Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Searching for Environmental Adaptation in Beef Cattle

By Troy Rowan and Jared Decker, PhD, University of Missouri
Reprinted with permission of the ASA SimTalk magazine, from the Late Fall 2017 issue.

The United States is home to diverse climates and geographies. Over the past 150 years, beef cattle have found their way into nearly every one of these unique environments. Some cattle thrive in particular environments, while others struggle. Animals well-suited to an environment performed well and are selected to stay in herds. Poorly-suited animals are culled. As a result, selection occurred on traits that improved cattle performance in different environments. Now, resulting from this selection, there may be a significant amount of region-specific genetic diversity, even within the same breed. In a USDA-funded research project, we are looking to find the DNA variants responsible for this environmental adaption. We will then use these variants to create geographic region-specific genomic predictions.

Local Adaptation
Animals that are poorly adapted to their local environment are less efficient and more expensive to maintain. Most previous local adaptation research has focused on heat tolerance in Bos indicus influenced cattle. Work has only begun on identifying the genetic components of issues like cold tolerance, hair shedding, altitude adaptability, tolerance to pathogens, and other region-specific stressors in Bos taurus cattle populations.

The potential economic impact of this research to the beef cattle industry is substantial. A 1993 study predicted that animals poorly adapted to toxic fescue cost the beef industry close to $1 billion per year. Toxic fescue tolerance is only one slice of the local adaptation pie. Other environmental stressors have similar economic impacts. If breeders can tap into genetic potential for tolerance to environmental stressors and animals are optimized for production in their specific geographic regions, the beef industry could save billions of dollars each year.

Detecting Region-Specific Selection
Much like natural selection in wild populations, region-specific selection occurs on existing genetic variation that may be beneficial in one environment, but neutral or unfavorable in another. Over several generations, this beneficial variation becomes more common within a regional population. Put simply, animals that are well-adapted to their regional environments produce successful offspring that remain in the gene pool. Poorly-adapted animals in most cases produce poorly and are culled from their respective herds. These poorly-adapted animals have minimal contributions to future generations. Advancements in genomic tools have made it possible for this diversity to be categorized. We can compare differences between regional populations on the DNA base pair level.


 


Figure 1. Hypothetical example of local adaptation to different regions of the United States.

The example in Figure 1 illustrates how region-specific genomic changes are detected.

1) A genetic variant (in this example a SNP) is introduced into two regional populations at the same frequency (1 in every 10 animals will have it).
2) In one environment (Missouri), this SNP has a favorable impact on cattle performance. In another (Florida), it has no effect.
3) Over many generations, cattle possessing the favorable SNP in Missouri are preferentially selected. The SNP’s neutral effect in Florida means that no selection occurs on cattle with the variant.
4) Selection over many generations in Missouri drives up the frequency of the SNP in the population, while it stays the same in Florida.
5) Genomic analyses compare hundreds of thousands of markers and their frequencies between populations. Variants showing major differences in frequency between different regional populations are likely under selection.

Ongoing Work
At the University of Missouri, we are using this idea to identify genetic variation within breed populations that could affect how well adapted a cow is to her particular local environment. With the help of the American Simmental Association, and two other major breed associations, we have assembled a geographically diverse set of over 37,000 animals with genotypes. We will use these samples to start exploring region-specific selection. Using 30-year normal values for temperature, precipitation, and elevation, we have divided the United States into 9 distinct “climate zones” (Figure 2). Animals are divided into subpopulations based on their climate zone. Tests for selection will be applied to see if certain genetic variants are being selected in particular regions, but not in others. A geographic distribution of the Simmental animals in the study and their climate zones is shown in Figure 3. Preliminary data analysis has identified a number of DNA variants (SNPs) in Simmental populations that appear to be under selection in specific regions of the U.S.
 

Figure 2. Nine climate regions of the Continental United States developed based on 30-year normal temperature, precipitation, and elevation. 


Figure 3. Geographic distributions of Simmental animals from the study (9,950 total). Each dot represents a unique zip code. Dot color corresponds with the climate zone in which that zip code resides. Dot size is representative of the number of animals at each zip code. 


Upon discovering variants that are under region-specific selection, we not only gain an understanding of the biology behind local adaptation, but we can begin using these SNPs to train region-specific genomic predictions. These tools have the potential to re-rank animals based on the region in which they will be used. This will provide producers with the most tailored predictors of how an animal’s offspring might perform in their local environment. Beef cattle are subject to the full brunt of environmental stressors. Controlling a beef cow’s environment on range or pasture is impossible. But, ensuring that our animals are genetically well-equipped for their environment is essential.


About the Authors:
Troy Rowan is a PhD student at the University of Missouri. Troy attended the Beef Improvement Federation Symposium in Athens, Georgia in June of 2017 with funds from an ASA Walton-Berry Award to the University of Missouri. Jared Decker is a researcher and beef genetics extension specialist at the University of Missouri.



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Youth Win Essay Contest: “What does it mean to be a beef breeder in the 21st century?”

We are happy to announce the winners of our national youth essay contest.
Youth responded to the question, “What does it mean to be a beef breeder in the 21st century?”

1st: Grace Erickson, Bolivar, MO, Bolivar FFA, Woodlawn 4-H, Missouri Junior Simmental Association, American Junior Simmental Association
See her essay at BEEF Daily.

2nd: Jackson Barry, Canton, MO, Canton FFA, Shamrock 4-H in Clark County

3rd: Jacob Jones, Stillwater, OK, Stillwater FFA, International Junior Brangus Breeders Association, Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen's Association

4th: Brooke Falk, Harveyville, KS, North American Limousin Juniors Association

5th: Brooklynn Salo, Laramie, WY,  Snowy Range FFA, Albany County 4-H

6th: Wesley Denton, Blue Rapids, KS, Valley Heights FFA, National Junior Hereford Association, Wide Awake 4-H Club

7th: Garrett Stanfield, Manchester, OH, American Junior Simmental Association


Grace Erickson's essay will be appearing on the BEEF magazine website. Watch for other winning essays here at A Steak in Genomics.

We look forward to watching these youth become leaders in the beef industry.

We will soon be announcing our 2018 essay contest.

Special thanks to our essay sponsors BEEF magazine, Zoetis, and GeneSeek.

This educational program and essay contest are part of the "Identifying Local Adaptation and Creating Region-Specific Genomic Predictions in Beef Cattle" funded by the USDA-NIFA, Grant No. 2016-68004-24827.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Transferring Technology: Division of Animal Sciences receives grant to develop The National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG)

Written by Logan Jackson
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

The Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) boasts many strengths, including its vast research and work with beef cattle reproduction and genetics. The faculty, who have responsibilities not only in research, but also in teaching, extension and economic development, are experts in taking their findings and sharing them with farmers, ranchers and the Missouri community as a whole.

beef research and teaching farm_south farm_summer_0013
With the help of a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the division will be able to expand on those leadership opportunities.

The grant, through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), will be used to develop The National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG) in Beef Cattle. The goal of NCARG will be to promote the economic impact of the technologies Mizzou Animal Sciences faculty have developed and are using every day. The focus is on giving farmers and ranchers the answer to the question – “What is the return on investment if I invest in reproductive or genomic technologies?”

“We’re not just trying to fill people’s heads with new knowledge – it’s more about lighting a fire,” said Jared Decker, an Extension beef geneticist at Mizzou. “We’re focused on helping farmers and ranchers understand the technology, but, more than that, to trust the technology and identify ways they can use it. We want to educate producers and help them take that next leap.”

The multi-disciplinary grant is in partnership with the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. NCARG will have a big focus on continuing education for veterinarians, including educational and training opportunities for veterinary students, graduate students, farmers, ranchers and allied industry professionals.

“This center again underscores the collaborative environment between schools and programs that exist at Mizzou to advance training for veterinary and animal science students, and research that benefits Missouri stakeholders,” said College of Veterinary Medicine Interim Dean Carolyn Henry, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology).

The idea for a center of this type has been discussed amongst faculty in the Division of Animal Sciences for the past few years. David Patterson and Mike Smith, both professors of reproductive physiology, have taught numerous full-day sessions at American Veterinary Medical Association meetings. With all of the programs in place at MU, Patterson and Smith had many discussions on ways to share that research with not only Missouri, but on a national level.

David Patterson, Division of Animal Sciences
“Our reproductive and genomic research is so closely tied – and both are great strengths within our division,” Patterson said. “A center of this nature is the logical next step for our division. With beef cattle, there is so much technology that could help operations. We want to help transfer that technology to industry participants at all levels.”

Patterson has led the reproductive extension work in the Division of Animal Sciences, with Decker leading the genetic extension efforts.

There will be a big focus on the economic impact of using these technologies as well. Scott Brown, an assistant extension professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences, will lend his expertise in agricultural and applied economics to the center.

“The returns available to farmers from adopting these technologies will ultimately drive their use, and it is critical we show the increase in profitability that can result from integrating reproductive and genetic technologies in commercial herds,” Brown said.

NCARG already has received numerous letters of support from veterinary medical professionals, U.S. beef breed associations, pharmaceutical houses, genomic testing companies, industry consultants, the artificial insemination industry, branded beef and feeder calf programs, and state agencies, organizations and companies.

“I think it really reflects how people value research in reproduction and genetics at Mizzou,” Decker said. “I think they value the extension and educational expertise at Mizzou as well. The Division of Animal Sciences has worked extremely hard to build relationships with each of these organizations and groups, and it’s exciting to see them offer their full support.”

NCARG is still in the beginning stages of development. The group is seeking a location to house NCARG and is continuing to search for partnerships.

“We’re taking the model we’ve developed in Missouri over the past 20 years and making it a national center,” Decker said. “We’re hoping to spread the model of integrating research and extension in genetics, reproduction and economics – and putting that together. That’s worked really well in Missouri. Now, let’s spread it nationally.”

Along with Patterson, Decker, Smith and Brown, Bill Lamberson, Scott Poock, Thomas Spencer and Jeremy Taylor were part of the development of the grant.

Also, see coverage from Brownfield Ag News "MU: NATIONAL CENTER ON BEEF REPRODUCTION AND GENOMICS". 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

In Memory of Dr. Richard Willham

Dr. Richard Willham passed away the weekend of December 31, 2017.

Dr. Richard Willham was a leader in the development of EPDs.

Watch this video produced by Angus TV.


Also, visit the American Society of Animal Science Taking Stock blog to read more about Dr. Willham's life and work.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

NCBA, Cattle Genetics Experts Team Up For 2018 Genetic Webinar Series

Four sessions will help producers better utilize genetics in beef production


Cattle genetics will be the focus of a new set of webinars to help cattlemen and women better use the tool in their operations.  The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is teaming up with six genetics specialists from across the country to offer the NCBA Cattlemen’s Genetics Webinar Series, which will kick off Jan. 18, 2018.

Titled “Fake News: EPDs Don’t Work,” the January webinar will be followed by sessions in February, March and April that explore other aspects of genetic utilization that will give cattle producers a knowledge boost on cattle selection and breeding.

Providing expertise to producers through the webinar series is the eBEEF team, a group of six genetic specialists from five academic institutions that have invested time and resources in the advancement of the cattle industry through genetics. Members of the team are: Darrh Bullock, Ph.D., University of Kentucky; Jared Decker, Ph.D., University of Missouri; Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D., University of California-Davis; Matt Spangler, Ph.D., University of Nebraska; and Megan Rolf, Ph.D., and Bob Weaber, Ph.D., Kansas State University.

The Cattlemen’s Genetics Webinar Series is being coordinated by the NCBA producer education team. The January session on EPDs will feature Van Eenennaam and Spangler, with other members of the eBEEF team conducting future webinars.

According to Josh White, NCBA executive director of producer education, the genetics webinar series is an extension of NCBA educational webinars started several years ago. “Our model has been to do six or seven timely and seasonal webinars a year, geared to times that producers are looking at specific production practices,” White said. “We noticed that some of our largest viewership has been when we focused on genetics in the spring. We are excited to be partnering with the eBEEF team to expand the offering in 2018.”

Darrh Bullock said the eBEEF team was created to expand the understanding of genetics beyond their own states. “Genetics specialists are a limited resource,” he said. “Even though we provide education in our own states, we feel an obligation to provide more education on a national basis, recognizing that many states don’t have genetics specialists.”

Bullock said one of the creations of the eBEEF team is a website on eBeef.org where cattlemen can find out much of what they need to know about the genetics of beef cattle, featuring videos, factsheets, frequently-asked-questions and other resources. The new opportunity to work with NCBA on the webinar, he said, is an extension of the team’s outreach.

“We have worked informally with NCBA for years, through Cattlemen’s College and individual webinars on genetics,” he said. “This new program is an opportunity to provide cattlemen with more information in advance of the upcoming breeding season, getting them up-to-date genetics information. There really is no better way to get the word out about this topic than through NCBA and the educational programs they coordinate. They reach many cattlemen.”

Bullock said the upcoming webinar series is geared for any producer who would benefit from genetics knowledge, from the experienced seedstock breeder to someone who might be new to the cattle industry and needs to better understand genetics.

Cattle producers are invited to join the webinars live, or access recordings of them following the sessions. For more information on the NCBA Cattlemen’s Genetics Webinar Series go to the producer education tab of the NCBA.org website. Recordings of previous webinars are also available on the site.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

NCBA Hosts Cattle Genetics Webinars


National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is partnering with eBEEF.org to host a series of webinars in 2018. Find more information about the webinars in the series at BeefUSA.org. The first webinar will be Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 7 p.m. CT.

Monday, December 4, 2017

AHA Educational Session 2017: Paving the Genetic Path

Dorian Garrick
Theta Solutions LLC

The Theta Solutions LLC is made up of Dr. Bruce Golden, Dr. Dorian Garrick, and Dr. Daniel Garrick. They have developed the BOLT software for genetic and genomic evaluations.

The American Hereford Association formed an advisory committee to check the new genetic evaluation system. The advisory committee looked at the process during development. The advisory committee included:

  • Joe Ellis
  • Jack Holder
  • Lee Haygood
  • Paul Bennett
  • Mitch Abrahamsen

Suppose we had 100 progeny (i.e. offspring) on 1 bull. You might look at that bull and decide you like him or you don’t like him. But, that bull is just an envelop that carries genetic information. What the bull looks like really doesn’t matter, what matters is what his progeny look like. The way to look at the genetic value, or breeding value, of the bull is to look at his offspring. But, there are lots of environmental effects that influence the performance of the offspring. One example is the age of the dam. We can adjust (i.e. correct) for these effects before we measure his genetic merit. If we had thousands of progeny on a bull, his progeny performance would be his genetic merit. We use a statistical process called BLUP to account for uncertainty in the prediction. This is what produces EPDs.
We have now shifted to using DNA information in animal breeding and genetic prediction. DNA is made of four different molecules, called bases. These four bases are represented by A, C, G, and T. When DNA is copied between parents and offspring, mistakes are made. For example, an A could be replaced with a G. There are proteins that go in and correct these errors. But, some errors still slip through. These are what we call new mutations. The most common mutations are single base pair changes, we call these SNPs.
We can look at associations between SNP types (AA, AB, or BB genotypes) and the predigree based EPD.  When we compare (i.e. regress) the EPD to the SNP genotype, we can estimate the effect of each SNP (which tags a chunk of DNA).
We can test thousands of SNPs at a time using a DNA test called a SNP chip. This SNP technology was developed for human medical research applications. In the BOLT software, they find the effect of thousands of SNPs, and then sum up the SNP effects to produce a genomic prediction.
The AHA has made improvements in genomic prediction between 2010 and 2012. Dr. Garrick pointed out that he called out Hereford breeders for not genotyping more animals. The Hereford breeders stepped up to the plate and genotyped more animals so GE-EPDs could be launched.
Now we had a problem. We had a genetic prediction based on pedigree data and genomic predictions based on DNA data. They could combine these two numbers using a weighted approach. More weight was put on the pedigree EPD if the animal had more progeny information.
We can have a model about how the performance is expressed. Cattle producers may talk about this in terms of breeding and feeding equals the performance. In statistical animal breeding, we use mixed models. We have the phenotype (performance) that is a function of environmental effects such as dam age or contemporary group, the animal effect which is the breeding value and then an unknown effect (the residual).
For a genomic prediction we have the SNP genotypes, the DNA variant effects (i.e. allele effects), and an extra effect that can’t be explained by the SNP DNA markers. This is the model for a genotyped animal. But what do we do for animals that aren’t genotyped?
We can use a process called imputation to infer the genotypes of animals that have not been DNA test based on relatives that have been genotyped. Imputation adds another term for the imputation uncertainty (or error).
In single-step BLUP, they combine genomic and pedigree information to measure relatedness. They get one number out of the evaluation, the estimated breeding value.
In the BOLT model, they explicitly model the SNP effects. This can allow them to better understand and diagnosis how the statistical model is working. This also allows them to create different models, using different SNPs, for different traits.
The BOLT software is based on the super hybrid marker model.
Dr. Mahdi Saatchi was a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Garrick’s group, when Garrick was still at Iowa State University. They identified a set of SNPs that were predictive in multiple breeds. These are the SNPs that are used in the AHA single-step prediction.
The current PACE evaluation fit all traits simultaneously, which required estimating the relationship between all the different traits. These require a linear relationship between increase in one trait and increases in a different trait.
There are now 9 different models in the Hereford evaluation. Only traits that are related to the same economically relevant traits are grouped together.
There has also been data pruning that has gone on. The evaluation now only uses data that was recorded in the Whole Herd Reporting program. This improves the genetic prediction because only unbiased, complete data is used.
BOLT uses MCMC which looks at multiple plausible values in thousands of iterations of analyses. At the end, we take the average of these plausible values which gives us the breeding value. Through these MCMC interations, we could look at the spread in the plausible values. These gives us the Prediction Error Variance, which is a measure of the uncertainty of the prediction. 

Dr. Bruce Golden
Theta Solutions LLC
Dr. Golden addressed five topics:
  • Using Genomic Data
  • Date Cutoff
  • Effects of Accuracy Calculation
  • New and Improved traits
  • Genetic Trends

There are 26,154 genotypes paid for by producers. There are about 50,000 total genotyped animals in the evaluation.
In the evaluation, they have to do marker selection (which SNPs to include in the model). For a lot of SNP effects, if the birth weight effect goes down, the weaning weight effect also goes down. However, there are markers that have an effect on birth weight but have no predicted effect on weaning weight.
In Theta Solutions analyses, single-step BLUP is more accurate than pedigree estimates. However, doing marker selection in the super hybrid models gives you an increase in accuracy over the single-step BLUP model.
Genotype information can give you the same amount of information based on 3 to 15 progeny, depending on the heritability of the trait.
Accuracy is simply a measure of the certainty of the prediction. Zero is bad, one is perfect. Accuracy is harder to calculate and harder to understand. Accuracy is really a measure of risk that the EPD will change with more data.
Breeders are accustomed to full sibs not having very different EPDs. However, with genomic EPDs we can see full siblings to be very different.
Between two full sibs with very different EPDs, they see that 35% of their SNP genotypes are different. They got very different gene samples from their parents (see eBEEF fact sheet for more information).
There is now a new accuracy calculation. There is now no approximation bias in the accuracy calculation. They now use an exact method to estimate the prediction error variance. Because of the evolution in hardware and the MCMC approach, they can now directly measure accuracy (problem is now tractable). The accuracies reported in the new system are going to be lower. The evaluation is not worse, we have done a better job of measuring accuracy. Old accuracy values were approximations and were biased to be larger than they should have been. New accuracies are unbiased, lower, and direct measures.
The new evaluations only uses whole herd Total Performance Records data. They only used observations from January 1, 2001 and forward. They are using pedigree through great-grand parents.
New method is a better measure on accuracy. Breeders will need to recalibrate their eyes to these new accuracy numbers.

Cow Fertility
Cow fertility test to be lowly heritable. However, cow fertility has a big impact on economic selection indexes because it is a huge driver of profitability. Genomics solves the lowly heritable problem. We can now make genetic progress for cow fertility.
There have been lots of measures of cow productivity

  • Days to Calving
  • Calving Interval
  • Cow Longevity
  • Stayability
  • Random Regression Sustained Cow Fertility

We now use the random regression Sustained Cow Fertility. In this analysis, we use all of the available data, cows of any age contribute to the analysis. There are now simultaneous solutions to all ages of cows. There is handling of missing values, such as cows becoming donors (rather than a cow becoming a donor being a “failure” it is now treated as missing).
The Hereford data has observations from 3 years-of-age to 12 years-of-age. A disposal code (reason cow was culled) allows the Hereford Sustained Cow Fertility to focus on fertility and not other reasons for failure.
Hereford is also going to use a new calving ease EPD. This now uses a random regression model, which allows contemporary groups with no variation to be used in the analysis. This evaluation uses scores from all ages of dam and all birth weight records. It predicts EPDs for females as 2 years old. The comparison of the genetic trend between the old model and the new model were very different for Calving Ease Direct. The trends for Calving Ease Maternal were very similar.

Dorian Garrick 
If the sire has an AA genotype at a SNP, and the dam has a BB at a SNP, the calf must be AB (A from sire, B from dam). If the calf is AA, then the dam's genotype doesn't match the calf. If we find lots of these, then the parentage is not verified.
In the past we used blood types to verify parentage. We then used microsatellites, which are lengths of DNA repeats. In cattle, we first used 12 microsatellites, which was later updated to 24 markers. We then switched to SNPs, first using 100 SNPs, which was later updated to 200 SNPs. Theta Solutions genotype pipeline uses all possible markers that animals are genotyped for. They look for animals where the genomic data doesn't match the pedigree data.

Shane Bedwell 
AHA Director of Breed Improvement
Stacy Sanders
AHA Director of Records Department 
Hereford now has a lower DNA price. For $38, breeders get profile, parentage, abnormalities and genomic profile. They can get a combo test for $58, which includes profile, parentage, abnormalities, genomic profile, and Horn/Polled status (previously $85). An add-on Horn/Poll test costs $30, so buying the combo test saves $10. Animals that have previously been tested for parentage can be upgraded to GE-EPDs for $20.
Testing bulls is important from a marketing standpoint. It allows a seedstock producer to sell bulls with more confidence to their commercial customers. From a breed improvement standpoint, it is important to genotype heifers and cows.
Hereford producers can now be paid for using the Allflex TSU Tissue Sample Unit. The unit costs $2 to buy and the producer gets a $4 credit after the animals have been DNA tested.
Dr. Mike MacNeil has updated the AHA Economic Indexes. These updated indexes have been reviewed by Matt Spangler, Larry Kuenen and Bruce Golden.
There are two maternal indexes. The older indexes were driven largely by scrotal circumference. However, scrotal circumference was not a direct measure of female fertility, but only an indicator.
The new maternal index will now have a fertility/longevity trait. Sustained Cow Fertility will now drive the bus.
There has been significant progress in the genetic trend of Hereford. The index will now include Dry Matter Intake (DMI) and Carcass Weight (CW). Ribeye Area (REA), Marbling (MARB), and Back Fat (BF) will be included in the index for balance. The index is now accounting for inputs through the DMI EPD.
[Residual Feed Intake, and other efficiency measures, can rerank animals based on how you look at it. Feed intake is the economically important trait. The appropriate way to do this is through an index.]
The plan is to update economic indexes as the new BOLT evaluation is launched.
The American Hereford Association has been running both evaluations in parallel. The AHA is planning to switch to single-step and new indexes hopefully in mid-November.
Today it takes 20 to 50+ days for progeny records to influence their parent’s EPDs. Going forward, there will be no interim evaluations. There will now be full parent evaluations weekly. Evaluations will be launched midnight on Saturdays. Results of these evaluations will be released Sunday nights. It will now take 9 to 15 days for data to impact an evaluation. Ultrasound scan data now needs to be done 4 weeks or more before a sale. DNA samples for GE-EPDs need to be submitted 6 weeks or more before a sale.
Jack Holden was part of the advisory board and felt the BOLT numbers much better tracked with the performance in his herd. Calving ease has a lot more spread and better matches.
Joe Ellis felt the new numbers and indexes would be more relevant in the commercial industry. Some animals will look better and some will look worse.
Paul Bennett says genetic evaluation has never been perfect, and never will be perfect. But, the analysis has improved. There will be some cattle that are surprised winners. This evaluation has had its day in court and the questions have been answered.