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The Bullvine – Under Fire

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 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


  1. WOW the number of emails, Facebook messages and phone calls of support have been outstanding. Thanks everyone much appreciated by the whole team here at The Bullvine.

  2. It sounds as if people are getting bullvine confused with bp, no oil spills here. Only in Canada do you have to answer for your opinion. Bullvine is helping make breeding interesting again,
    ” just keep givn r till u can’t givr any more”-Deaner

    Thanks again

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