by Tori R. Perkins, Texas Tech University |
When you hear the term American-breed cattle, you often think about their distinctive ear and underline. Well in the early 1990s, when a producer heard “Brahman influence,” it often meant a 10 to 12 percent discount per pound at payday. At the time, the Certified Angus Beef Program was gaining national popularity, and cattlemen were being discouraged from using Brahman genetics in their production. The discount at payday and misrepresentation of Brahman and Brahman-influenced cattle sparked the idea Jim Reeves’s mind that the American breeds needed to come together and advocate for the cattle they produce.
“Despite several nay-sayers, my fellow [breed] executives agreed to join together in the effort to better compete with the onslaught of British and Continental Breeds,” said Reeves, co-founder and honorary lifetime member of the American Breeds Coalition (ABC). “The rest was history.”
The ABC is an organization that is comprised of breed associations that look to promote American-breed cattle and further the interests of their producers. Reeves began the coalition in the early 1990s with the help of Dr. Charles Graham, Nolan Ryan, and Wendell Schronk. Over the years, ABC has continued to grow and effectively promote American breeds cattle.
The ABC began with four original association members and has grown to seven members. These members include the American Brahman Breeders Association, Beefmaster Breeders United, the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), United Braford Breeders, Santa Gertrudis Breeders International, the American Red Brangus Association, and the American Simmental Association.
"Simbrah and now SimAngus Ht (SimAngus with at least 1/8 Bos Indicus) feel right at home with the other Brahman influenced breeds in this cooperative effort to promote our cattle,” said Beth Mercer, member of ABC. “All of the breeds that make up ABC have their individual strengths but the common Brahman component with its heat tolerance and adaptability is the one that makes our cattle desirable and necessary in so many parts of the country and the world.”
The coalition also offers three different types of memberships. The first is an association membership, which costs $250.00 per year. The second is an affiliate membership, which is for those who are in the feeding, processing, marketing or promoting of Brahman-influenced cattle. The dues for an affiliate membership are $250.00 per year. The third type of membership is an individual or producer membership. Individual memberships are for individuals, partnerships and corporations that are actively involved in the production of Brahman-influenced cattle. The dues for individuals are $50.00 per year. Membership dues are invested in the education, promotion and marketing practices in which ABC is involved.
ABC’s activities include educational programs and events, research projects and presentations, promotional materials, marketing, and more. The coalition is a past sponsor of the Beef Improvement Federation Convention, where they provided a steak dinner featuring Nolan Ryan Tender Aged steaks. ABC, also, sponsors the Famous Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner during the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, where it is represented by active participants in the conference’s trade show every year.
“We have a lot of good feedback, and we have some good booth locations down at the Beef Cattle [Short Course] conference,” said Charles Graham, DVM, founder and owner of Southwest Stallion Station and president of the ABC. “We get exposed to a lot people there, because that is the largest beef cattle conference in the United States.”
In the future, the ABC will continue to conduct research projects, put on educational events, and promote American cattle on various new platforms. They will continue to educate cattlemen about American-breed genetics and how utilizing a Brahman-influence can benefit production. Educating these cattlemen will take place during the many field days the American breed associations put on throughout the southern region of the United States.
“We have to stay up and be involved with the new technology and keep telling our story to the commercial cattlemen that our breeds can help them be more profitable and efficient,” said Publisher and Editor of Gulf Coast Cattleman and ABC Member E.C. Larkin. “We need to get more research and make it available to the beef industry to back up what we know to be true.”
The ABC is dedicated to promoting the extraordinary performance and genetics of American-breed cattle. By working together, Brahman-influenced breeds can prove that their cattle can compete with any other breed and prosper in any climate. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more about the coalition, visit www.americanbreedscoalition.com, or contact individual breed association leadership to become a member.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: While growing up, Tori Perkins was an active member in both 4-H and FFA. In her 10-plus years in various youth programs, she exhibited market steers, beef breeding heifers, market lambs, market swine and poultry (Bantams). Her early show years occurred through the 4-H program while living in Springfield, Missouri. She continued showing as an FFA member in La Vernia, Texas, as well as participated on the junior chapter conducting team and the meats evaluation team. A recent graduate of South Plains College in Levelland,Texas, Tori is currently a senior agricultural communications major at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.