Success isn’t sexy. It’s all about doing the basics the best you can with passion and consistency. Not one of the uber-successful people I have ever worked with got there without outworking everyone around them. The old line remains true “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” The dairy industry is no different from that of any other. Yes there is a lot of work involved in farming, but to be a successful dairy breeder you need to work hard and be persistent.
Too often we see herds that seem to capture all the headlines and own all the super star cattle and think, “Man, life must be easy for them!” The thing that many don’t realize is that behind all the flash and cash there is a lot of hard work.
Dairy Cattle Breeding Is Not a Popularity Contest
The herds that I have seen that have the greatest consistency from animal to animal, and generation to generation, don’t always use the most popular sires, or only the bulls from the top of the lists. They take the time to really look for what their breeding program needs and more accurately, exactly what that particular animal needs in order to be improved for the next generation. Does that mean they have to be great evaluators of cattle? No. Sure it helps. But you can also use tools such as type classification and genomics to assist with this. (Read more: Dairy Cattle Genomics and Dairy Cattle Breeding Recommendations) What it really means is that you take the time to figure out what your definition of success is and then work at achieving it.
Sweat the details
Dairy cattle breeding is not rocket science. While I am not saying it is easy to breed the next great one, what I am saying is that it is as much about hard work as anything else. The reason you see many of these herds consistently breeding great cattle, is because the take the time to sweat the small stuff. They take the time to think about each matting and consider just what sire will provide the greatest result. From how they run their close-up program to every one of their transition programs, uber successful breeders take the time to sweat the details.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Sure we would all love to be rock stars in the dairy industry. But it isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes time and effort to achieve success. There is no doubt in the dairy industry that the harder you work the luckier you get. There is no instant gratification in the dairy breeding industry, it takes hard work and persistence in order to achieve success. The sexy part comes at the end of the road not at the beginning.