Improving the stud one animal at a time
Farmer's Weekly|May 14, 2021
Dirco Swart, owner of Blinkmeneer Beefmasters in Frankfort, says that the future of the Beefmaster is bright, thanks to the breed’s adaptability and breeders’ passion for improvement.
Dirco Swart

The success of any livestock breeding concern depends on choosing a breed that makes economic sense and optimises returns on investment to ensure sustainability and profitability. That is why I chose Beefmasters.

I run a stud of 180 breeding female animals near Frankfort in the eastern Free State. I established the Blinkmeneer Beefmaster (Blinkmeneer) stud in 2010 and decided on the stud breeding route from the onset in order to realise optimal value.

The main objective at Blinkmeneer is to combine my passion for cattle with my passion for numbers, and thus to optimise economic return. In order to achieve this, Blinkmeneer’s selection principles are aligned with Tom Lasater’s (the founder of the Beefmaster) philosophy of the Six Essentials. I thus focus on fertility, hardiness, milk production, and weight gain. This means a cow must produce a calf every season, or she is culled. Moreover, she has to produce a calf with above-average performance. Beefmaster breeders pride themselves on maintaining the highest cow-to-calf weight ratio at weaning across all beef cattle breeds in the country.

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