A Sneak Peak of “Simmental’s American Journey”

ASA teamed up with Dr. Bob Hough to create Simmental’s American Journey, a comprehensive look back at our breed’s deep history. The hardcover books will be available at this year’s Fall Focus and through ASA thereafter. Until you can get your hands on the whole book, check out the excerpts below:

Every story has a beginning, and the North American Simmental story begins with Travers “Travelin” Smith and his dogged determination to establish Simmental as a useful breed. This led him on a journey to import the first modern Simmental bull. A Canadian rancher, Smith imported the bull Parisien in 1966, and his tireless promotion of the bull and the breed helped assure their success.

Travers Smith 1973

Travers Smith


CH 3 and 4 Parisien 4


The greatest early achievement, and one that arguably helped put the breed on the map, was the release of the 1971 Simmental Sire Summary.

Sire Summary

Front cover of the 1971 National Sire Summary —a groundbreaking publication for the beef industry. Photo credit ASA.


The most abundant Continental European breed was Simmental, which originated in Switzerland and spread throughout Europe. As they grew in popularity, they became known by several different breed names. Therefore, technically, the Simmental designation includes several breeds in Europe. In some countries the color has changed, and type has been modified to meet environmental and market demands, but the genetic base of Simmentals continues to provide the base for superior performance.

1897 Simmentaler, Hough

1897 European Simmentaler


1969 Founding Board of Trustees

1969 Founding Board of Trustees. The founding Board of Trustees received commemorative plaques honoring them as the original ASA Board. They are, from left: Charles H. “Bud” Dodge; Dr. Ray Woodward; Jerry Moore; John J “Jack” Winninger; Jesse Malone; Charles Koch; Pat Wilson; and William “Bill” Yaw. P. Huber Hanes, Winston-Salem, NC, was not present for the photo. Photo credit ASA.

Educational programs have always been an important component of ASA. Yet, ASA recognized that their educational programs had to be directed to an entire public audience, which included a large youth component. From the very beginning it was necessary to educate potential breeders, as well as the public, about Simmentals.

CH 11 1975 AJSA Board

Founding members of the AJSA Board of Trustees in 1975: Front Row: Tony Small, KS (left); Jani Castleberry, TX; Chris Sankey, KS; Rob A. Brown, TX; Becky Billberry, NM; Lori Shepherd, NE; and Janice Castleberry, TX advisor. Back row: John R “Bobby” Laurence, GA, ASA Trustee (left); Mark Cutler, SD; Gary Womick, TX; Jeff Miller, FL; Steve Demetropoulos, AL; Tim Settles, IN; Michael Grabbs, TX; Joe Meek, VA; and Chuck Lamburt, KS, advisor.


Also while at Angus, Lipsey was influenced by their Director of Performance Richard Spader, and the industry-leading carcass progeny-testing program he was running. Lipsey would come up with a similar program at Simmental with the Carcass Merit Program (CMP)[…] The CMP became an early focal point and soon thousands of cows and heifers were being bred in the program annually.

CarcassMeritLogo_4c (2)