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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

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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