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Showing posts from March, 2015

"Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?"
Discussing the National Geographic Article

“Science is not a body of facts,” says geophysicist Marcia McNutt ... “Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.” One of the attitudes I try to help beef producers embrace is a scientific, data-driven mindset. This applies to all phases of their operation, from reproduction, nutrition, health, genetics, and other management practices. In the March issue of the Missouri Angus Trails magazine, I encourage producers to take a science-based approach to farming and ranching. If you are a Missouri producer who uses Angus genetics, I encourage you to subscribe to the Missouri Angus Trails. (Also, watch for an article by me in the Missouri Hereford News.)

Joel Achenbach wrote an interesting piece in National Geographic asking "Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?" With the recent measles outbreak, this topic has been in the news recently. I suggest you make some time to read it. Here are some of my favorite q…

A Big Number for a Little Calf
MU’s dairy program produces a genetically outstanding animal

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Written by Randy Mertens

If it wasn’t for genomic testing, Mogul Pastel would be just another heifer calf valued around $750. But her Holstein Association’s USA’s Genetic Total Performance Index (GTPI) is so far beyond average – at 2561 – she’s now recognized as the second highest rated red carrier Holstein calf in the country.

That number, in turn, led to another figure — $25,500 – the price she sold for at the Missouri State Convention Sale in January. She now lives in a New York dairy where she will improve their breeding program.

Pastel is a Holstein heifer born Sept. 9, 2014 at the Foremost Dairy Research Center, one of the research farms of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri.

The Foremost Dairy Center is the Division of Animal Sciences’ 820 acre research and teaching farm west of Columbia. The center supports 425 cattle, including Holstein and Guernsey breeds. Its research aims to improve milk production and reproductive efficiency, dair…

Articles of Note: Drovers CattleNetwork

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There are two articles in the February issue of Drovers CattleNetwork by Mary Soukup that you should read. First, "The tale of the missing homozygotes" describing Mizzou's USDA funded sequencing project looking for DNA variants responsible for early pregnancy losses. Second, "Genomic Gains: Bringing value to seedstock and commercial herds" describing adoption of genomic technologies in the beef industry.

As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions.