Unfortunately, we have not been immune from chasing fads or from using the hot bull of the month over the past fifteen years, but those mistakes have taught us to not chase extreme growth numbers or sky high index values like $B like many programs have, because those cattle may be stand-outs on paper, but they just don't work in the real world, or in my world anyway, where it takes 40 acres per year to maintain a cow and her calf and they have to scratch out a living on blue gramma and buffalo grass in the spring and summer, and salt grass with some Mix 30 in the winter. I do watch many of the indexes and values that my cattle have, and I would prefer them to all be in the top half of the breed for all the indexes and values, but if they do everything else right, they won't be sent away, just because they miss out on a certain value or index. However that is not the case with $M, I think the Angus Association got it right when they developed the matrix for this value.
We were thrilled when the Angus Association developed the $M index which places real value on the mamma cow and the ability to produce those animals that will turn into cows that will be good producing, sound, functional cattle. We believe the $M index along with HP(Heifer Pregnancy) and Docility as well as the Milk EPD are the cornerstones to developing a cow herd that will be long lasting and trouble free. We also like to focus on the SC(Scrotal) EPD because in our mind, that directly correlates to early maturity and we feel that a heifer that matures earlier, will breed earlier and in turn breed back sooner, thus making more money and raising bigger calves in the long run.
We know that all the indexes and values that the Angus Association and their staff have developed have their place, but we don't believe that cattle and their value can be solely based on those values and indexes. Those values and indexes are a tool, just like any other, but they need to not be relied upon too heavily, instead, they need to be used in conjunction with others factors like phenotype, sound feet and legs and the animals ability to make you money each and every year, and do it while maintaining a good body condition, without being over supplemented.