An interview with The American Simmental Association
December 30, 2013
1. How many cattle do you have in your registration?
Our members submit approximately 100,000 new animals per year.
2. What year did your breed start accepting/ registrations or building a database?
3. Tell us about the origin of your breed and how it was transported into or developed in the U.S.
Simmental origins trace to the Simme Valley of Switzerland. Several strains of Simmental have evolved throughout Europe and across the globe. The breed's U.S. origins trace to a Canadian named Travers Smith, who imported the famed bull, Parisien, from France in 1967. Parisien semen was introduced into the US that same year, with the first half-blood Simmental calf born in February 1968. Since that point, the Simmental has evolved into one of the largest breeds in the U.S–second only to Angus in semen sales. The ASA also has the largest multi-breed database in the world. Simmental breeders have leveraged this massive database along with the science of genetic evaluation to dramatically improve the Simmental breed in the traits of importance to the US cattle producer.
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4. What are two of the most unique and little known aspects of your breed?
1) Recently collected USDA Meat Animal Research Center data shows Simmental to have smaller mature size than Angus, Red Angus and Hereford.
2) Simmental is widely cited as among the oldest, most populous and widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world.
5. What is your expectation for the next ten years for your breed? Physically, what are the assets breeders are striving for? As far as EPD's, what kinds of goals are breeders setting? What are some of the genetic aspects they are focusing on the most?
The current and future mission of the American Simmental Association and its members is to focus like a laser beam to produce a product that will maximize the commercial producer's profitability. Over the last two decades, Simmental has made more improvement in calving ease than possibly any breed of cattle in history–and the calving ease progress continues at a rapid rate. Of course, that is only one of the many areas that Simmental breeders have achieved significant success. Perhaps no organization has more effectively leveraged the power of science to make better cattle and better beef than the American Simmental Association–and that trend is sure to continue at an even more rapid rate over the next decade.
6. Tell us a little bit about your organization's president:
Jim Butcher from Lewistown Mont., is our current chairman of the board. He and his family own Gateway Simmental.