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  • Stephanie Fradette

Those Purebreds...

Years ago, a breeder was telling us about some purebred cows he had that he didn’t consider sound/correct enough to be breeding stock but would make good commercial cows. Hmm?

Why would commercial cows not need to be as correct? Are commercial cows not the seed stock of most commercial herds?

As commercial cattlemen, one of our pet peeves is the notion that lower value commercial cattle are lower quality than higher value purebred cattle. We don’t think that’s true at all. Commercial cows are hardworking. They have to be hardy and competitive. They don’t get special, high-input winter rations. They get little calving assistance. They often graze and breed in larger groups. They don’t get second chances.

The higher value of purebred cattle is in the paperwork, not the function. It’s the pedigree and the predictability. It’s the genotype, not the phenotype that brings extra value.

First and foremost, we are commercial producers. We see things quite differently from that breeder I mentioned:

We hope to raise purebred cattle that are as functional and hardy as our commercial herd.

When our purebred cows keep up to our commercial cows, we know we’re doing something right.

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