1st Upper Midwest Devon Event
2nd year – In collaboration with RDUSA National – Dubuque, IA
3rd year – RDUSA National Show and Sale – Springfield, MO
A Brief History of the Upper Midwest Devon Exchange
Over the past 12 years, the four founders of the Upper Midwest Devon Exchange have assembled Red Devon herds by purchasing cattle from all over the United States, blending Devon genetics from the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to develop Devon cattle that are adapted to the forages and climate of the Upper Midwest. The reason for traveling so far to find high quality Red Devon was very simple: they just were not available in the Upper Midwest. But that has changed.
The first event staged by the Upper Midwest Devon Exchange was in May of 2015, when 10 Devon breeders from 7 different states (New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin) consigned cattle to the first Upper Midwest event held at Hillside Pastures near Spring Green, Wisconsin. Fifty five lots, generating $187,000, were sold at that event and all but one Devon stayed in the Upper Midwest!
The 2016 Upper Midwest event was held in collaboration with the national Red Devon USA National Show and Sale in Dubuque, Iowa. The founding members of the Upper Midwest Devon Exchange took responsibility for the management of the Devon show and sale and one of the members, Rolling Meadows, hosted the entire delegation for a day on the farm—a day that included two meals, educational workshops, and even a roping demonstration.
In 2017 the Red Devon USA National Show and Sale was held in Missouri, prompting Red Devon breeders in the Upper Midwest to truck cattle to that location, rather than sponsor a separate event.
4th Annual Upper Midwest Devon Exchange
The organizing principles of the 2018 event are a bit different than prior events. After witnessing the negative impact of moving cattle great distances and placing them in sometimes radically different environments with different forages, we are committed to consigning only cattle that are adapted to conditions in the Upper Midwest. Of course, guests are welcome to attend from all parts of the world, and of course, buyers can transport cattle wherever they are needed; however, all consignments will be regional.
In another departure from prior years, the 2018 sale will be a silent auction starting in March and ending on May 12th at the public educational workshop to be held at Hillside Pastures near Spring Green, Wisconsin. The silent auction will be conducted through this newly launched website and will be managed by David Fell.
Unlike the national Red Devon annual events, we are not conducting a traditional Devon show with a judge selecting “winners” in selected classes of cattle. That said, we will have a carefully selected group of Devon in the ring to demonstrate the characteristics required for efficient production of high-quality grassfed beef.
What defines the “Upper Midwest”?
The “Upper Midwest” is not defined by strict geographic boundaries; rather, it should be understood as a concept that reflects a common sense and regional approach to raising and trading grass cattle. The map below shows a somewhat arbitrary 200-mile radius around the site of the 2018 event as well as the farm locations of the founding members.
By focusing on consignments of Devon that were born and raised within this roughly defined region, we can be somewhat confident that the cattle presented are adapted to our environment. The regional approach also reduces the inevitable stress imposed on cattle when transported over long distances.
The intention is to encourage Red Devon producers in other regions of the country to organize their own event to introduce more people to the benefits of using Red Devon cattle.