I know you have heard the phrase, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”. If you haven’t heard it, live a little longer and you will. What it means is: “Do not fault the successful participant in a flawed system, instead try to discern and rebuke that aspect of its organization that allows or even encourages the behavior that has provoked your displeasure”. This definition also holds true for many of the complaints that we hear from our Bullvine readers about various aspects of the dairy industry.
Since we started the Bullvine, just over a year ago, we have always tried to listen to the frustrations of our readers and do what we can to help. Whether that is explaining different aspects of genomics (Read more: Old School Dairy Breeders – Stop Pissing On Genomics, How Genomics Is Killing The Dairy Cattle Breeding Industry, and Is The Genomic System Really Working) or suggesting ways to increase your genetic sales (Read more: 6 Ways To Invest $50,000 In Dairy Cattle Genetics, Times Have Changed. Why Hasn’t The Way You Market Your Dairy Cattle, and Who Killed The Market For Good Dairy Cattle) or helping to bring clarity to many other issues, we have always tried to help find a solution. However there are problems where the solution does not lie within what you do on your own farm, but rather the solution needs to come from changes in the industry itself.
While we all love to get on a high horse and gripe and complain about things, Bullvine included, that is not going to change anything. It’s more important to use that frustration to bring about change. In looking back over the past year, some major areas that we see that need this are:
- Marketing Ethics
Several times over the past year we have discussed the lack of ethics in the marketing of dairy cattle. More specifically photo ethics (Read more: No Cow Is Perfect, Not Even in Pictures, Has Photo Enhancement Gone Too Far, and Dairy Cattle Marketing Ethics – Do they exist?). To help deal with this the Bullvine has recommended and is going to further take up the charge for a set of ethical guidelines and accreditation process for professional livestock photographers to agree to and sign to, in order to bring credibility back to an industry that has developed much cynicism.
- Sale Ring Prices
This past year has seen some impressive sale toppers at many of the great sales (Read more: An Insider’s Guide To What Sells At The Big Dairy Cattle Auctions). With it has also come some skepticism about whether those animals actually sold for those prices and were those animals really worth that amount of money. It’s for those very reasons that we here at the Bullvine created The Dairy Cattle Investment Calculator. This innovative tool allows you to plug in the numbers for your actual costs and expected revenue to determine exactly what that animal is worth to you. This number may be different for each person, but by going to this level of detail in understanding your investments, you are ensured that you will minimize your risk and maximize your return.
- Bull Proofs and the Genetic Evaluation System
There is no question that this is a very pivotal time in the industry. Genomics has brought about great change and higher reliabilities. But it has also brought with it some uncertainty. From things like breeders being able to test their own sires starting next month, to changes in the system, to more accurately account for the genetic merit of young sires in relation to proven sires, there are a lot of aspects to be concerned about. That is why we have tried to bring clarity to many of these issues. From understanding what sires are the real deal, to which ones you should avoid (Read more: Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection, From Fantasy to Reality – Top Sires To Address Herd Culling Problems, and 7 Sires to Use in Order to Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion), to helping explain complex issues about the system (Read more: Canadian Bull Proofs – You’ve got to prove it to use it, What the Experts Will Tell You About Who is Winning the Genetic Improvement Race, and Preferential Treatment the Bull Proof Killer), The Bullvine has tried to bring some much needed clarity in these very murky waters. Watch for lots more about this to come as we head into what could either be the greatest time in history or the biggest flop since Fosbury.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
The Bullvine lives by the motto “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” (Read more: Lead, Follow, Or get out of the way!!!). Since we have started the Bullvine we have gotten out of the way of no one (Read more: The Bullvine – The Party is Over!), followed no one (Read more: I’m Sorry, But I’ve Had Just About Enough of…), and have tried to lead even when it put us under fire (Read more: The Bullvine – Under Fire). These are values we will never change as we look to tackle tough issues that have breeders concerned about the future. At the Bullvine we don’t hate the “playas” in the industry, we actually love all members of the industry. What we are looking to do is help change the game.