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Showing posts from August, 2016

ASA Fall Focus: Taking Technology Home to the Farm and Ranch

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Here are videos from the American Simmental Association's Facebook livestream of my presentation titled "Taking Technology Home to the Farm and Ranch."

Tradition
Intuition
Legacy
Seedstock Producers as Educators
Decker's Rants
EPDs and Environment 
Q&A

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ASA Fall Focus: Information Learned from the IGS Genomics and Genetic Evaluation

Dorian Garrick
Iowa State University

Garrick started working on animal models applied to sheep and goats in 1982 (the year I was born ☺).

In the old system, each breed has their own data silo. This is combined together to have a joint pedigree and performance data.

Genomics has changed this.

EPDs are determined by the collective action of many genes. Selection increases the frequency of favorable gene effects and decreases the frequency of unfavorable gene effects. This allows producers to breed better cattle year after year. Genomics allows us to increase the accuracy of genetic prediction, especially for young animals with little or no data.

In human medicine, researchers are looking for individual DNA variants that are predictive of a person's risk for developing a disease. In beef cattle genomics, we don't use this conservative approach; we use all of the DNA variants simultaneously. Using all of the DNA variants gives much better predictions.

The hoped outcome is data to …

ASA Fall Focus: BOLT

Bruce Golden
Theta Solutions LLC

Historically, Simmental has been one of the leaders in the development of genetic prediction.

There has been evolution of statistical models used to predict genetic merit (EPDs). Each time the EPDs got better and better. To predict EPDs, you do two things; first you build the problem on the computer then you solve the problem.

What drove the evolution of the methods used to predict genetic merit?
Knowledge of the model? All of these models were well known by 1970.
New methods? Maybe a little.
Data? Yes, there has been the creation of genomic data and more phenotypic records.

But, the main driver has been to improve the accuracy of prediction. Striving to reduce the prediction error variance. Try to make sure that we are making better solutions and increasing the rate of genetic gain.

Improvements in computing power has also helped in the development of genetic predictions.

Another change is going to be better DNA markers that are closer to the genes an…

ASA Fall Focus: Application of Genomic Technology to Optimize Herd Replacement and Produce Elite Breeding Stock

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Mahdi Saatchi
Lead Genomicist
International Genetic Solutions

Imagine a sire who is heterozygous (one A variant and one B variant) for a DNA position. At that same position a dam  is also heterozygous.
If we consider two progeny of this pair of sire and dam, they can be 0% related to 100% related at this position.

Calf 1Calf 2RelationshipA/AA/A100%A/AA/B50%A/AB/B0%A/BA/A50%A/BA/B100%A/BB/B50%B/BA/A0%B/BA/B50%B/BB/B100%
If we apply this to the entire genome, we expect full siblings to share 50% of their DNA. But, just as the relationships can vary at a single locus, the relationships can vary for the entire genome. In chicken data, researchers see that the relationship between siblings ranges from 0.2 to 0.7.

By more precisely measuring the relationship between animals, genomics allows us to more precisely predict an animal's genetic merit.

Genomics allows us to improve several parts of the key equation for genetic change. Genomics allows us to have more accurate selection decisions…

ASA Fall Focus: Nuts and Bolts of Animal Breeding

Wade Shafer

What is the science of animal breeding? Shafer cited Wikipedia, saying, "The scientific theory of animal breeding incorporates population genetics, quantitative genetics, statistics, and recently molecular genomics and is based on the pioneering work of Sewall Wright, Jay Lush, and Charles Henderson."
He highlighted the work of Sewell Wright, Jay Lush, and Henderson, and Lenoy Hazel. Not only is animal breeding about the genetic value of animals, it is also about the economic value of those animals.

Animal breeding is where the rubber meets the road. "It is one of the most practical sciences."

Simmental has the slogan of "Visual analysis tells you what an animal appears to be, his pedigree tells you what he should be, his performance and progeny tells you what he actually is."

In 1971, Vaniman used Paul Miller, a dairy genetics at ABS, to produce the first sire summary using Boeing Airlines computers.  The foreword said that sire summaries wou…

17th Annual Missouri Livestock Symposium December 2nd and 3rd

The Missouri Livestock Symposium committee is currently planning their 17th annual Symposium in Kirksville, MO for December 2nd and 3rd. The Missouri Livestock Symposium (MLS) committee works year-round to find the best speakers on timely topics that benefit producers in their respective enterprises.
The MLS began in 1998 with a simple conversation between then University of Missouri Extension Livestock Specialist Bruce Lane (retired) and local Adair County livestock producer and current MLS chair, Garry Mathes. Since those humble beginnings the MLS has grown exponentially and recently had attendees covering a majority of Missouri’s 114 counties plus 16 states, with over 2,000 in attendance.
Attendees have an opportunity to attend the largest agricultural-based trade show in the Midwest, featuring many local, state, and national agricultural businesses. Comments regularly heard include, “my favorite show,” “something for everyone in the field of agriculture,” and “we were made to feel…