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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

By Jared E. Decker Many of you have probably noticed that things have been a lot less active on the A Steak in Genomics™   blog, but you probably haven't known why. In January 2021, I was named the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics at Mizzou, and I now focus on research, with a little bit of teaching. I no longer have an extension appointment. But, with exciting news, the blog is about to become a lot more active! Jamie Courter began as the new MU Extension state beef genetics specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences on September 1, 2023. I have known Jamie for several years, meeting her at BIF when she was a Masters student. I have been impressed by Jamie in my interactions with her since that time.  Dr. Courter and I have been working closely together the last 6 weeks, and I am excited to work together to serve the beef industry for years to come! Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and earned a master's degree in animal

AHA Educational Session: Hereford Leading the Industry

Jack Ward
AHA Executive Vice President

Kevin Oschner was the consultant helping with the AHA Strategic Plan.

Oschner interviewed:
  • Hereford breeders
  • Seedstock producers from other breeds
  • Commercial cow-calf producers
  • Bull stud and reproduction professional
  • Extension service personnel
  • Auctioneer
  • Packers
They also sent a survey to all AHA membership. They had 518 participants from 43 states.

Oschner then organized the information. Webinars were then held with the board of directors.
They then had a 2 and a half day session to create the strategic plan.

They also brought in outside thought leaders, which included
  • John Lundeen, NCBA
  • Joe Pawlak, Technomics
  • John Butler, Beef Marketing Group
  • Mitch Abrahamsen, Ph.D., Recombinetics
  • Clint Schwab, Ph.D., The Maschoff's

Mitch Abrahamsen

The consumer is interested in how their food is made. The consumer can use social media to reach through to the food provider (McDonalds, Subway, Walmart, etc.). The restaurant then talks to their provider, the provider then asks the genetic supplier for answers. The breeding companies then have to respond.
Today there are two broiler breeding companies in the world, each has about 50% of the market. This is because they could respond to consumer concerns.

Who are your competitors? You might think it is Brazil or other nations, but it is really chicken and aquaculture and the feed conversion they bring.

Jack Ward
Kevin Oschner summarized the work and shared it with the AHA board. The AHA board then voted unanimously to accept the plan.

The Core Strategies now include:
  • Develop and use genetic technology
  • Expand educational opportunities
  • Improve demand for Hereford genetics
  • Develop and capitalize on "Team Hereford"
  • Expand junior membership engagement
  • Grow Certified Hereford Beef

Hereford does a good job marketing cattle in the Midwest. They need to do a better job getting the marketing to the coast. But, the Association staff can't do this alone. They need the help of "Team Hereford", which represents the local, state, and national level of producer involvement.

What can we do to reach those junior members who don't make it to the Hereford junior national? Ward and his staff created the Hereford Steer Feedout to reach out to additional junior member.

How do you measure progress?
AHA is using the Hereford Demand Index (HDI).
They are going to look at the Hereford Bull/Feeder Calf Price Ratio. This is the ratio of Hereford bull prices (removing those that sell for more than $15,000) to the average feeder calf price.
The HDI also looked at Hereford Semen Sales reported by NAAB, the AHA annual registrations, and CHB pounds sold.

AHA is moving their advertising more into digital and away from print.

To participate in the AHA Reference Sire program a herd needs to have 180 head of cattle. AHA wants to collect additional feed intake data.


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