Education, fellowship and fun were on the program for the Brahman Field Day held at Langdale Farms in Avast, Georgia January 19-20. Langdale Farms hosted and sponsored the event; additional sponsors included the Wire Grass Cattleman Association and the Florida Brahman Association (FBA).

The afternoon of January 19 started with a FBA meeting, where leaders discussed the association's next field day to be held April 29 at Kempfer Cattle Company as well as the 2017 ABBA Membership Convention to be held in Orlando, September 15-16, along with possible ranch tour opportunities for breeders near the convention.

After the meeting, members of the FBA, along with Langdale Farms' Ranch Manager Joey Miley, visited with cattlemen wanting to learn more about Brahman cattle. Visitors perused the displays of tractors, feed providers, genetic companies as well as some beautiful Brahman bulls. Later, a hamburger dinner was served and everyone was excited about returning and attending the big event the next day.

The morning of the field day in Georgia started a little hazy and misty, but the sunshine broke out mid-morning and the attendance at the field day was exceptional. Breakfast was served and cattleman enjoyed coffee and pastries while observing the Brahman bulls that were in pens near the Civil War era building, where the presentations were to be held.

FBA President Larry Ford began the event with a moment of silence for Joe Butt, who had been influential in the early planning of the Georgia Field Day. His untimely death in 2016 left the Brahman world saddened. Miley had worked along with Larry Ford and others to make sure that the field day was the educational and fun Brahman event Joe had envisioned. Joe would have been proud of how the event he helped to initiate was brought to fruition.

ABBA Executive Vice President Chris Shivers was the first speaker and gave an informational presentation and overview of the ABBA. Shivers discussed how the ABBA is busy working for the membership by registering cattle, informing cattlemen of the latest Brahman news, organizing field days and supporting breeders in the marketing of Brahman cattle through sales and international trade missions. The ABBA also continues to improve the breed with different research and breed improvement programs. Shivers explained how updates are made to the breed's EPDs four times per year and how the ABBA has recently rolled out new DNA rules about parent verification. Shivers suggested cattlemen could view and learn more about Brahman cattle by attending fairs where Brahman cattle would be judged and on display in nearby locations.

ABBA president, J.D. “Bubba” Sartwelle, Jr. gave an informative presentation about the ABBA Fl programs. He explained the different programs in detail and offered to answer questions after the meeting.

Marcus Shackelford, a past president of the ABBA and owner of Rocking S Cattle in Wachaula, Florida, captivated the crowd with a very interesting "Then and Now" history lesson about the Brahman breed.

Another past president of the ABBA, Jimmy Chapman of Double C Bar Ranch in Kenansville, Florida, educated the attendees about the proper handling of Brahman cattle. Chapman regaled the audience with personal stories of starting his own Brahman herd to help dispel the myth that the Brahman breed is more temperamental than other breeds of cattle.

"A lot of temperament issues can derive from the way the cattle are handled," explained Chapman. "Brahman cattle are smart and you have to be aware of this when you work them and not handle them in a rough manner as they will remember."

Current ABBA Vice President George Kempfer was on hand to discuss marketing. Kempfer stays busy on a day-to-day basis working with his family in their cattle business, Kempfer Cattle Company in St. Cloud, Florida. His marketing discussion touched on a variety of topics.

Dr. Todd Thrift with the University of Florida Beef Cattle Management gave a very informative presentation on heterosis.

Door prizes were donated by Fuller Supply, Nasa Fertilizer, West End Milling, Ani-Pro, Zoetis, Baker Cattle, Josh Churchwell, LB Feeds and Country Meats, W.H. Fleming Company and Sweet Pro.

Semen donation door prizes included 5 straws of semen on LMC MQ Polled Troubadour 97/3 donated by Langdale Farms and 10 straws of Mr V8 434/5 donated by Genex.

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