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Showing posts from August, 2013

Thompson Farm Field Day

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I will be speaking at the Thompson Farm Field Day on Tuesday September 17th about increasing the precision of purchasing, mating, and culling decisions. Hope to see you there!


BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly
The Truth: Every Living Thing Is A Genetic Defect Carrier

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Here is a link to my article in the BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly. I know there may be some questions (and disagreement) about my article. Please comment with questions or contact me by email.
Luckily, we now have the tools to manage these broken genes.

North American Limousin Foundation updates parentage testing

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I received news that NALF is switching to SNP genotyping for parentage verification. Quote from their e-Partners newsletter: Performance CommitteeSNP Parentage Transition
Within the past 12 months, members have experienced problems with parentage verification due to new lab contracts and GeneSeek Inc.'s acquisition of long time NALF official parentage DNA lab Scidera. In order to alleviate verification issues and extended turn around times, the NALF board has decided to transition all parentage testing to SNP technology starting with calves born January 1, 2013. Members with active AI sires and donor dams will be receiving a letter in the next week requesting samples on their AI sires and donor dams which GeneSeek and NALF will run historical profiles on in order to verify their progeny via SNP free of charge. These historical animals will not be rerun for parentage verification. New samples are requested if at all possible. Please read your letter in regards to semen samples. If y…

Cattlemen can avoid passing on broken genes

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I had a great conversation with Tom Steever at the Missouri State Fair Simmental Event.

Listen to the interview. Then, post your thoughts in the comments section.

In the future, how will your operation approach genetic defects?

Most important innovation?

BEEF Magazine is running a poll asking the question, What’s The Most Important Innovation In Genetics?

Artificial insemination and EPDs (national databases) are currently the most popular answers. But, these two innovations relied on one another to be successes!
Artificial insemination would not be as beneficial if we could not identify the outstanding sires that deserve to be used in herds across the country. EPD evaluations would not be nearly as accurate if we didn't have huge numbers of progeny for popular sires. Plus, these progeny are born in very different environments across the country, so we are able to accurately account for environmental effects in EPD predictions. These two technologies rely on each other and work together. So, my answer is both!

As DOC HARRIS said, the important word in the poll question is "was". If the question used "will be" I think the answers would be different. As new challenges arise in the beef industry, I will be keeping …

Reaching the Peak

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A member of the Ranchers.net's Ranch Talk Forum, graybull, made an interesting comment about my blog. 
Very interesting thoughts about DNA testing and related.  And you are exactly correct...........more tools will get you where you are going.
Cavet is that "if you are driving on the wrong road........going faster will only get you there quicker." I realize that this is a common misconception from the examples and explanations I have been using to describe genomic selection and genomic-enhanced EPDs. Let's see if I can fix that.

Two thoughts.
First, these tools can be used to reach an optimum rather than an extreme. In fact, as you get closer to the optimum, you need to make small, precise steps, rather than large steps of varying precision. As you approach the apex of the peak, if you continue to take large steps, it is possible you could go past the optimum. But, decreasingly small, precise steps in the right direction will help you reach the optimum. Genomic-en…

Cherry Picking and Cattle

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There is a great post about picking cherries and raising cattle at the Black Ink blog. I really like how the husband and mother-in-law had different attitudes toward change. It is also interesting how the source of new information influenced the response.
What traditions in livestock genetics need to be questioned?
Do you have an example of how your operation questioned tradition and found an improved practice?
I would love to see your examples in the comments section.

Booth at the Missouri State Fair for Missouri Simmental Association

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Come see me tomorrow at the Missouri State Fair!

Judging Contest with a GeneMAX twist

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Certified Angus Beef is have an intersting contest on their Facebook page where people are asked to visually appraise and rank a set of 4 heifers. But, the official placings are based upon their GeneMAX scores. GeneMAX is a genetic test marketed by Zoetis to identify cattle that grow well in the feedlot and produce a highly marbled carcass. Post your placings on Certified Angus Beef's Facebook page for a chance to win. Post the reasons for your placing in the comments section below!