The Revell Farm in the United States was established in early 1870’s. The enterprises include soil, land, cattle and crop management. The farm has continued to flourish with the entire operations and personnel being deeply involved with the USDA and the Southeast agricultural supply chain.
Black Opals advisors and directors has been published in numerous trade journals. The hands-on involvement of Black Opals teams in numerous farming concerns has provided its team with experience in the latest agricultural technology (precision farming [GPS]; effective fertilizer regimes, proper genetic selection, minimum and no-tillage programs; insect, weed and disease control; irrigation systems; and livestock production (efficient nutritional and preventive medical programs; advanced reproductive technologies – superior genetics, artificial insemination, embryo transplant, heat synchronization; performance programs – estimated progeny differences, DNA values, frame score, weight measurements, ultrasound; certified beef programs; source programs – identification and traceability systems; e-marketing-online catalogs, brochures, cattle sales.
Carefully selected, exclusive semen and embryos have been exported from the United States to Brazil to create an elite breeding herd in-country and to provide superior genetics to the local allied producers.
Black Opals production has been enhanced by use of artificial insemination with selection based on genetic bloodlines, visual appraisal and performance testing (comparisons of weights with contemporary groups measured at birth, weaning and yearling). Crossbreeding was popular in client’s commercial cow herds. Black Opals suppliers have been seen at county fairs, state fairs and national shows were a valuable tool for marketing, evaluating how the breeding program stacked vs other breeders; as well the social camaraderie.
Professor Dorian Garrick, Black Opal’s Chief Genetic and Breeding Advisor was the inaugural appointment to the Jay Lush Endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics at Iowa State University for almost 10 years from August 2007 following five years at Colorado State University and fifteen years at Massey University where he has held the A.L. Rae Chair since 1994. Dorian has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of national animal evaluation programs, performance recording databases and breeding schemes.
Professor Garrick has worked in the design of experiments to detect major genes and to exploit them in breeding programs. His recent work has focused on theoretical and applied aspects of using genomic information to predict performance. Dorian views animal breeding in a systems context, involving the integration of knowledge and understanding of business goals, production systems, processing and marketing, in concert with quantitative and molecular genetics.
Professor Garrick has worked with a variety of genetic improvement programs, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, dual-purpose sheep, fine-woolled sheep, pigs, elk, salmon and tree breeding. Dorian works well with other researchers and equally enjoys working with enthusiastic producer and industry groups that seek to include animal breeding approaches in the attainment of their farm or ranch business goals. Dorian is Executive Director of the US National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium that focuses on the development and application of methods that use genomic information to predict genetic merit in beef cattle.
Professor Dorian Garrick is also a founding partner of Theta Solutions LLC that licenses BOLT software for national and international genetic and genomic evaluations.
First-hand knowledge and experience from ranching and farming since the 1870’s in the United States and 1877 in South America have been exciting, challenging and rewarding. Agriculture in a temperate climate or in the tropics each has its advantages and requires adjustments to the production model. Many similarities can be found throughout the world, but each hemisphere has unique and cultural differences.
Black Opals directors and partners experience gained in South America over the past 140 years has seen changes that follow the United States lead but in a slower and more hesitant path. Genetics from the United States have played an important part in genetic improvement worldwide. Most of the cattle were raised in a grass based environment in the early years and just recently the adaption of a grain-fed feedlot system has been evolving. Many commercial producers focus has been on low cost production with limited push for high quality. The main reason for this is the market place was commodity priced with very little premium paid for quality meat produced. This is slowly changing with introduction of “branded beef” programs. Each link of the value chain is strengthening with time in an area of the world that is beef eaters. Consumer education is improving and good marketing is in place via print, television and social media. Cattle shows are limited in number, but have importance just like the United States. Youth programs are mostly in a conceptual stage with little implementation of activities. The farm in the center of the changes coupled with the awareness of the international market demands to help push along changes for the better of the beef industry.
The company capitalizes on over 140 years of successfully managing its own operations and farms, bringing an in-depth knowledge of infrastructure development, agriculture and international business to every project implemented. The hands-on approach gives the firm the ability to go into and succeed in difficult remote locations. Black Opal is delivering effective and efficient service, rely on teams experience and training as well shared vision and interest in providing superior-quality work.
Black Opal is currently and will continue to develop operations internationally, leveraging its unique genetics and unparalleled know-how.