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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

Red Angus Seeking Input on Selection Indexes

The Red Angus Association of America is seeking feedback on their economic selection indexes. Producers can provide feedback at this link:
https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5183855/RedAngusAssociation?fbclid=IwAR3qskT1DJ6UMbSIS2R3ul316FQ6L_k-Gt_DYDq8wB8omLQOgkG1yCuAGbM

To be frank, I am conflicted by this process.

On one hand, I think it is important to have translational research be a collaborative process. Further, users are more likely to trust and use a technology if they were involved in its creation.

However, often times, optimal selection decisions are counterintuitive (need to write a blog post on this). I feel strongly that selection decisions are best made when driven by data, and that includes design of selection tools.

American Angus Association went through a similar process, and it is my understanding they used the survey data to weight economic importance of traits that are hard to pin down, such as claw set and docility. Traits that are economically important, but are sometimes given the misnomer of "convenience" traits.

I encourage producers to complete the survey. However, think not about your current selection practices are, but what would be your ideal way of selecting cattle.

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