Monday, February 9, 2015

Register for NCBA Cattlemens Webinar:
New Tools in Bull Selection
Understanding and Using Selection Indexes

NCBA has recognized the changing face of selection in the seedstock industry. In order to help commercial producers make wiser selection decisions during the upcoming bull sales this spring, they are hosting a webinar at 7:00 pm CST on February 19th. Space is limited, so sign up soon. For those who can't catch the session live, it will be recorded and a link posted on the NCBA webpage.

The seminar will feature Dr. Dan Moser from the American Angus Association, Jack Ward from the American Hereford Association, and Dr. Wade Shafer from the American Simmental Association.

For more information and to register, visit the NCBA website.


Monday, February 2, 2015

2015 Angus Convention to Host International Genomics Symposium

The American Angus Association® and Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) will host the first-ever International Genomics Symposium as part of the 2015 Angus Means Business National Convention and Trade Show.

The event takes place Nov. 3 in Overland Park, Kan., and will provide cattle producers with cutting-edge information about advancements in genomics technology – and how these advances impact their businesses.

The symposium is sponsored by GeneSeek, a leading provider of comprehensive genomics solutions to the cattle industry, including the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler (GGP-HD).

“We are excited about the symposium and what it will mean for the cattle business,” says Dan Moser, AGI president. “Genomics is rapidly reshaping the way we produce livestock, and providing producers with the best information available will not only help us improve quality and consistency, but also make our industry more competitive.”

Genomics researcher and entrepreneur Richard Resnick (previously featured on this blog) will be the event’s keynote speaker. Resnick serves as CEO of GenomeQuest, a company that builds software to support genomic medicine, research and individualized treatments. Before becoming a bio-entrepreneur, Resnick was a member of the Human Genome Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Resnick will be one of several widely acclaimed experts on genomics technology to be speaking at the event.

“GeneSeek has partnered with the Angus breed since 2009, and our sponsorship of the symposium is a natural extension of our long-standing commitment to the breed and the cattle industry,” says Dr. Stewart Bauck, general manager of GeneSeek/Neogen Agrigenomics. “There is intense interest among cattle producers about genomics – and this event will go a long way in serving GeneSeek’s mission not only to advance the use of genomics technology, but also show the positive impacts it will have on producers.”

The rise of genomic testing and evaluation is reshaping the Angus business at an accelerating pace. In fiscal year 2014, genomic testing increased by 32%, and AGI recently reported that genomic testing in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 grew by more than 56%.

The 2015 Angus Means Business National Convention and Trade Show takes place Nov. 3-5 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan. The first-ever convention last year attracted nearly 2,000 progressive producers from across the country. For more information about the convention, visit www.angus.org.


Avoid the Headache: Properly Submitting DNA Samples
Breed Improvement Session
Angus Means Business National Convention

DNA sampling
Tonya Amen, AGI
During the second portion of the Breed Improvement session, Dr. Amen answered the question "How can we avoid sample failure when DNA testing animals?" She gave four points:

  1. Have proper collectors on hand. Blood samples are preferred, as the process can be automated. Blood samples can also be archived, whereas tissue samples cannot be. Contact your DNA service provide or see the Angus website. Have samples properly identified. "You cannot invent your own collection system!" said Amen. A business card, airline barf bag, and other home-remedies won't work!
  2. Practice good sampling technique. Make sure you have a nickel sized spot that has soaked completely through the card. Do not send wet samples-mold will grow like crazy! Make sure samples dry overnight in a safe place (not the dash of your truck!).
  3. Package well. Padded envelopes work well.
  4. Consider shipping method. How long will the sample be in transit?


Staff at AGI have a mantra about blood card sampling—Donor Dams Die. Collect samples on your animals, even if you think you will never DNA test that animal. Better to be safe than sorry.
When sampling twins, hair samples are required due to twins sharing blood in the cows uterus.
If blood cards are stored at home, store in a cool dry place and do not store in plastic.