Recently we here at the Bullvine have come under some fire for some comments that we have made. The reaction to what we have said, while not unexpected, does cause us some concern and we feel the need to address it before it goes too far.
What Makes Us Different
By all accounts this year’s World Dairy Expo was one for the ages. The cattle were great and seeing so many people was excellent. The response from many breeders was unbelievable. We were inundated with people coming up to tell us how much they enjoy reading the Bullvine. The consistent message was “I read it every morning.” “I think about it in the barn.” “I just love how you tell it like it is and no bull.”
It was exactly that aspect that lead to some of our most interesting conversations at Madison. While most people loved and appreciated it when we shared our true opinion, there were also those that did not appreciate our “as we see it” comments and, in fact, felt that we had no right to make such comments. They also felt the need to try to force their opinion on us.
What they don’t realize is that the whole reason we started the Bullvine was not to be a billboard or promoter of whoever will pay us the most money, but rather to actually be something different – to be that voice that is willing to tell it like it is. (Read more about us) Moreover, judging by the amount of support we have received both online and at Madison, that is exactly what everyone looks for in the Bullvine.
We Are Passionate
There is nothing better in life than to earn a living doing what you are passionate about. We at the Bullvine are passionate about the dairy industry. Whom do you know that would commit well over $200,000 in time, resources and cash into starting an online forum for dairy breeders to gain insight, and debate all the aspects that make the dairy industry great, with no current cash return at all?
In staying true to our passion and values, I have held off many requests to advertise on our site as we feel that it would break the level of trust that our readers have put in us. I am searching for ways to generate revenue for the Bullvine that does not affect our credibility as an unbiased source.
Why We Do It?
When I think about why I, with, my mother Karen, and father Murray, run the Bullvine there are three main points. It’s not to get rich. It’s not to be some sort of tabloid. Rather we seek to help inform the average breeder about the many great opportunities to advance their herds and take their passion for dairy breeding to a new level.
We are not writing for those who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at the big sales. We are not writing for the A.I. companies that will spend massive dollars with us in advertising. We do it for average breeders, who buy semen at full price. The ones who buy some embryos from time to time. The ones who see all the potential that genomics has but hesitate to take the risk and buy that high index heifer because first they want to be sure it will work. Every day we are working to find those bloodlines that make the smart investment (read – Gillette Visions 2012 – Lots to watch for) and the sires that will help breeders accelerate their breeding programs (Read – The Top 12 Holstein Genomic Young Sires To Use for Maximum Genetic Gain) so that they can be “in the know” like the ones who spend the big bucks.
Over the years we have built many great friendships in the dairy industry and, at times, those very friendships have tested our resolve to our mission (Read – The Hot House Effect on Sire Sampling). Sometimes we have to share results from our analysis that may not be that great for people that we know, respect and call friends. It has put our internal resolve to the test. It’s not easy to go to events like Dairy Expo and see people that we have known for 10, 20, 30 years turn a cold shoulder to us because of what we wrote (read Select Sires vs. Semex – A Contrast in Cooperatives) even though we know that what we said was correct and needed to be said. To see people we would have called friends, snub us for our reporting is not easy. It truly tests our commitment to what we have started. But we can assure you, we remain committed.
Does it make me feel good saying the dairy breeding industry as we know it will be dead in under 5 years (Read – How Genomics is Killing The Dairy Cattle Breeding Industry)? This is an industry I love that I have grown up in. My parents, siblings and many of my best friends work in the industry and it may not even exist? No! That doesn’t feel good. But I had to step back, put my businessman hat on and say “What is the smart business move for A.I. companies to do?” and then predict from there. This type of strategy development is something I have been very fortunate to do for companies like, Deloitte, Avaya, and Dlink and for my main company www.inboundsales.net and find it somewhat easier there because I am not as emotionally invested as I am in the dairy industry. I feel that by saying it, educating breeders and discussing it, maybe, just maybe, we can prevent it from happening.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
When I sit and talk to many of the top seed stock producers who are at the forefront of the industry, they all make the same comments “You know what you’re saying is not rocket science.” “For the most part, this isn’t anything that we don‘t know.” “It’s great that you are willing to say it and put proof to it”. Exactly! We don’t believe we are saying anything that most of the in-crowd don’t know. What we are doing is bringing to light what many other breeders already know or suspect. We also don’t expect everyone to agree with what everything we say.
Why do we do it? Well that answer is simple. We do it so that when your average “salt of the earth” breeders take that jump and invest $30,000, $40,000 or even $100,000, which could be a significant portion of their hard earned money, they can do so being confident they are making an informed decision, for their farm and their families. We may save one of them from making a mistake. We may even help more of them make money. That’s why it’s worth it! That’s why we do it.
Don’t agree with us? Let us know – we believe that feedback is the only way we can improve. So please give us your feedback. (Fill out the space below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)