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$Value Update Webinar Announced

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Join the AGI team for an informative webinar on the upcoming $Value changes

What: Tune into the “$Value Changes” webinar hosted by Dr. Dan Moser, Dr. Stephen Miller and Kelli Retallick as they walk through the upcoming changes to the $Values.

When: Mark your calendar for 6 – 8 p.m. CDT on Monday, May 20, 2019.

Where:  Click below to register for the webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Don't forget, www.Angus.org/Index serves as an educational resource for all $Value update information.


Register Today!

Video Chat: Mating Decisions based on Commercial Genomic Tests

EPDs 101: Use Information to Improve Your Herd

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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…

American Angus Association to Update $Value Indexes

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Updates are based on a major research effort and will be effective this June.
The American Angus Association® Board of Directors approved changes to the $Value Indexes during the February board meeting Feb. 18-21, 2019. Updated $Value Indexes will be available this June, and changes include revisions to Beef Value ($B), updating the Weaned Calf Value ($W) model to the new Maternal Value ($Maternal) and rounding all $Values to whole dollars to eliminate decimals. Quality Grade ($QG) and Yield Grade ($YG) will be removed because $QG is redundant to the Marbling EPD, and $YG is redundant to Fat and REA EPDs. In addition, a balanced index will be implemented June 2020 with a complete education plan to be executed with the membership and industry to take place over the next 15 months. “Our current $Value Index models have served us well since 2004,” said Dan Moser, Angus Genetics Inc. president. “But since 2004, technology has improved, and new EPDs have been created. So, an extensive res…

Bob Hough Comments on Changes at Breed Associations

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…

EPDs and Reasonable Expectations in Commercial Crossbred Operations

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Reprinted courtesy of ARSBC Newsroom

Some people just don’t trust EPDs. The acronym EPD stands for “expected progeny difference” — a numerical value that represents a prediction of the average performance, relative to a specific trait, among the progeny of a breeding animal. To aid genetic selection, EPDs are used to compare the expected performance of one sire’s calves with those of another sire’s.

“But some people are suspicious. They think someone is pulling strings to manipulate the numbers,” lamented animal geneticist Jared Decker while addressing a New Mexico gathering of cattle folk. “But EPDs work. They absolutely work.”

A researcher and assistant professor at the University of Missouri, Decker returned to his native New Mexico to speak during the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Workshop hosted Aug. 29-30 in Ruidoso. He talked about the value of using EPDs to achieve genetic improvement over the long haul.


Decker discussed how EPD-aided selection can work for a …

2019 NCBA Cattlemen's Webinar Series Announced

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Visit the NCBA Producer Education website to learn more.

CIC 2019: Unraveling the Secrets of the Rumen

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Tim McAllister
AAFC Lethridge Research & Development Centre

Microbes are part of the natural world, they occupy all parts of the world from deep sea vents, skin, digestive tract, and our food.

The rumen is one of the most microbe rich environments in the world. We use fistulated animals to have a window into the rumen microbiome. Rather than looking at the bacteria that come out of the digestive tract, we can directly sample the rumen. The microbes in cattle rumens can even digest cotton shirts!

In cattle, the majority of digestion happens in the rumen by the microbes. So, most of the time when we are feeding our cows, we are really feeding the microbes.

Cows eat 2 to 20 kg of dry matter, 20 to 80 liters of water, and 50 to 150 liters of saliva. The microbes produce 2 to 6 kilograms of volatile fatty acids (VFA). The rumen also produces 0.75 to 2 kilograms of bacteria that go into the digestive system and can be digested.

In a roughage diet, 65% of VFA is acetate. Cattle on high co…

CIC 2019: Practical Management to Reduce Disease Challenges

Robin Falkner, DVM, Zoetis

Can't manage what we don't measure...
Peter Drucker said, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."
But if we focus on measuring stuff that doesn't matter, much , then we are managing poorly.


Can we consume our way to success? Consumerism is the attitude of "what should I buy?"  Don't go into the trade show as a consumer, go into the trade show as a producer.

We too frequently think of a health program as a calendarized list of health practices. Just because everyone believes something doesn't mean it is right. Falkner again used his recipe analogy. We have been looking at recipes for a long time. We need to be developing better cooks.

A sound animal health program is built on a foundation of:

Managing exposures to pathogensAccess to premium markets

Let's look at the history of agriculture. Dr. Roger's researched innovation in agriculture in the late 1950s and 1960s. He looked at practices in the …

New Show-Me-Select Sire EPD Requirements Announced

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At the January 4th Show-Me-Select Board of Directors meeting, new service sire EPD requirements were approved. All sires, artificial insemination and natural service, must meet minimum Calving Ease Direct (CED) EPD requirements. In addition to yearly updates, two changes were made.

First, no Birth Weight EPD requirement will be published. All commonly used breeds now have CED EPDs available.

Second, all breeds in the International Genetic Solutions (IGS) genetic evaluation are now set to a common requirement. In the summer of 2018, breeds within the International Genetic Solutions switched to a single-step BOLT multi-breed genetic evaluation. The EPDs for animals in the IGS genetic evaluation are directly comparable across breeds.

In 2017, the Red Angus requirement for CED was a CED of 8, which represents the 30th percentile. Less than 5% percent of heifers breed to a bull with a CED EPD of 8 or larger had calving difficulty.We feel that this require is meeting the need to reduce cal…