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April 19 Webinar by Genetics Experts to Give Cattlemen Guidance on Creating the Best Herd
final webinar in series focuses on bull selection
CO (April 12, 2018) – This year’s edition of the NCBA Cattlemen’s
Genetics Webinar Series comes to a close April 19, with a special
presentation that puts a focus on honing bull selection. The
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association teamed up with six genetics
specialists from across the country to offer this series, which kicked
off Jan. 18. The Genetics Webinar Series was designed for producers who would
benefit from genetics knowledge, from the experienced seedstock breeder
to someone who might be new to the cattle industry and needs to better
understand genetics. It is being coordinated by the NCBA producer
education team. Earlier webinars were “The 4 S’s of Crossbreeding:
Simple, Structured, Successful and Sustainable,” “Show Me the Money!
Are there EPDs for Profit?”, and “Fake News: EPDs Don’t Work.” These
webinars can be accessed at www.NCBA.org
under the Producer Education tab. Titled “Putting the Tools to Use: Buying Your Next Bull,” the April 19
webinar puts the genetic concepts covered in the first three seminars
to work, as attendees will go to a virtual bull sale and select the
best bull from a sale catalog for two distinct production scenarios.
The webinar begins at 7 p.m. CDT. Leading discussion on the topic at the webinar will be Matt Spangler,
Ph.D., associate professor and extension beef genetics specialist at
the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and Bob Weaber, Ph.D., professor
and beef extension specialist at Kansas State University. Joining in
the discussion will be other members of the eBEEF team, a group of six
genetic specialists from five academic institutions who have invested
time and resources in the advancement of the cattle industry through
genetics. According to Josh White, NCBA executive director of producer education,
the genetics webinar series has been an effective extension of NCBA
educational webinars, which was started several years ago. “Some of the
largest participations in our webinars have been for genetics topics in
the spring,” said White. “This 2018 partnership with the eBEEF team has
been a terrific addition to the education we can provide.” Cattle producers are invited to join the webinar live, although
“homework” for the seminar – available at www.NCBA.org
– is advised. The homework includes the eBEEF bull sale catalog and the
eBEEF bull selection scenario. For
more information, go to the Producer Education tab of the NCBA.org website.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's
cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of
the industry through education and public policy. As the largest
association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and
increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through
membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or email@example.com.
Jared E. Decker Associate Professor, Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri
Reprinted with permission from The Cattlemen and Santa Gertrudis Breeders International.
Can we be frank
for a minute? It is quite simple: EPDs work. When we use EPDs to make selection
decisions (which bulls to buy, which females to keep and cull), the performance
of our herd improves. Let’s discuss why EPDs work, how they can be used, and
pitfalls to avoid. Defining EPDEPD stands for
Expected Progeny Difference. “Expected” in this context is a loaded word. We
use it here the way a statistician would use it. Expected means we are
describing a prediction of the future. Expected also means we are discussing an
average, not a single observation. What is the average that we are predicting
with EPDs? We are predicting the average progeny, or the average of an animal’s
calf crop. Finally, when we are discussing EPDs we are discussing differences.
Either the difference between two animals or the difference b…
Bob Hough recently posted the following comment on Facebook (posted with his permission): Early in my career at a breed association, the much beloved American Angus breed executive told me that the secret to success running a breed association was to have a top junior program, keep the books straight, and make sure the numbers (EPDs) don't change. This philosophy meant Angus valued stability in their genetic predictions over keeping them up-to-date with the latest science. The Angus Association also marketed extremely effectively the infallibility of their EPDs because of the size of their database. I will start with the later. Yes, a database needs certain critical mass to make sure the animals are tied, but that can be achieved in a modest size database. After that, data quality far and away outweighs data quantity in assuring the most precise and reliable EPDs possible. On the former point, Angus breeders are simply not use to change. This is not the case in most breed associati…
Dr. Sara Place Senior Director, Sustainable Beef Production Research, NCBA Presentation at Mountaineer Cattlemen's College
Headlines are largely negative regarding beef and sustainability. Increased questions about beef's environmental impacts, animal welfare, and health/nutrition.
Many companies are using these concerns to market their products.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation regarding beef's impact.
Sustainability is a complex topic influencing environmental, social, and economic issues. Most of beef's opponents focus on environmental impact.
It is true that beef tends to have a larger biological impact, because they are ruminants and produce gas. They also have later maturity compared to other livestock species. However, there is a lot of variability across the world in terms of beef's environmental impact. United States beef production has some of the lowest environmental impacts of cattle production across the world.