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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 eithe

Local Genetic Adaptation Grant

Two experiences motivated me to research local genetic adaptation in beef cattle. First of all, as an extension specialist, when I visited with farmers and ranchers across the state of Missouri, you quickly find out that fescue toxicity and sensitivity are important issues for Missouri farmers and ranchers. Further, in the fall of 2013, my mom brought three head of her cattle to graze my pastures at my little farm. One of the cows completely fell apart on the fescue. I started thinking about this problem and soon realized my experience in population genetics could be used to address the issue.

In 2015, the USDA had a call for proposals to use breeding and genomics to address local genetic adaptation. After several nights of working till 4am, I had a proposal ready to be submitted in June. To my great surprise, in October I found out my grant was one of two selected for funding (a 5% funding rate). Last week, the USDA made the award announcement public.

Local genetic adaptation is simply to match the cow's genetics to her environment.

Here are links to further information about our project:





The recent hair shedding work we have started is part of this local genetic adaptation project.

I appreciate the collaborations with the breed associations that make this project possible, including Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Red Angus, Shorthorn, and Simmental. I also appreciate financial support from the Angus Foundation and Gelbvieh Foundation.


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