Tuesday, September 10, 2013

British White Cattle First Annual Sale in Minnesota

Update:  Click here for the Sale Catalog, and see the Supplemental Listings here.

Last year saw the formation of the first state British White Cattle Association in the state of Minnesota. While formation of regional BWCAA groups has often been discussed and detailed plans made and proposed over the years, no action at the national level to provide for regional cattle groups has made it past the table. There are a large number of Minnesota breeders of British White Cattle, and the herd numbers in that state rival that of most any others in the USA.  Along with dues paying members of the BWCAA, this new State association welcomes members of the ABWPA as well; recognizing that breeders in both associations have much to contribute to one another in both shared genetics and shared friendships with like-minded folks who against all odds it seems at times, continue to embrace and love the breeding and rearing of the very beautiful and ancient British White breed here in America.

The American impact on the breeding of British White cattle is apparent in many fine breeding lines in the USA, and the coming together of the breeders of Minnesota from both cattle associations will contribute to further the development in America of the ancient polled Park cattle of the British Isles.  The photo below reflects two bulls, the older bull is the product of the excellent BWCAA breeding program of RLC Farms, while the bull on the right, is the product of the likewise excellent ABWPA breeding program of Larry Fedler of Iowa.  The bulls are virtually identical, as of course are all the cattle long reared in both Associations.
BWCAA's RLC Farms Nitro and ABWPA's LPJ Zenith, May 2013

The new British White Cattle Association of Minnesota (BWCAMN) is hosting their first annual cattle sale on October 19, 2013 in Hutchinson, Minnesota.  Below you'll find the details of the sale from the BWCAMN web site, the sale catalog will be available soon, so bookmark their web site and check back to have a look at the consigned cattle!

For more information contact:
Robert or Karen Isaacson, (218) 843-2779, kisaacson@invisimax.com
or Linda Hohenwald, (320) 279-2790, RLCFarmsLLC@live.com

"Our first annual sale for this fine breed will be held on October 19, 2013, at the McLeod County Fairgrounds Cattle Barn. It is located at 840 Century Ave SW in Hutchinson, Minnesota, 55350 and the sale will start at 1:00 p.m.  
So far a lot of open and bred heifers are consigned as this seems to be the demand. We also have younger bred cows, some cow/calf pairs and have some bulls that are 15 months or younger consigned.  There is a heifer being donated by Robert Isaacson to be auctioned off; RLC Farms, LLC is donating some straws of Woodbastwick Randolph Turpin semen and other items may be donated.
We are currently working on the sale catalog and it will be available to download here soon so keep checking back.  
You don't want to miss this sale as you will have the opportunity to meet wonderful breeders of British White cattle and make new friends and contacts!
There are rooms set aside at the AmericInn in Hutchinson.  Call 320-587-5515 and let them know you are with the British White Cattle Association of Minnesota.  Come Friday and have more time to view the animals and hang out with us Friday night!
Two vendors will be at the sale for you to purchase refreshments and food. The McLeod County Riders 4H group will serve Coffee, donuts and other snacks and The Red Dogs will have food available to purchase."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

British White Cow and her Newborn Calf

This is J.West's Nell Opal, she calved just a few hours earlier. When I went to check on her this morning they were nestled beneath a stand of yaupon that must be 100 years old. Beneath it is shaded and the cows like to gather there in the heat of the late evening. After I arrived and disturbed their rest, the newborn's curiosity got the best of him and and he came to see me. Nell Opal fusses and fusses at him! She had just passed her placenta, so when she got up of course that was her focus, eating it, and she was none to pleased at my interruption and her little bull's bullheaded interest in checking me out.

Nell Opal was flushed for embryo export this past year for Oz Genetics of Australia. All cattle of J.West Cattle Company are dual registered with the American British White Park Association and the BWCAA. These cattle are the ancient polled white Park cattle of England.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

British White Cattle Reacting to an Old Cow Hide

Took this video a few days back when I was moving this herd down a trap to a new pasture. They acted very strange about the cow hide, and it's been hanging there for months and months... I found it a little disconcerting!  The bull you see is J.West's El Presidente.  Sorry for the video quality, I took the video with my new phone and I've got to work out the best way to edit them for youtube upload.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Offshore Wind Turbine Farms in Texas Gulf Coastal Waters

Our Texas Gulf Coast is home to untold numbers of birds of many species, as well being a critical path for the annual migrations of many many other bird species. Already the endless acres of Texas coastal farmland, beautifully productive with fields of cotton and grain out to the horizon, are now littered and forever scarred by acres of wind turbines within miles of the Texas Gulf Coast.  Children now grow up without ever seeing true nightfall, the darkness, the inky black night sky that is an endless vista in the flat lands of southern Texas.  Instead of the awe of gazing up at the starlit sky . . . they have blinking wind turbine lights intruding like low hanging man mad stars - that's their childhood.  I suppose they'll have to go on vacation some where as adults to ever experience a true night sky.
Now, I learn from the following article that there are well progressing plans to put wind turbine farms actually in the waters of the Texas Gulf Coast.  I doubt there is anything that can stop that so-called progress, but I have to say something about it.  One of the beautiful experiences of being out on the flats of the Laguna Madre is the sight of enormous flocks of birds on their annual migrations across the bay - those flocks of birds may find themselves obliterated in the years to come by the blades of wind turbines.  
Besides the great numbers of migrations across the waters of the Texas Gulf Coast, there are the native birds that call it home year round.  One of my favorites is the Roseate Spoonbill, that lives year around along the waters and the shore of the Gulf.  And I can't imagine anyone unfamiliar with the sturdy brown pelican that has lived a largely peaceful existence since time began over the waters of the Texas Gulf Coast.  
Photo and caption by Mark Newman A flock of brown pelicans flying low at the seashore with waves in the background.
Location: Padre Island National Seashore, Texas Coast
The BP oil spill impacted that peaceful existence and both public and private time and money was spent to assist these mighty birds in surviving their drenching of oil.  The entire world was appalled and cried foul at such a travesty.  Below you see a photo of the release of brown pelicans, a total of 65 were released that day, back in to their native habitat, cleaned of oil, winging out in to the air in I'm sure relief their ordeal was over.  Yet . . . we will soon kill them with wind turbines and never even count the dead bodies . . . only a human with a skewed and blind agenda could countenance such a contradiction. 

As First Offshore Wind Turbine Launches In Maine, Is Texas Next?

JUNE 10, 2013 | 3:53 PM
In the race to establish the country’s first offshore wind farm, the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composite Center drifted across the finish line recently, when it launched a small, floating-platform research wind turbine off the coast of Castine, Maine. The Center hopes to connect a full-size turbine to their power grid by 2016.
In Texas, however, where steady winds and a gently sloped shoreline could make for ideal conditions to harvest wind, offshore wind is racing to catch up.
Offshore wind farms are typically more efficient than their onshore counterparts because there’s fewer physical obstructions and a more predictably consistent flow of wind. But critics of offshore wind cite potential problems, like impacts on wildlife and scenery. Then there’s the hefty price tag: offshore turbines can be twice as expensive to build as onshore ones.
To the north the King Ranch, 825,000 acres (3338 square kilometres or 1289 square miles) with 60,000 cattle.
The Texas Gulf Coast was at one point thought to be the best candidate for the country’s first offshore wind farm, but efforts by companies such as Coastal Point Energy and Baryonyx have yet to launch. But that might change in the next few years.
Off the coast of Texas, a consortium of universities, energy companies and manufacturers have come together to bring offshore wind farms to the Gulf Coast. The Department of Energy (DOE) is partially funding the design of several offshore wind energy projects over this next year, including the Texas Gulf Offshore Wind Project(GoWind), which plans to install three turbines in the Gulf.
GoWind is composed of research teams from several Texas universities, as well as companies like Baryonyx, and turbine and platform manufacturers. In addition to federal funding, the group has contributed between $20 to $25 million of their own money to the project.
John Pappas, director of the Texas A&M Wind Energy Center, is one of the project’s leaders. He thinks that the GoWind project will succeed because of the Gulf’s inherent advantages, like its long history of offshore oil drilling.  
Cleaned pelicans, oiled from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are released at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast . . . Source:  Gerald Herbert, The Associated Press
“What’s good about the Gulf of Mexico, first and foremost, is that we have the infrastructure and the people who know how to work offshore,” Pappas said. “In some other places, they don’t have the infrastructure necessary to bring [turbines] offshore and construct them.”
In Texas, Pappas and the GoWind team, will submit their designs to the government by February of next year. The Department of Energy will then consider their proposal along with six others. Three of them will be selected for full funding, with the expectation that they’ll start generating power no later than the fall of 2017.
Whether or not GoWind is one of those three, Pappas thinks that offshore wind in the Gulf is an inevitability. Within a decade, he projects that turbines off the Texas coast will be able to produce two to three gigawatts of energy. That’s roughly 4 percent of the state’s current peak energy demand.
“It will be something that people are used to and understand and want, because it is clean and because it does have a relatively small impact on the environment, and on people, and on other life as well,” Pappas said. “I think it’s just going to become … more accepted.”
Michael Marks is a reporting intern with StateImpact Texas. 


A Bobolink in flight. (Photo: © Paul Higgins)
Source:  LivingOnEarth.Org

Defined as those bird species that cross the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula to the U. S. Gulf Coast (Texas to Florida). Trans-Gulf migration is characteristic of the following species, but does not exclude the possibility of some circum-Gulf passage either. Bird migration is not black or white. In the biological world there are rules, but there are always exceptions. This is not a complete list. (List Source:  Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Black-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Purple Martin
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler
Swainson’s Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bohaty's 2013 British White Open House and Sale - And the Upcoming BWCAA meeting in Snyder, Texas

The Bohaty's 2013 Open House & Sale - and darned if I didn't find I have a few words that had to be spoken about the upcoming BWCAA meeting and election of 3 board members . . . 

Every April for the last decade I always know the Bohaty's will be having their annual British White Cattle Open House and Sale.  I've been fortunate to make a few of those sales when the gatherings of folks from across the country was a sight to see, and the conversation and camaraderie of members and newbies was a source of knowledge and inspiration and . . . just generally a gratifying trip to this rural community in the cornfields of Nebraska.  You can fly in to Omaha and see the sights of that great city's Old Market area - it is filled with very lovely shops and restaurants, just lots of history there.  Even in these difficult days for the USA - it feels safe, relaxed, and just a great American experience.  Bellwood is an easy 2 hour drive from Omaha after a comfortable evening of dining and strolling through the old district -- I was surely looking forward to that once again!

J.West's Allie Eve with newborn - J.West's Nancy Bee - 4/14/13
But, that wasn't in the cards.  I was already nervous about travelling, it had really been a while since I'd traveled alone.  Lots of you know I cared for my elderly dog, Fred, the past few years to the point no doubt of some sort of neurosis - but you very kindly smiled with understanding when I missed every single British White event of importance in favor of staying home with my little Fred.  But Fred passed away in March of 2012, so I essentially had no single reason not to hop a plane to the Bohaty sale.

But then the weather got weird and I started imagining driving in a little rental, with snow chains, without snow chains; asking myself can I even put on snow chains? Remembering hydroplaning on ice in years past, wondering if I could handle it now?  My imagination was running wild and literally left me in tears, I wasn't even sure who the heck I was anymore!  Where was the Jimmie who'd go anywhere/do anything at the drop when called on?  And then there were the cows.  My cows are always dropping calves in April.

But, that looked like it would work out based on all my scribbled notes in my daily cow journal, and running observed breeding dates through a gestation calculator and all that.  I was able to thoroughly convince myself that nothing would happen while I was gone, that nothing would be missed, that my own instincts and eye on things wasn't any better than anybody else's oversight . . . almost.  That's a hard one for me, but I am working on it.

Anyway, I am rambling a bit, imagine that :).  The point is --  I did not make the Bohaty sale!  Felt like a complete coward and  failure as a friend to those fine folks, Walter and Nancy Bohaty.  Of course that sale went off without a hitch despite my mouthy presence to bend the ear of every one I encountered.

The Bohaty sale was attended by members of the BWCAA as well as the ABWPA and there were countless newcomers interested in the breed attending.  The Bohaty's are charter members of the BWCAA,  but after the grief of last summer Nancy did join the ABWPA - and I am a member as well.  Walter and Nancy Bohaty know better than most anyone the true and real kinship of the 'white' cows of both associations, and I've no doubt many will follow their lead in the years to come despite the lame rhetoric of influential members who appear to explore letting us join together one year -- and trash them the next -- truth wins in the end.  In the event you don't know - Walter Bohaty's participation in the BWCAA predates any other member in a leadership position right now.  Did you now that?  
Bohaty Sale 2013 

Walter Bohaty has been a productive board member of the BWCAA off and on for years - I can only wish I realized how much I should have respected every word and thought of Walter's when I was on that board.  Walter and Nancy up until just a few years back had the single biggest herd of British White cattle registered with the BWCAA.  Right now, I don't know who has the biggest registered herd as our Association doesn't give much public information in that regard and I'm no longer a welcomed insider.  Regardless, their support of the BWCAA has been critical to its financial success for any number of years -- as in their herd fees paid a hell of a lot of our bills that kept the BWCAA on it's financial feet.

As many of you know, Walter Bohaty and Linda Hohenwald of RLC Farms, current members of the Board of the BWCAA, were subjected to potential personal and professional ruin by some element of the BWCAA just this past summer.  It seemed a very personal and irrational event, actioned under the official umbrella of the BWCAA.  It was a very poorly thought out attempt to force the Bohaty's and Linda Hohenwald not just off the board of directors -- but to strip them of their basic membership!! if they refused to resign from that board -- and it proved to be a very costly action.  How interesting that one of the founding members who has contributed the most to the financial bottom line of the BWCAA had to see part of those hard earned dollars used against them!!

Now we come to today.  Here it is May 1st, 2013.  We all got that letter from the president of the BWCAA informing us of the nominees and their cute Bio's for the three upcoming open board seats.  Groovy.  And I've not a single reason to think any one of them would not be productive board members.  But it is plain odd.  I literally thought that the board must have made a bylaw change effecting election of board members that I missed.  Remember that stink last year?  They tried to pass bylaw changes to the election of board members without membership approval?  I immediately assumed upon receipt of that letter that they'd managed to do it and I had missed it.  Not so.

I would imagine if I thought that must be what had happened, then many of you did as well, and still do, think the same.  But there simply have been no changes in the method of election our board members.  Apparently, neither Walter Bohaty nor Linda Hohenwald were asked if they wished to run again for their Board seats!!!  All outgoing Board members are asked if they'd like to run for another term -- not this time.  Surprised are you?? Not really a surprise to me either.  I would also add that while I was on the board one of my very biggest surprises was driving all the way to some horrible tourist town to discover a board nomination that was a done deal that I'd been told absolutely nothing about - lots of precedent on this score.

Sandhill Cranes grazing in cornstalks at Bohaty 2013 Sale
But, this so-called "President's" letter, its presumptive tone, its lack of explanation in regard to Walt and Linda, is in my opinion clearly yet another effort to control this upcoming election.  The fact is, any one of you who would like to be considered as a member of the board can have yourself put on the ballot for the election at the upcoming meeting in June in Snyder, Texas.  The fact is any one of you can give your proxy to either Walter Bohaty or Linda Hohenwald and have them vote for you at that meeting.  Heck, I think you could even give it to me -- but I will not be there unless of course I learn that Walter Bohaty and Linda Hohenwald  have been asked if they wished to run once again for a seat on 'our' board of directors, and they will be properly placed on the ballot at the meeting.  Even then, it's a bit far for me to drive alone and I would have to make that trip on my own - as my chauffeur has refused.  I know that our delightful member, Carolyn Barbee, will put on a great meeting; certainly last years meeting was very interesting and entertaining - even watching a member at the annual meeting doing the old finger across the throat with great zest in an attempt to signal the board to squelch any further questions from the membership - I still look fondly back at that with great amusement!

  • If you do get a proxy request in the mail from the BWCAA, please explore what you are giving up, and who you are giving it to very seriously.  At the last election there was no disclosure, absolutely zero, of the number of proxies held, who had signed over their proxy, how those proxies were voted . . . nothing.  And zero oversight recorded during the vote or afterward in the minutes which is a violation of the rules as I understand them.

This is not high school.  This is not a popularity contest; it is not about who is the big man on campus; student body president; voted most popular; voted most helpful . . . etc....  This is our world, our business, our livelihoods impacted -- NOT the future of our hobbies or social standing!!!

Dang, I really did not intend to do anything more than publicly apologize to the Bohaty's for letting them down by not making their sale!!  The Sunday morning of their sale weekend I had a pretty little heifer born, she is just so cute, and I immediately thought to myself . . . that will be Nancy Bee, and how perfect!!  I so adore the name and am hopeful she will be the matriarch of a nice line of calves that will bear a continuation of that name.

Here is the video that I finally got edited and posted to YouTube just this afternoon.  I do hope you enjoy it!