I get more questions on the phrase “Non gene altered” than any thing else. So I attempt to explain.
The Livestock Conservancy determined the American Milking Devon to be a heritage breed. They have a definition on their web site, livestockconservancy.org. The Milking Devon’s are recognized and recorded to be the same breed of cow arriving in America in 1623. And their history goes back centuries earlier in Devonshire England, so I am comfortable in the statement that my cows are non gene altered.
One of my favorite encounters was an older rancher driving on our county road stops and asks about the cows we have. I was telling him their story and before I could finish he says “I was right, those are the old clunker cows” and he drives off. It took a minute before I laughed and said I have something different. For us the old clunker cow is for a reason.
In the 1970’s a group wanted to take the Devon’s to be a main stream beef cow with all of the wonderful traits of the breed. A split occurred and today you have a North Devon Association and the American Milking Devon Association. The Milking Devon’s can be registered in the North Devon association but the beef side can not be registered in the American Milking Devon Association.You can see the changes made in the past 40 years all labeled as improvements but are these changes in the genetic base of the animal?
Today we have the modern beef cow that have been built by design thru selective breeding, line breeding, and in recent history gene editing. Many of the changes are easy to see polled (no horns), body conformation, additional marbling on the meat, higher birth weights, and faster weight gain.
This is a HUGE subject so we are going to do this in short segments. Our net couple of posts will contain more information on “WHY” we chose old clunker cows who produce beef as it was before science knew better. Attached are some of videos to what is happening to and in our food supply.