Historians of a Forgotten Breed Proudly Display Work at NAILE;
First in United States
By Jamie May
Grand Champion Bull
MF Polled Power (sired by Double Bar D Make M Polled)
Owned by Dr. Billy S. and Trudy Moore, Huntsville , Alabama
Grand Champion Female
Diamond T 273U Mona Lisa ( sired by BHR Baron SA 2842P)
Owned by Professional Livestock, Mt. Pleasant , Texas
Breeders Herd Group
Roy and Faye Phillips, Phillips Farm, Adairsville, Georgia
Click Here for Show Results
For Win Photo viewing, please go to: www.lindeslivestockphotos.com
The North American International Livestock Exposition houses dozens of cattle breeds during the prestigious purebred exposition. Shorthorn, Red Polled, Angus, Hereford, Maine Anjou, Piedmontese, Belted Galloway, Lowlines, Chianina…the list seems endless.
In 2009, another breed was added to the list - Fullblood Simmentals. The Pinnacle, this year’s Fullblood show, will be a first for the North American International Livestock Exposition. In fact, this show marks the inaugural Fullblood Fleckvieh Simmental show in the United States.
Fullblood Fleckvieh Simmental breeders consider themselves historians of the Simmental breed. They are preserving the integrity and characteristics of the original Simmental cattle. Without these breeders, the uniqueness of the original Simmental breed would be lost.
The original Simmental trace back to Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Africa, and are still dominate breeds in many European countries. Fullbloods are known for their docility, maternal instincts and lean beef. New research also shows they have similar carcass data to Angus cattle.
Larry Maxey, superintendent of The Pinnacle and also a Fullblood breeder, recognizes there is a place for all breeds in our industry. However, he is confident that Fullblood Simmentals will be needed in the future because of the extensive crossbred programs in the livestock industry.
“Research shows that the optimum beef animal is a result of three extreme hybrids. Cattle have done that, but now their genetics are so similar that they will eventually move backwards. They will need our distinct genetics to get them back on the right track,” says Maxey.
Fullblood Fleckvieh producers are excited about this public venue in Louisville. They hope the NAILE will help make other producers more aware of their breed, as well as an opportunity to promote their advantages.
Maxey knows this will be a groundbreaking event. “There are Fullblood Fleckviehs all over the country, we have just never had the opportunity to have this public forum,” he explains. Next year the Fullblood Simmental Fleckvieh Federation (FSFF) hopes to include a sale.
Maxey hopes that this is just one rung on the ladder. “The mold has been cast and now other regions can go to their officials. It can be done and it will be done. Right now it is ours to lose, from this day on the show at the NAILE will only get better.”
Fullblood cattle are vastly different from their commonly-known purebred Simmental counterparts. Fullblood Fleckvieh have 100% Simmental genetics and have never been crossbred. Most Simmentals in the show ring have been influenced by other breeds, commonly Angus or Maine Anjou, to get the black hide and feminine look needed for the show ring.
Fullblood Fleckvieh Simmentals have the same phenotype as the original Simmental cattle did in Europe. They are considered a dual-purpose breed, meaning they will excel in both milk and meat production. However, Fullbloods in the United States are bred mainly for meat characteristics. They are commonly red-colored with white faces and white socks, and are not allowed to be black.
Purebred Simmentals, which is what Simmentals shown today are referred to, are hybrid versions of the original Simmental breed. When Simmentals were first introduced into North America, they were crossbred with other breeds in order to create a more optimum beef animal. This hybrid vigor resulted in a black-hided Simmental calf that is much cleaner-fronted and smoother patterned.
A few Fullblood cattle did exhibit at the NAILE in 2008, but they were required to compete with the purebred Simmental cattle. Breeders felt it was an unfair comparison for these important historians. 2009 was an opportunity to make their mark on the livestock industry.
Competing at the inaugural show were 52 head from 16 breeders from across the United States, including one from Ontario. The Fullblood Simmentals were evaluated by Jim Williams, V8 Ranch, Boling, Texas.