At the World conference in Brazil in 2012, the New Zealand delegates received a strong endorsement to hold a mini tour in New Zealand in 2014. Planning is well underway for a 7 – 10 day tour in the North Island. If there is interest we will also offer an add on tour to the South Island of another 5- 7 days at the end of the mini tour.
It is a challenge to find a month which suits everyone. We are looking at either February or May.
I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of both the North American Devon Association and the American Devon Cattle Association voted unanimously today to approve a Merger Agreement In Principle.
This approval occurred in separate Board conference calls this morning, and the agreement sets out a general plan and timeline for major focus areas that should result in a Definitive Agreement and final closure to be celebrated at our mutual Fall Event scheduled for September 26th-28th hosted by Charlie and Martha Trantham at Lenoir’s Creek Devon (Canton, NC).
Furthermore, both Boards will convene at a combined Spring meeting to be held at the same location, with a joint Devon Merger Committee working diligently in the interim to set and achieve the necessary steps toward our ultimate goal. While we understand that we have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, we are excited to be working toward a goal that will create numerous benefits and a unified effort for the Devon breed and breeders. Please check the website frequently for updates, and feel free to let us know your thoughts as we enter this exciting phase in Devon history.
Margie Fry's Passing
Dear NADA Members-
It is with sadness that I inform the NADA family that Margie Fry passed on at 11:15am this past Wednesday, February 20th. While we rejoice in the knowledge that Margie is firmly in God's loving arms, we must remember to pray for and actively support Gearld and his family thru this difficult time.
For those unfamiliar with Margie's valiant battle with ovarian cancer . . . she was diagnosed over five years ago, and given very little time to live. She was a warrior the entire time, and continued to build her testimony and legacy until God brought her home on Wednesday.
The viewing is scheduled for Saturday evening from 5 to 7pm at Family Funeral Services, 100 West Searcy Street, Heber Springs, AR 72543, and the funeral is Sunday at 2pm at the Assembly of God Church in Rose Bud, Arkansas.
Blessings on each of you,
Feedlots: High Grain Prices Forcing Change
"Feedlots face a significantly different business environment than they have in the past. . . . [The] Industry will be forced to return to the bygone days of forage-based feed. . . . [They] will have to cut the number of days cattle are on grain, with a higher percentage of weight gain coming from forages." Read More . . .
Letter from the President
I hope you are enjoying this Fall weather as much as we are here in western Arkansas. After the toughest summer on record, some recent rainfall has really lifted our spirits. We are praying for a couple of years of "normal" weather, as these increasingly abnormal weather events have sure made it difficult on ranchers. All the more reason why our neighbors will be looking for thriftiness as the drought-stricken areas start to rebuild their herds!
As the newly elected President of NADA, I wanted to share the recent strides we are making toward improved transparency, breed promotion, breed purity, and the merger with ADCA.
As you are probably aware, our "Member's Only" section has been up and running since mid-March. If you are a NADA member and didn't receive a username and password, please call Andy Wendt (208) 914-4883 or
to get set up for this valuable tool. You can access all recent Board meeting minutes and an increasing amount of member-focused information. The Board minutes will now include each Board member's individual vote on every motion.
When nominated to serve as this year's NADA President, I made it clear that a vote for me would be a vote for a very hard push towards both meaningful promotional work and an NADA/ADCA merger.
We have begun the process of establishing regional promotional committees. The regional heads will be contacting NADA members that have expressed interest, and I encourage those interested in serving on a regional committee to contact me:
. We intend for these regional teams to develop area-specific promotional strategies, which will include print ads, brochures, pasture walks, and participation at larger area cattle venues. We have a wonderful opportunity to fill a huge need with the average cattleman, and these teams will largely dictate the activity within their region.
Regarding the progress on an NADA/ADCA merger... I am excited to announce that the NADA Board has unanimously passed a motion to appoint a merger committee consisting of Jeff Moore, Tom Cope, and myself, with the goal of reaching an acceptable merger agreement as soon as practical. NADA Board Members Jeff Moore, Baron Buzhardt, and I (along with our wives) attended the recent ADCA Event in Culpeper, VA in order to begin a renewed dialogue, and we were warmly received at a fantastic venue and event. We are expecting to build on the progress we made with the ADCA Board and members while there, and hope to have an agreement in principle documented and passed within both organizations in a couple of months. This would lay the groundwork toward a merged organization and a combined event at Charlie and Martha Trantham's in Canton, NC next September. I encourage all the NADA members to send any thoughts you have regarding the merger process to myself or other NADA Board members, whose contact information is listed on the NADA website. I might add that Daniel Marquardt, who is both an ADCA and NADA member, has volunteered to assist us (as a neutral third-party) as we work thru the merger process. Daniel is an extremely capable professional who has experience in dealing with these matters, and we appreciate his willingness to serve.
Before I close, I'd like to ask for member input (there is a poll in the members-only section of the website) on both speakers and educational themes for next year's event. We are currently considering the following educational tracks (on the poll you can also write your own in):
Breeding and Cattle Evaluation
Promotional techniques for your Devon cattle/marketing grass-finished beef
Pasture and Soil Management
The economics of a successful purebred Devon operation
"Foodie" Track (Would include food education, processing, prep, and cooking)
Please feel free to add to the above list, and I will work to get a poll up on the NADA website to measure the member interest on these (and other added) subjects.
Thanks for your input and interest in Devon cattle, and a blessed holiday season to you and yours!
Devon Conference 2013 Poll
Go vote on your preferred topics for next year's conference: Vote!
NADA Gourmet Beef on Grass Conference 2012 Recap and Info
Dr. Tom Swerczek Gives us the Scoop on Salt and Livestock Health
Dr. Swerczek Tells Us why it is Important to flex with seasonal livestock mineral needs and gives us an overview on the common issues involved with finding the proper mix. Read more...
Joan Harris' Devon Calendar
These fine calendars will be available at the conference. Click on the image to see the front and back. You can contact Joan at 518 732 7350 or email.
The Definition of Insanity
John Ikerd on why we must change to a healthy system and how we are doing it. Read here....
Board Election changes for 2012 and 2013
We are quite fortunate to have 5 possible picks for this year’s board election. The following have all been nominated and vetted with the responsibilities of the position by the election committee.
If you’re wondering what the responsibilities are to serve on the NADA board they are as follows:
Attend by phone a board meeting each month.
Attend in person a spring face to face two day working meeting wherever the next conference will be held.
Work yourself half to death with a great group of Devon lovers at the yearly conference.
A board member should take responsibility for work that needs to be done on different committees.
With the time and personal financial outlay that each board member gives to NADA, make sure you tell your board how much you appreciate their sacrifice for the cause.
In 2006, NADA started with 12 board positions and then increased it to 15 in an effort to spread the work load. The problem is managing a phone conversation with 15 hard working, passionate people and allowing everyone a chance to speak on the issues being discussed. We try to keep the monthly board calls to an hour and have them during the workday so that we respect the valuable family time that we have in the evening. We try to fill in the gaps with email communication throughout the month.
The board has for over a year been toying with the idea of cutting back the board seats to a more workable number of 9 and that’s the reason we decided not to fill the one vacancy we have had on the board for the last year. We like the idea of involving more members on committees to accomplish the work of the association. With this method, a committee would have at least one board member per committee as the chair. That person would be responsible for finding members to help fill the needed committee spots. The committee board member will then report to the board during the monthly call on the progress of their respective committee. With this method, the monthly board calls should be more manageable and we can get more done in the precious hour that we allocate. By using committees, we can involve more folks in the process, spread the workload, and get to know each other better.
Dr. Rentfrow Shares his Killer Carcass Yield Estimates
How to communicate to the consumer what they will actually be taking home (editor’s note: The majority of Devon cattle will most likely dress out better than his estimates so use this as a guideline) Read More...
SOIL not DIRT - Dr Elaine Ingham talks Soil Microbiology - YouTube
Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about soil fertility and the role of soil microbial life.
The Elephant in the Room: Is Your Supper Safe?
With recent outbreaks of E. coli in beef and salmonella in peanuts, sitting down to dinner may seem hazardous to your health. Can it really be so bad? EatingWell investigates.
Drought issues? Watch this…
Soil Carbon: Putting Carbon back where it belongs: In the earth: Tony Lovell@TEDxDubbo (click here)
Dr. Olree Tells All: The Forbidden Knowledge Series
Forbidden Knowledge Presents, Dr Richard Olree of a speech held in Livonia MI about the benefits of minerals, and whole foods, In the genetic structure of life and the human body.
There are 5 videos in the series. (click here for more)
They lied to us; here's the truth
At some point, "red meat" became taboo in the nutritional world. If you put good old-fashioned grass-fed, organically-raised meat in a nutrition analyzer, you'd find it's one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
Still, many people want to believe that all red meat is unhealthy. A new study out of Harvard once again attempts to demonize red meat.
“(B)y following the directions of M. Guenon, as laid down in the treatise, anyone can tell with certainty whether a cow is a good milker, or whether a heifer will become one, so that there need be no doubt as to the profit of raising an animal, and no chance of being taken in the
purchase of one.”
National tribute of the French Government
Paris, September 17, 1848
This quotation is from the first page of the 14th edition of A Treatise on Milch Cows by M. Francis Guenon.1 Imagine the usefulness of the discrepancy between Expected Progeny Difference that most of us are currently using and Guenon’s “tell with certainty” methodology. Why do we breed in variability by using animal science (which was not even heard of in 1848) and numbers, when animal husbandry, knowledge and a bit of observation can lead us to a more certain and consistent outcome? (click here for entire article)
Selecting for Tenderness and Quality
NADA board member and co-founder, Gearld Fry, weighs in on the issue of tenderness and quality. In this article he takes on conventional science going as far as to suggest that it has run its course and left us in a worse spot than our pre-science forbears. He then explains how we can evaluate for tenderness using critical observation. To read the entire article click here to go to Gearld’s blog
What’s She Worth
NADA president, Jeff Moore, shares with us his wisdom on a question that is frequently asked of Devon “what is she worth, and how do I get started?”. To read the entire article you can go to Jeff’s Blog by clicking here.
Minerals “Take” (ninety) 2
NADA board member, Steve Campbell, has made some significant changes in how he mineralizes his cattle. Steve brings a wealth of practical information to our association and we would urge all to take advantage of his latest web submission. To read more about the updates click here.(PDF-159KB)
9th World Devon Conference
Let’s support the “9th World Devon Conference and Devon Tour ---Brazil--- 2012”. It begins on May 10th and runs through May 25th. Let’s show our support of Devons around the world and remember that, although the next congress will probably be hosted in the United States, it will not be until 2016. For more information click here.(PDF-90KB)
Artisan Beef Visits Commercial Cattle Ranch on North Rim of Grand Canyon
Artisan Beef and Friends (Greg and Lavonne Hickl and family, Ted and Pat Stevens, and Steve Campbell, unable to make the trip were Gearld and Margie Fry) spent 4 days on the Bar 10 Ranch. During their stay they hiked the Grand Canyon, rode atv’s to remote overlooks, were given an aerial view of the ranch and Grand Canyon by helicopter, and even helped trail cattle across the ranch. Artisan Beef is promoting the use of Devon bulls in commercial settings, and would like to see more Devon influence out West. The Bar 10 Ranch has been using Devon bulls now for 5 years and runs nearly 1000 head of Devon influenced cows. The following is Greg’s report of their time “out west”.
I’m forwarding a few sets of pictures from our recent visit to Bar10.
The Heatons were wonderful hosts, and the views can’t be done any justice with pictures.
The cattle were in great condition, and are a wonderful testimony to what Devon sires can accomplish in a western commercial herd.
Kelly is another example of a cattleman being convinced to go the purebred Devon route by witnessing the dramatic improvements of Devon influence on his commercial herd.
Seeing is believing, and Bar 10 is a wonderful venue for Devon expansion in the west. It’s incredible that these animals can thrive in such a harsh environment (150-200 acres/AU)
Gearld Fry, co-founder of NADA, former president and current board member of NADA, submitted the following letter in favor of a merger between NADA and ADCA.
Hello Devon Friends,
The past 6 years America has hosted two North Devon associations. Most of the Devon breeders know each other and some members from each association are also working and breeding their Devon’s together. In many cases we are all trying to accomplish the same objectives with our Devon’s. We have the finest meat (Devon) on the market and it is produced on grass. It is our objective to make Devon, the most sought after grass cattle in America. The dollars we invest in promotion is being spent double with two associations. We can accomplish our objectives working together as one and use the funds more advantageously. American Devon breeders have members who have been in the Devon industry over 40 years and I believe that experience is valuable for all of us both nationally and in the internationally community. I have a number of genetic and management objectives I believe if we accomplish (and we can), would go a long way toward making Devon the desired grass animal in America. I spoke with Jeremy Engh at length a few days back and he and many members have many of the same desires and goals for our beloved Devon’s as I/we do and we agreed working together we could accomplish our breeding and management goals.
With the two associations becoming one, it was agreed that we would continue to be an association with the desire to improve our Devon’s through education for our breeders. Promote Devon’s, encourage breeders to share and receive skills from other breeders, discover new breeding and management procedures and move the Devon’s to the sought after position of THE grass breed of bovines in America.
With one Devon association we will have a much larger army, management, experience and a large voice in the Devon industry. Jeff Moore, Greg Hickl, and Jeremy Engh have spent many hours together and on the phone and have established a set of standards for us to function by. I trust these friends and their decisions are for a better Devon breed in America.
I wish you a very enjoyable Christmas season Holiday as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
God Bless each of you in all your desires,
Time to come together?
NADA Vice President, Greg Hickle, believes that now is the time for a merger with the American Devon Cattle Association. On his blog he lays out a convincing argument on behalf of a merger. This is your Association. Let the Executive committee know your desires by emailing them. You can read Greg’s article by clicking here.
Gearld Fry on loan to Australia
Gearld Fry left home on August 8th and spent the next 16 days in Australia where he was a judge for the Royal Queensland Stock Show. He also spent much of that time touring farms and ranches observing cattle and teaching producers.
The following is Gearld’s account of his adventure in Australia. NADA is lucky to have Gearld in our own “back yard” and would encourage members to ask him questions that can help their operations. Gearld is always very generous with his time. Click here to read about Gearld’s time in Australia and to view photos.
Local event raided by health department
Overton Nevada, a small town in remote southern Nevada, is not immune to government strong arm. Ryan West, co-owner and manager of Bar 10 Beef, (an outlet to more than 100 ruby red gourmet beeves annually), has a farmers market colleague Monte and Laura Bledsoe who where putting on a slow food, local, organic dinner on their organic farm in Overton Nevada, when the Health Department some 65 miles away swooped in and demanded that the Bledsoes “cease and desist” with the function. With guests on hand, and their gourmet chef working feverishly on final touches, the Bledsoes where forced to throw away such delicacies as mint Lamb Meatballs, local beef and a variety of farm fresh vegetables. The Bledsoes pleaded with the inspector, “if we couldn’t feed the food to our public guests or even to our private family, then at least let us feed it to our pigs.” In classic government fashion, the health inspector made a phone call to her supervisor only to return with another negative response. Because the Meat was not USDA inspected (it was state inspected in Utah which was, ironically, closer to their farm than the Nevada health inspector) and the vegetables where cut up before inspection that it was now a bio hazard and unfit for human or animal consumption. To add insult to injury they were forced to dump bleach on the discarded food to insure compliance.
True story but wait, during all this turmoil, Monte Bledsoe remembered they had an emergency number to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) on their refrigerator. They had joined FTCLDF several years earlier to protect themselves, but mostly to help support other farmers battling oppressive government overreach. They promptly called the number and were instructed what questions to ask the health inspector. When the health inspector could not produce answers she was asked to leave the premise. She left in a huff making a scene as she shouted that she was calling the police. Apparently she made good on her promise and returned shortly with the local police department who also happened to be friends of the Bledsoe’s (don’t forget that Overton Nevada is a very small town). The Health inspector demanded that the officer give the Bledsoes a citation. The officer asked what for and even with the help of her supervisor on the phone, the health inspector could not come up with anything. The officers told the inspector to leave. How refreshing is that; local law enforcement protecting their townspeople. Good Job!!
What happened next is nothing less than inspiring. The Bledsoe’s, and their guests, salvaged the event with support and help as they all quickly gathered new produce from the farm and proceeded to finish what they started, to eat the healthy, local food of their choice, and enjoy the company of like minded friends.