Philosophy

At Shady Grove Farm LLC, we believe:

  • that Expected Progeny Differences (EPD’s) and other available comparative data should be used as breeding tools rather than marketing tools.

  • that most breeders treat the current most popular EPD like a fad that is used to sell their cattle until a more popular fad comes along.

  • that chasing one or more popular EPD’s quickly has a diminishing return that results in a corresponding negative effect.

  • that there is an ideal range for most comparative data that should be used as a target to maintain balanced performance in the most important practical categories.

  • that the most important categories for cow calf producers are calving ease, fertility, weaning weight, cow efficiency, and fleshing ability.

 

Our ideal range for these most important categories is as follows:

BW EPD      +1.0 to + 2.5
WW EPD    +35 to +45
YW EPD     +75 to +90   
SC       +.5 to +1.5
$M      +40 to +60
$W      +40 to +60
$EN    +20 to +30
Milk     +18 to +2

 

  • that the most proven and powerful genetics are found in bulls with decades of proven performance like the great R R Rito 707.

  • that there is a positive tradeoff in comparative data that must be considered when using the time proven genetics.

  • that as useful as comparative data is, it is equally important to use structural soundness as an important selection criterion.

  • hooves, feet and legs, length, strength of top, shoulder alignment, masculinity/feminity, breed character, and the overall profile are indicators of longevity and problem-free production.

  • finally, the animal’s disposition is also equally important to comparative data and structural soundness.

 

While there is much more discretion that goes into our selection of breeding stock this statement of our beliefs summarizes what we hold as the most important principles for sound breeding practice at Shady Grove Farm, LLC and the reason that we have selected Superior Genetic Focus as our farm slogan.

Performance Testing

 

While a college student, Charles trained to become an artificial insemination technician and became interested in performance testing.   In 1972, Charles and John attended the first Jorgensen Cattle Company performance tested production bull sale in Winner, South Dakota and purchased a bull.  Charles returned to the second sale and purchased Emulous 127 of Ideal 533 72 (brand 180), a maternal brother to the renowned Rito 149 which was also used artificially. These two bulls along with the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Program (BCIA) established the beginning of performance testing at Shady Grove Farm in 1974.

Linebreeding

With the use of two bulls out of the same dam, Skymere of Ideal 312, the roots of linebreeding were established at SGF.  Breed improvement through the use of linebreeding is one of the primary genetic tools and has been continued for more than 40 years.  The Rito bloodline is well known as a genetic line that will withstand a serious linebreeding program and is integral to the breed improvement program at SGF.

The Focus bull shown here was bred by Ohlde Cattle Company in Palmer, Kansas primarily from a combination of Rito, and Emulous breeding.  We have used four Ohlde bulls with Focus in their pedigree to create our own Focus line to outcross on our Rito cattle.  Our most recent line of breeding is the Emulation line that started with Emulation 31.  Currently, our entire cow herd can be traced to R R Rito 707, OCC Focus, or Emulation 31. Creating a purebred cow herd that is linebred and outcrossing to a different purebred line has similar growth benefits to crossbreeding different breeds of cattle.

The Slogan

An intense effort has been made throughout the years to study the pedigrees of bulls introduced to the herd and eliminate as much non-Angus blood as is humanly possible.  When the breed sought to increase the size dramatically, many outside breeds were used under the table to make a quicker change.  Moderately framed cattle that are pure Aberdeen Angus in their genetic make-up have always been our goal.  Our focus on linebreeding, performance testing, and genetic purity has lead us to choose “Superior Genetic Focus” as our logo.  This slogan matched our farm name and brand very well.

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