Industry Needs a Genetic Overhaul:  Carcass Quality & Cutout Values have declined  to the lowest level in the history of the industry.  If cow-calf producers wish to survive in today's market they must reduce their broad, ever-expanding genetic gene pools to a much smaller, more highly-concentrated level.

Back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Dr. J. Lush, a world-renowned Iowa State University geneticist, stated that the hybrid vigor that results in crossing two lines of pureblood would be short-lived. He stated that the gene traits for consistency would noticeably DECREASE in the third generation.

He continued by saying that if the CROSS BREEDING continued, many of the other essential gene traits would continue to DECREASE in each of the following generations.

A few decades later, a number of so-called "experts" in the beef industry (many of whom had never owned a cow or paid a feed bill) ignored Dr. Lush's proven genetic theories. They proceeded to introduce - with big hype - the idea that "bigger was better" and crossbreeding would solve some marketing problems and increase net results. This hype continues to this day.

The results of continuous crossbreeding over the past 40 years has produced a much larger cow size, the calf crops do not look alike, do not perform the same and do not cut out the same.

Meat packers are now informing us that only 16% to 22% make the Choice grade. Recall that a few years back, the standards to make Choice were lowered. With the old standards, the bulk of today's Choice grade would be called Select. All of this brings up a serious question...If EPDs were to be the complete remedy for herd and breed improvement, why has the overall carcass quality declined to the lowest level in the history of the beef industry?

 We are now hearing that a million dollar grant has been awarded three meat scientists to discover why the carcass quality has declined to such a low level. This question can be easily answered with one word: GENETICS. The gene pool in continuous crossbreeding programs becomes far too broad. This results in producing a multitude of different gene trait combinations. Thus, consistency, predictability and uniformity do not appear in each new generation. This wide variation increases with each new generation as the gene pool is broadened. With PURE, HIGHLY-CONCENTRATED GENETICS, this variation does not exist.

 Keep in mind that the gene traits for early MATURITY and CONSISTENCY are the key to enjoying profitability. The smallest number of days from birth to slaughter usually determines the net return. If your cowherd exceeds 1300 pounds, the calf crop does not look alike, does not perform the same and does not cut out the same. You should return to the proven genetics theories of Basic Genetics 101. 

 You will note that in just two generations, you can be selling your calf crops at the higher carcass quality values that the industry enjoyed 30 years ago. During the past 25 years, 75% of the people who are using our concentrated blood have never paid us a visit. They continue to tell us that they wished they had discovered our concentrated genetics many years earlier. Some of our bull customers have mentioned that, since they joined our breeding program, their banker is much easier to deal with!

*Somewhere, at some time, something went wrong with beef production...*

 The lines blurred between those who produce the product with those who consume it.

 The connection between ranches, restaurants and retailers broke down. The business of raising cattle became a game about numbers. The industry became hooked on corn to cover up its mistakes. Management focused on treating problems rather than preventing them.

 Nearly 40 years ago, we knew the industry was headed down the wrong road...

...So we chose a different path.

 The proven, highly-concentrated dominant genetics that the Irish Blacks® breed transmits is a radical change from the breeding programs that other beef breeds have followed.

 The philosophy that underpins the breed is simple: That product quality and consumer satisfaction comes first. That traits like tenderness and marbling should be built in. That cattle should be functional, structurally sound and minimize dependence on labor. That cattle should be efficient converters of grass and low-quality forages, adding value to what we do instead of detracting from our efforts.

 If you're tired of playing the same old games, then you've come to the right place. Let's talk about how we can work together to secure a brighter future for our families and businesses - and restore consumer demand for high-quality beef.

Today Maurice Boney's breed continues through the Irish Black Cattle Association and the Bulls offered for sale are the results of his genetics.