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Hereford and Red Angus Heifers Recruited for Genomics Research

The University of Missouri is recruiting 2,500 Hereford heifers and 2,500 Red Angus heifers to participate in a heifer puberty and fertility genomic research project. Heifers should be registered Hereford, registered Red Angus, or commercial Hereford or Red Angus. Hereford x Red Angus crossbred heifers targeted for the Premium Red Baldy Program would also be a good fit for the research project. Producers must be willing to work with a trained veterinarian to collect the following data: ReproductiveTract Scores collected at a pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season. PelvicMeasurements (height and width) collected at the same pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season. Pregnancy Determination Using Ultrasound reporting fetal age in days. Ultrasound will need to occur no later than 90 days after the start of the breeding season. In addition, heifers must have known birth dates and have weights recorded eithe

American Gelbvieh Association Releases Genomic-Enhanced EPDs

The American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) has released genomic-enhanced EPDs with the fall 2014 international cattle evaluation. Genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE EPDs) combine pedigree, individual performance and genomic information to save time and money, reduce risk, and accelerate the rate of genetic progress.

GE EPDs provide more precise EPDs based on a combination of both phenotype and DNA. One major benefit of these EPDs is risk reduction through increased accuracies. These increased accuracies save time when assessing young breeding stock as well as deliver commercial customer confidence when buying seedstock. Herd improvement is accelerated when breeders can more accurately identify young individuals with the best genetics.

GE EPDs also give the chance to collect data on economically important traits, which are expensive or difficult to measure.

The information from the genomic data can be as informative as a bull's first calf crop or a cow's lifetime production record. Since the genomic data is incorporated directly into the EPDs, cattle producers will not have to learn how to interpret the new data.

Development of GE EPDs for Gelbvieh and Balancer® animals has been in progress at the AGA since 2012, starting with the Genomic Pioneers project. This project helped to build a diverse panel of Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics to be the foundation genetics for the calculation of the GE EPDs.

"The AGA has been working closely with the scientific community over the past couple years to build the training population for developing GE EPDs for the Gelbvieh breed," says Susan Willmon, director of breed improvement at the AGA. "Implementing genomic-enhanced EPDs is a high-priority goal in the AGA's strategic plan and we are excited to be able to offer this tool to our breeders and their commercial customers."

EPDs that are genomically-enhanced will show up on the new American Gelbvieh Association Registry Service as highlighted in yellow. All animals with these enhanced EPDs will also have the AGA GE EPDs logo on their registration certificate.

For more information on GE EPDs visit Gelbvieh.org or contact Susan Willmon at susanw@gelbvieh.org or call 303-465-2333.

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