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The one time to throw EPDs out the windowThe one time to throw EPDs out the window

Show-Me Life: Here’s why we shouldn’t size up our spouse the way we do our cattle.

Mindy Ward

October 13, 2023

2 Min Read
A young toddler and an infant lying down on a quilt
DYNAMIC DUO: If data dictated all of our future decisions, we would never see the great blessings of big, bouncing, baby boys like my grandsons, Grayson and Everett. Mindy Ward

How many of us asked our spouse their birth weight before marrying them? We are picky about our cattle and look into their expected progeny differences, but not so picky about our spouses.

I mean, as farmers we take a deep dive into the data on prospect bulls or, for that matter, females. We look at things such as:

  • birth weight

  • calving ease

  • mature height

  • mature weight

We analyze. We find the right matches between bull and female based on the numbers. But I did not ask my husband for his EPDs to see if we would be the perfect pairing. Maybe I should’ve.

I did the old-school visual assessment: I married a 6-footer so my kids would meet the height requirement for the roller coaster at theme parks. Good news, it worked. They did gain a few inches, and they are in the 5-foot-4 range.

But I should’ve asked for more information, especially regarding birth weight.

I came into the world at a tiny 6 pounds, 4 ounces. My husband? 9 pounds, 8 ounces. Uh huh, you see where I’m going here. I should’ve asked.

Our girls posted well above 8 pounds, 6 ounces — and one into the 9 range. So, it should’ve been no surprise that my girl would have big babies. The first boy — 9 pounds, 11 ounces.

At that point, data would suggest offspring might be a bit too big for mama. Still, he was just way too cool to stop at one grandchild. So, they ignored the EPDs.

We welcomed our second grandbaby Sept. 27 weighing in at 11 pounds, 1 ounce. When we sent out his arrival via family text, my sister-in-law joked, “So, what’s the toddler’s name?”

Everett James.

He is healthy, yes heavy, but well worth the big birth weight and lack of “calving” ease. Our fingers are crossed on mature height, but he was only 21 inches long. We may be wishful thinking.

He is so loved. We are so blessed. He defies data.

I guess EPDs in humans should not be a deciding factor for marriage. We’ll just leave them to the livestock industry.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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