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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

Marc Caldwell presentation at 2019 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle

The fetus is the most susceptible to disease of any animal on the farm. The cow is basically a barrier for the fetus.
Good biosecurity practices are more impactful (important) than a vaccine protocol. But, in reality, the two work together.
Most disease problems are the results of purchasing practices. (Buying a BVD-PI cow for example.)
Modified live vaccines are not 100% safe. MLV vaccines can only be in pregnant animals if she has previously been vaccinated with a MLV. For pre breeding, should be used 30 days, and preferably 45 days, before the breeding season.
Killed vaccines are not 100% effective.
Two doses in time (2 to 4 weeks apart based on label) is still the best. The memory B and T cells created from two doses are what provide long term, lasting immunity.
Why do we use the same vaccines year after year? There is a new approach called Prime Boost. In this approach an animal receives two rounds of modified live vaccine. Then sometime in the future the animal receives an inactivated (killed) vaccine. Animals that receive a Prime Boost protocol have improved antibody titters and immune response.
Each farm must balance pathogen and vaccine risk. If the farm purchases bred replacement, the risk of BVD PI  entry is high. A MLV or combined approach is likely needed in this situation. If the vaccination status of the cows is unknown, a killed vaccine is safer.

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