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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

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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

BIF Genetic Prediction: Genetic Evaluation at Neogen

John Genho
Neogen/GeneSeek

Genho works with American breeds and smaller breed associations to provide them with genetic evaluations. He implemented single-step BLUP to use genomic information.

Brangus and Santa Gertrudis have monthly genetic evaluations. Brangus has over 21,000 animals genotyped. Other clients range from 3,000 to 6,000 animals genotyped.

A lot of the problems with genomic prediction is having lots of animals in the pedigree, but with relatively small proportion of animals genotyped. However, Genho works with commercial ranches who have genotyped every living animal. This simplifies many of the struggles with single-step BLUP. Genho wonders what the next iteration of models will look like given the entire dataset is genotyped.

All of the American breeds have Bos indicus influence. However, there are very few pedigree connection between these breeds. Genho wonders if identifying marker effects that could be shared across breeds could be an opportunity to share data across breeds.

Agri Beef owns a Wagyu herd. They provide bulls to cooperating ranches. The cattle from these cooperating ranches go to cooperating feedlots. The feed cattle then go to a packing plant owned by Agri Beef. This means there is no barrier to data flowing from the feedlot and packing plant into the genetic evaluation. The Agri Beef genetic evaluation is not concerned about marbling score. They are more concerned with small flecks of marbling that are spread throughout the muscle.

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