Showing posts from July, 2014

Look in the Mirror:
What do We Need to Change?

For those of you who follow my Twitter feed , you know I have been a little disgruntled about a paper that appeared in PNAS earlier this week. I think this paper may be the motivation behind a new documentary called " Cowspiracy " that Amanda Radke reported about on Monday. Jude Capper (a.k.a Bovidiva ) really takes this paper to tasks and points out some serious flaws in the analysis. In addition to ignoring beef's benefits as a source of nutrients such as iron and B vitamins, the habitat that ranches create for livestock, and the ability to turn arid rangeland into food, the authors also miss that cattlemen can be an ally to conservationists. But, Jude Capper and other have sufficiently defended the beef industry. In this post, I want to take this opportunity for us as a beef industry to collectively take a look in the mirror. What do we need to learn from this research? Despite errors in the analysis, should the beef industry decrease its use of feed grains? P

Simmental to Host 1st Annual Educational Session September 8-11

Join the American Simmental Association September 8-11, to kick off the first annual educational session held in conjunction with the Fall ASA Board meeting. Join us September 8, for a free daylong symposium on applied information in beef cattle genetics with the following key speakers: Click here to read full bios. Dorian Garrick, PhD Jay Lush endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Iowa State University Bruce Golden, PhD Department Head and Professor, Dairy Science Department, Cal Poly Matt Spangler, PhD Associate Professor, Extension Beef Genetics Specialist, University of Nebraska After the educational seminar, stay for the Fall ASA Board meeting. Since all ASA meetings have an open format this will give you an opportunity to also attend committee meetings, as well as the official meeting. Join the ASA for a barbecue at the ASA headquarters, and a chance for ASA members to share ideas and learn about new programs in the ASA. To reg

Genomics enhance beef cattle breeding

Duane Dailey ,  Writer,  University of Missouri Extension COLUMBIA, Mo. – Selecting breeding animals on how they look, by phenotype, worked for centuries. Progress in improving cattle was made just on appearance. Now genotype pushes phenotype back to horse-and-buggy days. It’s data and what’s inside that counts. Arrival of huge computers and sequencing of the bovine genome changed all. “There’s a better way of selecting,” said Jared Decker, University of Missouri geneticist, at a Cattlemen’s Boot Camp, July 14 in Columbia. Training by MU scientists was sponsored by the American Angus Association with MU. The Cattlemen’s Boot Camp is a national program. Things changed in the 1970s with statistical models that predicted EPDs (expected progeny differences). Then software was developed to combine many EPDs into a single economic index number. Indexes help herd owners search a sire catalog to match a bull’s traits needed to improve a farmer’s cow herd profits. “We must stil