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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

Update on Structure EPD Development

NBCEC Brown Bagger presentation by Bob Weaber
Kansas State University

Longevity can help offset the cost of developing or purchasing replacement females. Structure is an economically important trait.

Dairy cattle have done a better job measuring and creating genetic predictions for feet and leg structure.

There has been a moderate genetic relationship with type traits and longevity and functional longevity (Dekkers et al. 1994).

The Australian Angus Association has looked at the genetics of feet and legs.
They now have EBVs for
front angle
front claw
rear angle
read claw
rear leg rear view
rear leg side view

There are currently no genetic evaluations of feet and leg traits in u.S. beef cattle. The American Angus Association is actively collecting data to create EPDs for these traits.

Weaber and colleagues were able to get funding from Kansas State University, Red Angus Association of America, and American Simmental Association to look at over all structure of animals. They recorded 14 traits on 1,885 Red Angus cattle.

It took two to three and a half minutes per animal to score.

1,720 animals were included in the prototype evaluation.

The Front Hoof Angle and Front Heel Depth had genetic correlation of 0.89. The correlations between Front Hoof Angle, Front Heel Depth, Rear Hoof Angle, and Rear Heel Depth were all above 0.85.

Those cattle that were more structurally correct had better body condition scores.

There were also strong correlations between rear hoof measurements and rear leg measurements.

Front Side View had a strong association with overalll structural soundness.

Feet and leg traits tend to have low to moderate heritability. Limb information is a useful indicator trait of structural soundness. Genetic predictions would be useful to improve structural soundness.


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