I found this quote in the forward of one of my great-grandfathers books. For the attainment of success, no business is more dependent on the broad application of the sciences than is that of producing livestock on range and pasture. Unfortunately, many persons are skeptical regarding the application of the scientific principles to their agricultural operations, and are inclined to distinguish between what they term "practical" and what they call "scientific." Today, with a tendency toward the narrowing of the margin of profits in the production of pasture livestock, the use of "extended and systematized commonsense," as one carful thinker defines science is essential to success.
Arthur W. Sampson Range and Pasture Management 1923 As I read my collection of old farming books, I am struck by how practical the science is in those books compared to how things are today. Science seems to have lost its way, it seems more focused on providing jobs for scientists than doing meaningful research and education. Today cattle breeding has been reduced to a bunch of often made up numbers.
While watching the Triple Crown races this year it has occurred to me that in spite of all the money invested in horse racing, the horses haven't been getting any faster over the decades. Secretariat foaled in 1970 is still the fastest racehorse of all time. It seems that race horse owners are spending millions of dollars to stand still. I have seen similar trends within cattle as well. All that the frame race has done is to make big cows that are ultimately less efficient. And know to correct the error, we are know breeding little bulls to huge cows. We have it backwards. On top of this, we have created a dependence upon modern pharmaceuticals to keep our cattle healthy. With the new tools that we have unfit animals are now being propagated because they never had the opportunity to get sick.