One of the neat things about my job is that almost every day I get to meet a new person. It is almost always over the phone and there is no telling what part of the country they live in, but one thing is almost always the same—we share an appreciation of Limousin cattle.
January 2014 marks the beginning my 19th year at Limousin World. You would think by now I would have met, or at least talked to, almost everyone who had anything to do with Limousin cattle, but as I am so often reminded, that is not the case—not by a long shot.
I got a call the other day from a gentleman who told me he had been out of the Limousin business for 20 years and was in the process of getting back involved. He had purchased females from three reputable firms, had attended a couple of Limousin functions, and was in the process of getting his feet back underneath of him in terms of becoming familiar with pedigrees, EPDs and the current “movers” and “shakers” in the breed.
The conversation quickly turned to the past and his early involvement in the Limousin breed, which was before my time. At any rate, many of the names as well as sires we discussed, I knew of. In fact, most of the people he talked about I have met, several of which are still involved in the Limousin business.
As our talk progressed, we began discussing the differences between the cattle and the breeders from back in the ’80s and ’90s compared to today. Of course the beef cattle industry was much different back then, the breed was larger and there was no such thing as Lim-Flex, but the thing that stuck me the hardest was how this man spent most of his time talking about the breeders, their enthusiasm and the comraderie that existed.
It is no secret I have always contended that the registered cattle business is more about the people and the relationships than it is the cattle. After all, at last count there were more than 62 recognized beef cattle breeds in the United States. If they were all the savior they claimed to be, would we really have that many breeds to deal with?
Of course, regardless of breed, you need to continually make the cattle better while developing different genetic lines, but the true success stories in our breed and all others, goes back to the people making positive things happen.
As we enter a new year, I encourage each of you to spend some time reflecting upon what it was that drew you to the Limousin breed in the first place; the enthusiasm you had for the breed; and the willingness established breeders had for taking you, a new breeder, under their wing and helping teach you the ropes.
None of us got to where we are today on our own, and each of us owe a debt of gratitude to those who where here before us. Those men and women not only paved the way, they brought us new guys and gals along for the ride.
Now it’s our turn to return the favor.