Glenn, a few weeks ago you asked about the Beau Donalds. I thought someone with more knowledge would speak up, but I guess I will start. The early history with W H Curtice is pretty well covered. He started in Kentucky with cattle from 2 Missouri herds, Harris and Gudgell and Simpson. He moved to Alberta about 1903 and by the time the herd moved to the Bitterroot Valley in 1928, Charles Bull had his start from this herd. Curtices daughter then her son,then grandson continued and linebred the herd. That is where the Martin name came from and at that point the herd became known as Curtice/Martin. The breeding philosophy was linebreeding targeting cattle useful to ranchers; more growth and meat than was available elsewhere at the time. The herd was sold to a family named Kreis around 1960 possibly due to a suicide? In 1968 the herd was dispersed. The 5th generation, Richard Martin attempted to resurrect the program and name in the 1970's but did not last long, possbly due to a family trait of manic/depressive illness.
Last Edit: May 5, 2019 12:04:52 GMT -6 by timbernt
The Curtice/Martin Beau Donalds had over 70 years of success marketing Hereford bulls to commercial cowman. For many years their logo was a triad of milk/growth/muscle. They linebred the original herd WH Curtice started in Kentucky for that entire period. Their way of incorporating new genetics was to use a new bull in their cowherd and see how he worked, then use a son, so they were able to incorporate whatever trait they were after without throwing away the progress they had already made in other traits. I have come to believe in that breeding philosophy myself. One other thing I have in common with their approach is that you have to have a certain volume to create variance and selection pressure.
Their way of incorporating new genetics was to use a new bull in their cowherd and see how he worked, then use a son, so they were able to incorporate whatever trait they were after without throwing away the progress they had already made in other traits. I have come to believe in that breeding philosophy myself. One other thing I have in common with their approach is that you have to have a certain volume to create variance and selection pressure.
Getting back to the Beau Donalds, in the early '50s Curtice/Martin brought in a WHR bull that had some Baca breeding that turned out to be "dirty". They kept and used 2 son's, Beau Donald 641 and Beau Donald 756. There was a lot of politics and rumors and competitors tagged Beau Donalds as being "dwarfy". It was a stigma they never deserved and never recovered from. Both 756 and 641 were progeny tested clean breeding 14 daughters, but the Beau Donalds became marginalized anyway. There were a few that went into Mississippi and around 1970 Johnny Howarth bought those he could find and used them as a foundation. His breeding plan was a linebred herd of 1/4 Beau Donald, 1/4 L1, and 1/2 Sam Donald. He did maintain some straight Beau Donalds for several years. George Wright in Idaho kept his straight for many years, but I don't think there are any true Beau Donalds left today.
As I age, I have come to the conclusion the Beau Donald breeding program fits my needs. I don't know how many remember their logo; a triangle with each of the sides made of their objectives. Muscle, milk, and size with the name Beau Donald in the middle. They linebred for many years for traits commercial ranchers needed and Dad always talked about how much ranchers paid for those bulls. In their linebreeding they still brought in outside genetics from herds that they felt offered an improvement they needed. However, instead of diluting the progress they already had, they used a new bull long enough to get sons to use, thus keeping their core genetics intact. Most breeders I have watched thru the years forget to maintain the progress they have made.