As we get into winter, it is the time when all the hot young sires begin to be promoted, sales throughout the Midwest are happening in droves, and people are getting ready for the stock shows. Growing up in Nebraska for most of my life, and now living in Texas for the past 10 years, it makes me jealous, and a little resentful seeing all the Northern cattle with their 4 inches of hair pictured to the tee. I used to have so much fun clipping on these hairy furballs every winter, making them look however you wanted them to look, but now my new milder climate has made it a lot more work to make these shaggy cattle look good, and no matter how much work I do, it still can never compare to a few -20 degree days. This all being said, what are we really promoting these days in the show world, when a sire is promoted with a ruler beside a fitted leg that is 10 inches thick due to hair? Will he really produce higher-quality cattle for the industry because of this? Will his hair make him taste better to the consumer?
It seems the beef industry has resorted to classifying the quality of bulls by using a spreadsheet or by the amount of hair they have. I’ll get into the spreadsheet thing at a later date, but the fact that an animal has so much hair that it can be sculpted into the perfect specimen does not mean it is a better animal. The fact that so much of advertising these days is based around that one perfect picture of a bull has really created a disadvantage to those cattle born at the wrong time of year to have the maximum amount of hair, and a disadvantage to those in the southern regions that just can’t grow hair like further north. Are these cattle of less quality because of this? I doubt it, and if so, it is because of a multitude of other things other than hair. So let’s advertise that, not just a pretty picture. I love clipping and fitting hairy cattle, but in the end, it’s what is on the inside that matters. I’ve eaten a lot of hair in my days, but I prefer STEAK!