Breeding for heat-resistance not a new concept [Letter]

May 06, 2014

Scientist Megan Rolf need not reinvent the wheel ("Breeding animals to stand the heat," May 5). In the 1950s, my father, Allan O.S. Keeling, developed the Jamaica Red Poll breed, along with other Jamaican cattle breeders.

His imported Red Poll beef cattle from England were crossed with the Indian Brahman to produce an animal with fine tasting beef and a greater ability to fight off tropical diseases and pests. Annual and careful appraisals of every animal in the breeding herds resulted in (to quote Dr. Rolf) "uber-steers resilient as a Brahman" and tasty as, in this case, a Red Poll.

He exported his animals to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Texas. The work won my father commendations from the International Red Poll Society. The Jamaican Angus breed was similarly developed.

Dr. Rolf need look no further than our Caribbean neighbors where these animals are still bred for beef production.

Elizabeth Keeling Carter, Baltimore

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