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Hereford and Red Angus Heifers Recruited for Genomics Research

The University of Missouri is recruiting 2,500 Hereford heifers and 2,500 Red Angus heifers to participate in a heifer puberty and fertility genomic research project. Heifers should be registered Hereford, registered Red Angus, or commercial Hereford or Red Angus. Hereford x Red Angus crossbred heifers targeted for the Premium Red Baldy Program would also be a good fit for the research project. Producers must be willing to work with a trained veterinarian to collect the following data: ReproductiveTract Scores collected at a pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season.PelvicMeasurements (height and width) collected at the same pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season.Pregnancy Determination Using Ultrasound reporting fetal age in days. Ultrasound will need to occur no later than 90 days after the start of the breeding season.
In addition, heifers must have known birth dates and have weights recorded either at a year of age o…

Leaders in Beef Reproduction Respond.

Let's be frank. Reproductive technologies, like most other technology in agriculture, work. Key is using the technology properly, perhaps even relying on expert advice, to be more profitable.
See this response by the Beef Reproduction Task Force. https://farmprogress.com/reproduction/readers-respond-blog-ai-and-sexed-semen
p.s. Title should have been "Leaders respond..."

Tackling Lameness: Missouri Beef Cattle Producer Survey

Beef Cattle Producer Survey – Cattle Lameness and Antimicrobial Usage in MissouriResearchers at the University of Missouri are conducting a survey of beef cattle producers in Missouri. The purpose of this research survey is to gather information regarding lameness in adult (greater than or equal to 18 months of age) cattle, including bulls, cows, and replacement heifers. The goals of this study are to determine the most common causes of lameness in beef cattle in Missouri and which antibiotics and treatments are most commonly used to treat these lamenesses. The survey is anticipated to take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. To take the survey, please follow this link.  https://missouri.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1BV2TqAhImIBzJb
The University of Missouri researchers thank you for your time and interest in participating in this survey! 
If you have any questions about this research study, please contact: Pamela Adkins, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and Kelsey Walker, DVM University of Missouri Vete…

Heifer Puberty and Fertility Project: Participation Overview

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University of Missouri USDA Funded Heifer Puberty and Fertility Project Participation Overview Project Goals Fertility is critically important to both commercial and seedstock breeders. This project aims to improve genetic/genomic predictions for puberty and fertility of heifers by collecting DNA samples and relevant phenotypes, specifically relating to pubertal status and date of conception within the breeding season. This project is funded by the USDA-NIFA Animal Reproduction Program. The project is recruiting 2,500 Hereford and 2,500 Red Angus heifers, to add to a data set of 6,000 Angus heifers.

Participation  To inquire about participating in the project, please first contact one of the project coordinators by email or phone:  Dr. Jared Decker  Phone: 573-819-0837 Email: DeckerJE@missouri.edu Dr. Jordan Thomas  Phone: 573-289-9592 Email: ThomasJor@missouri.edu The following information will then need to be emailed to Helen Yampara-Iquise (yamparah@missouri.edu),…

Do Hips Lie?

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My older son Jaden Decker competed in the Missouri Junior Hereford Association Illustrated Speech Contest.  The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program has been very successful helping farmers and ranchers better manage beef heifers. We recently received USDA funding to use reproductive tract scores, pelvic measurements, and fetal age from ultrasound to better predict heifer reproduction EPDs. We are recruiting 2,500 Hereford and 2,500 Red Angus heifers for this project.
Jaden discusses using these management practices and collecting this data in his herd.

Hazardous Hair Shedding

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One of the things I learned from my student Troy Rowan was that best part of breed association's junior national expos is the contests and activities.  So, when I saw the Junior National Hereford Expo Pee Wee Speech contest was online this year, we jumped at the opportunity. 
Below is Jensen Decker's speech titled "Hazardous Hair Shedding". 
Really excited about the growth this young man showed through this experience! Thanks for to the National Hereford Women for sponsoring the Pee Wee Speech contest.

Three Awesome Things We Learned From Hair Shedding

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We recently posted a preprint (a research publication that has not yet been peer reviewed) to the bioRxiv server. You can read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.21.109553 This manuscript describes our work with Angus breeders and Angus Genetics Inc. to create a hair shedding EPD for the American Angus Association.
We learned a lot of cool things about hair shedding in this paper. Including how hair shedding is related to other traits and how hair shedding is related to the environment.
1) Negative Relationship Between Milk and Growth Something interesting to me was to learn more about the genetic correlation between weaning weight direct and weaning weight maternal. Most producers will know weaning weight maternal as the Milk EPD. Many animal breeders have believed that the negative genetic correlation between weaning weight maternal (milk) and weaning weight direct is a by-product of the procedures used to estimate EPDs. A negative genetic correlation between weaning weig…

EPDs and Genomics: A Conversation with the American Angus Association Board

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At the National Western Stock Show, I had a great discussion with the American Angus Association board and members. Angus Media put together a nice summary of that presentation.