Executive Vice President Newsletter - July 2023

July 12th, 2023 
by Caydi Blaha

My last email was right before the Board Meeting in Lake Charles and I promised updates, however I lost my notebook and my notes so much of this is from memory. Fortunately, Iridiana, Caydi, and A.J. all took excellent notes, and the Board Meeting minutes are on the website now. I am going to cover some of those items in this email.

My first committee meeting was the Finance Committee, where we reviewed the Association’s income and expenses and overall financial health. With Secretary/Treasurer Kelvin Moreno’s help, Idi has been working on updating the accounts, both our working accounts and the investment accounts. Some of these needed updating: having new names added and that is now done. One of the items that came out of the committee was that for now, staff travel needs to be reviewed and approved by the officers. I agree that we need to look at travel, but we will still need to travel to cattle meetings and events, we will just need to be more careful about expenditures until we have a better idea about income. I have canceled some of my travel and some sponsorships, but much of the travel is prepaid for in an attempt to keep costs down. One of ABBAs biggest issues is visibility, for us to be able to be at events and promote the breed. Perhaps in the future we could rely on Directors to do some of those events.

My next committee to attend was the 2024 World Brahman Congress (WBC). It came to ABBAs attention that the original venue, the Texas A&M Hildebrand Equestrian Event Center, although an excellent choice for the Congress, would not allow cattle to be shown or stalled in the arenas or makeup areas due to safety reasons. We could erect tents, but the committee decided against that idea. Instead, I have been asked to head up looking for a new venue for the WBC and as soon as I get a location and date, I’ll let everyone know.

Next, I attended the Show Committee (I am on the subcommittee that looked into the current ABBA show arrangement). That committee presented a division of the current shows that will be very helpful to Caydi. ABBA will essentially be responsible for the National, International, and the WBC Show as Sponsored Shows, with the rest of the shows (about 28 or so) being ABBA Sanctioned Shows. The Sponsored Shows will be relatively unchanged from the current shows but the Sanctioned Shows, as long as they follow ABBA classes and rules, have a little more leeway (and less direct ABBA involvement). Sanctioned Shows will not have to use ABBA approved judges, but we will send them a list and ask them to do so. There were also new divisions added to reduce class sizes and two new group classes added. If you would like more information, the new Show Rules are posted on the ABBA website, I just wanted to give a quick review here. Many thanks to the committee and subcommittee’s efforts.

I also attended the Marketing Committee meeting, chaired by the indomitable Brand Jones. We reviewed the 2023 ABBA National Brahman and F1 Sale results, fixed a new date (same location), and will hire a sale manager to assist. I am currently looking for one. They also looked over the first F1 Newsletter that I recently wrote at the request of the Chair, Terry Novak. Apparently, that had been requested a year or so ago, to be distributed to the F1 members for information and as a promotional tool. The F1 Newsletter is now on the ABBA website and is being used as a guide for a prepaid four-color full-page ad developed by The Brahman Journal to be printed in the Southern Livestock Standard directory that will be out in August and given to every participant at the 2023 Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course.

Last but not least I attended the Membership Committee meeting. Cyana had a lot of great ideas including vetting the new members prior to either the Executive Committee or the Board voting to admit them to membership. The committee plans on contacting prospective members and letting them know the process and asking how they want their initial membership information (electronically or paper). The committee would also like to survey the membership about issues of importance to them and are looking at ways to improve and increase the participation of the membership in voting. All great ideas!

I did not get to attend any of the other committee meetings (but Caydi, Idi and A.J. did) but they all came up with great ideas and action items.

At the Board meeting (minutes are posted on the ABBA website) all of the action items recommended by the committees passed and the 100th Anniversary Committee highlighted their logo and steak knife fundraiser (set of 4 for $50). The steak knives can be purchased on our Shop page at www.brahman.org.

After we returned home from the Board Meeting, I met with 13 Nicaraguan Brahman enthusiasts that had been at Texas A&M since Wednesday. Dr. Thomas Hairgrove and Dr. Ky Pohler had been conducting classes with them and Dr. Hairgrove took them to ST Genetics and then to Kallion Farms on Friday. On Saturday I took them to Producers Coop in Bryan to learn about the business model and then to Bar Nothing Ranch in Brenham to look their Brahmans and cutting horses. On Monday we went to Graham Feedyard in Gonzales where we looked at some Brahman cattle on feed and ended up at Bulls Eye Ranch in Burton. It was a good group and they had a lot of questions. On Tuesday we gave them certificates of course completion and ABBA bags full of Brahman information.

On June 12th I went to George West, Texas to attend the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Ranch Gathering. I am a member of TSCRA but I went as the ABBA representative. We were recognized as the only breed association at the event. Initially these “sponsorships” were $250 for each Gathering but since I plan on going to several in Brahman country, they will be less for ABBA. There were about 150 folks in attendance, many I knew, more who knew me, and I got to talk to a lot of folks about Brahmans and ABBA and hand out the new F1 Newsletter!

The Ranch Gatherings are free to the public, if you want more information contact me or TSCRA (817)916-1744 or 45.

Other Ranch Gatherings I will attend are:

August 21st Beaumont
October 3rd Houston – The Rustic
October 27th Victoria – Briggs Ranch
November 16th Brenham – South Texas Tack
November 28th San Antonio – The Barn Door
December 6th Edinburg – La Muneca Ranch

Although I was initially scheduled to go, A.J. went to the Florida Cattlemen’s Convention. I want to thank Jesse Savell of the UF Animal Science Department and secretary of the Florida Brahman Association for having the Florida Junior Brahman Association members assisting at the ABBA booth! At the time of writing, A.J. is now at the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Meeting in Calgary, Canada. BIF is an international organization of beef cattle breeds and breeders, geneticists, performance testing gurus, and others. I initially planned to go but my passport expired before I renewed it. BIF influences how performance testing data (docility scores, weaning weights, ultrasound measurements, frame scores, EPD calculations, etc.) are collected, analyzed, and reported, so the Brahman breed needs to be there. A.J. will report later on his activities.

Caydi, Idi, and I just returned from the 2023 AJBA All American and I can tell you I thought it was a tremendous success! I had never seen so many young Brahman enthusiasts! I know that there were a lot of moving parts to the All American, but my hat is off to Caydi, Hatch Smith and the Youth Committee, the AJBA Board of Directors, and all the folks who provided scholarships and made donations of their time, talent, and treasure to this event! Dr. Rhonda Vann of Mississippi State University, who has scanned for the Better Beef Contest for the past three years, ultrasounded over 150 head this year! She and A.J. will provide those results to each exhibitor in the coming month.

I will attend the Independent Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) Annual Meeting in San Marcos, July 7-9th. Texas has two cattle organizations, ICA and TSCRA and it is important to be a part of both organizations (like many of you in your own state). I had originally wanted a booth, it would be the first time ABBA would be there, but in light of our concern about travel, I cancelled it. The Executive Director of ICA, Cooper Little, called me back and told me they were giving me (ABBA) a booth and registration since I had done so much with them and for them over the years (I was on their Board and have a few awards from ICA), so I plan to be there. If you are in the area, come to the Embassy Suites and say hello.

Finally, I hope that you might consider attending the 2023 Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course August 7-9th on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Monday morning and all-day Tuesday are over 17 breakout sessions devoted to specific topics – new/novice producers, nutrition and feeding, reproduction, breeding and genetics, brush control, agricultural law, etc. with a huge commercial display area. ABBA will be there and in fact we will be sponsoring three sessions in Animal Breeding and Genetics and the Purebred Session. Monday evening is a general session and the famous Aggie Prime Rib Dinner (the one I had in Florida at their Beef Cattle Short Course was great too!). On Wednesday are half day breakout sessions on Determining Carcass Merit, Cattle Working, Cattle Handling, Chuteside Veterinary, and Reproductive Management, among others. For more information go to: Home – Beef Cattle Short Course

That’s it for now. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Joe C. Paschal, PhD
Executive Vice President
American Brahman Breeders Association