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EVERGREEN BREEDING PHILOSOPHY
Breeding goals matter! If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there!
The Evergreen Magnolia is our company logo – the Evergreen tree is green in all seasons of the year. The Evergreen breeding philosophy is simple, yet it requires rigor to achieve. To produce cattle that work in all seasons of our industry we must be disciplined and focused to balance calving ease, growth, maternal and carcass traits to provide value to our commercial customers with the most predictable genetics available. At FSC Ranch we take a very long-term view and realize that it takes much longer to achieve excellence than many people think, but through “extra effort” we are confident we can produce the finest SimAngus™ genetics possible for our customers.
To achieve the Evergreen genomic system, we emphasize the traits that have the largest economic impact in our customers’ breeding program. For our customers in the cow-calf business the options are simple: Wean more calves and wean heavier calves. Our structured and balanced approach includes: cattle raised on a forage-based high fiber ration, DNA testing, and using all data possible to make our selection decisions.
We focus on 5 EPD traits and 2 index traits for the following reasons.
- Calving Ease Direct EPD (CE) – It all begins with a live calf that does not require assistance and does not impose undue strain on the calf or dam.
- Calving Ease Maternal EPD (CEM) – CEM is calving ease viewed as the ability of a sire’s daughters to calve unassisted. It has a positive genetic relationship with growth and mature size. That’s why we don’t just select for higher Calving Ease Direct.
- Weaning Weight EPD (WW) – We believe most of our customers market their calves at weaning time where they are sold by the pound, so we emphasize this growth trait.
- Yearling Weight EPD (YW) – This highly heritable trait offers individual genetic growth potential for increased efficiency in the feedlot.
- Stayability EPD (STAY) – The greater stayability that a sire’s daughters have to remain in the herd over six years equals fewer replacement heifers, thereby reducing the overhead cost associated with replacement heifers. Pregnancy has a four times greater economic impact than any other production trait. Females that stay in the herd reduce replacement rates, which is a high economic driver for cow-calf producers.
- Marbling EPD (MARB) – Consumers are demanding more high-quality beef options, and marbling matters and increases return to the cattleman.
- All-Purpose Index (API) – In NC, the average herd size is 41 cows. API is the most effective selection tool available for these producers to achieve profitability. It measures the expected performance of progeny of Sim genetic bulls used on the cowherd, with a portion of the daughters retained for breeding and the remaining progeny being sold.
- Terminal Index (TI) – Terminal index measures the expected average performance of progeny including the growth and carcass of Sim genetic bulls used on a cowherd, with all offspring placed in the feedlot and sold grade and yield. This includes growth and carcass information only, since all progeny are marketed.
The goal at FSC Ranch is to improve our customers’ profitability and sustainability in the cattle business. We believe this is best achieved by using sires that will produce seedstock bulls and heifers that rank in the top 30% for the 5 EPD’s targeted above and rank in the top 10% for both API and TI indexes. When an animal attains this goal, we label it an “EVERGREEN BULL OR HEIFER”. Therefore, our customers can buy with confidence knowing that every breeding decision is made to produce “EVERGREEN CATTLE”!
On behalf of the TEAM at FSC Ranch, I can assure you that we are seeking to be the best genetic seedstock provider for our customers by doing everything just a little bit better by putting forth a “little extra effort.” We agree with Coach Vince Lombardi: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
The difference between Good and Great is a Little Extra effort.