Friday, December 16, 2016

Beef Genetics Education Team Announces National Essay Contest: “What does it mean to be a beef breeder in the 21st century?”

Youth participating in 4-H, FFA, or junior beef breed organizations are encouraged to compete in a national essay contest. Essays should respond to the prompt “What does it mean to be a beef breeder in the 21st century?

The winning essay will be published in one of BEEF magazine’s online newsletters (e.g. BEEF Daily or BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly). The 2nd through 5th place essays will be published on A Steak in Genomics blog. We will award $500 for first, $300 for second, and $200 for third place in the contest. The first place winner will also receive 50 GeneMax Focus or PredicGEN tests.
Essays will be judged by beef genetics extension specialists, breed association staff, and trade publication staff.

Essays will be judged on their ability to encourage best practices and technology adoption by describing:
  • Trust and effectiveness of beef breeding best practices and technologies.
  • Simplicity of using technology.
  • The profit and sustainability outcomes of using best practices and technology.


Essays are required to be at least 600 words long but not longer than 3,000 words. Please submit contest entries at https://missouri.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9YwBWK2WvM7Tdsh. Entries are due February 15, 2017.


Thanks to our essay sponsors BEEF magazine, Zoetis, and GeneSeek.

This educational program and essay contest are part of the "Identifying Local Adaptation and Creating Region-Specific Genomic Predictions in Beef Cattle" funded by the USDA-NIFA, Grant No. 2016-68004-24827.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

AHA Educational Forum: AHA Creative Services

Sean Jersett, Christy Bengno, Julie Mais, Alison Marx, Caryn Vaught

Number one piece of advise for an advertiser:
Be aware of your sale dates! You need to have the deadlines for dates to go to the printer and when catalogs will be to the customers. You need to have your ducks in a row before the printing date.

How do you handle photography?
Photos need to be high resolution, print quality photos to look good in the catalog. "We need to have the photos identified so we know how to use them," Bengno said. Dropbox or email is a good way to send in the photos. Make sure that email allows for the photos to be sent as high resolution. If you have a lot of photos, Dropbox is much easier. Put the photos in Dropbox and then share the folder with the AHA staff. Make sure you notify the AHA staff that you have added photos to an existing shared photo.

When using phones, make sure your phone has a high quality camera on your phone and that you have your phone setting to the highest resolution possible (largest file size). If you don't change these settings, your phone will not take a high enough quality picture. If you have a 72 DPI photo, it will appear 4 times smaller than it should be in print.

What about breeders using Photoshop?
The Photoshop images are a great way for a producer to share their vision of the picture, but the actual Photoshop and other processing needs to be done by AHA staff to make sure that the requirements for print are meet. Send the raw photo, and the AHA staff will do the edits. Make sure that there is enough background space around the animal.

Advice for preparing an Hereford Journal ad?
Make sure that there is good communication. If the photos are not going to be ready in time, let the AHA staff know. "Too much information is often better than too little information," Marx said.

If an ad is made by a different publication, have the other organization communicate with the AHA staff to make sure the ad is prepared according to AHA specifications.


If preparing an ad, share colors that you don't like. Share items you would like to be included. Photos help a lot! Communication is key. "Some times I like a blank page, but at least tell me what you hate!" Jersett said.

What is the difference between a ride-along and other catalogs?
Figure out your target audience. If you are marketing to juniors showing heifers, including a ride along with the September issue that focuses on the Junior Nationals. If you are focusing on commercial cattlemen, printing in the tabloid publications is a great way to hit commercial ranchers.

The tabloids printed on paper are a cost savings for the AHA. If the commercial producer will fill in a card and send it back to the AHA, this allows them to send out the tabloid at no cost to the commercial producer.

How many clicks are you getting on banner ads?
Working on the back end, AHA staff can give you data on your specific banner ads.


Ag Teachers can request for a free subscription to the Hereford World. But, they need to request a new subscription each year.



Decker's Take Home Message
Progressive beef producers need to make sure they are doing a good job branding and marketing their cattle. To see a full return on investment in best practices and technology, producers need to be aggressively marketing their cattle. Working with the right creative services can really help.