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GILLILAND RANCH NEWS— SUMMER/ FALL 2021

PANDEMIC SIMILARITIES TO THE LONGHORN BUSINESS—— This Covid-19 pandemic is temporarily at bay. The Chinese scientists were allegedly studying “ viral gain of function” by intentionally mutating the Coronavirus to better understand viral/human interactions. Escape from the Wuhan Chinese laboratory, by accident or design, is the most probable cause for this pandemic. Breeders in the longhorn industry also experiment to manipulate DNA and influence certain characteristics in longhorns. We do it to better the breed— not hurt it. Our experimentation results in good and bad DNA combinations (eg line breeding vs inbreeding) all the time .Thoughtful longhorn breeders analyze each year’s calf crop and look for improvements in conformation, fertility, disposition and yes, horn.. This process is painfully slow (9.5 months to reproduce) for longhorns but we improve each generation by culling our mistakes. Bacteriologists and virologists in the experimental laboratory move thousands of times faster in their petri dishes (8 hours to replicate vs 9.5 months). Their mistakes can have devastating consequences which they can’t cull. In my opinion, this type of research should stop and most certainly not be funded by the US in a foreign country.

ECONOMICS/POLITICS——
MACROECONOMICS—The Chinese and US Government are at odds politically. The global US FAANG corporations ( Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, etc) see a 7.6B world market vs 0.33B US market (25X) and give China/India/Indonesia the benefit of the doubt for the sake of profit. I have always been for less government and more individual responsibility. However, what government there is should represent the interests of the 330,000,000 US citizens first and interests of 7,600,000,000 world citizens second. Corporate lobbyists see far more profit in the latter. Profit wise, they are correct. Patriotically, they are not. Politicians were elected to represent US citizens.

MICROECONOMICS—The Longhorn industry has done well with growth from new breeders entering the market. More harmony has helped. There is a moderate population resurgence back to rural America where there is less crime, lower taxes ,a simpler life, less stress, friendlier neighbors, etc. Many urbanites see the benefits of moving from a city with defunded police and a radical political agenda. Raising longhorns in a rural setting is a welcome lifestyle change for some of these people. Plus, they have discovered that one can still work at home, maintain their income and live in a safer, more scenic environment. Smart business plans can add a second income through beef or auction sales. Elite longhorns have recently brought near record prices-$105,000-$280,000. Good animals with potential can bring a fair price of $5000—$10,000. Average to below average animals can still bring profitable beef prices.

FALL 2021 BREEDING PLAN—.
We are expecting 40 calves in fall 2021— 40% from AI and 60% from natural breeding.The AI herd sires are Cut’N Dried,BR Cracker Jack, MC Hangin’ Tuff and Eagle Texa . The cover bulls are TKR Royal T, Gold Maxim GLR, Texas Tuff GLR and Dunn Lucky Sign. All have elite pedigrees which should produce quality animals.That said, we are utilizing oocyte aspiration and in vitro fertilization to increase the number of offspring from our top 10 cows/heifers.We have 65 confirmed heifer sexed embryos from the best in our herd and plan on placing these embryos into our home grown, Johne's negative longhorn cows that have the disposition, maternal instincts and milking ability to be great recipient cows. We are adding science to the art of longhorn breeding and hope to add quality longhorns for future generations.

I'll see you in the fall ( if I see you at all).....
Mark Gilliland,MD

  


GILLILAND LONGHORN RANCH-- We have a herd of  100 registered Texas Longhorns in the Kansas Flint Hills at the Oklahoma border. We combine the art and science of breeding using artificial insemination, embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization to create the best animal possible. Our goal is the complete package prioritizing a low twisty hornset  with great tip to tip measurements along with correct conformation, color, and disposition. That said, the most important trait is the ability to reproduce those traits in progeny. We have gone through each animal in our herd for several generations back to document the number of 80ʼʼ–90ʼʼ TTT ancestors in each pedigree and see if one ancestor transmits a dominant hornset. We try to genetically fix  that low twisty lateral horn length into each animalʼs blood line without compromising the total package. A pedigree with many high TTT ancestors indicates there is a higher heritability factor with more predictability. We also experiment with linebreeding and  periodic outcrossing to stack genes from similar and different pedigrees for additive effects.Different pedigree combinations are sometimes discovered to be synergistic. We hope there are some animals in our herd that could enhance your program.