Showing posts from January, 2024

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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

What You Can't See - How Genomics Can Break the Tie

 We have all heard the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, but it is true that the cover is what initially draws a person to pick up the book in the first place. The same is true with selecting and breeding cattle. What the animal looks like matters. However, what the saying really means is it’s what is inside the book, or in this case underneath the animal’s hide, that adds the most value. The importance of phenotypic selection in cattle is non-negotiable. But, once someone has made that initial gate cut, genomics can help in marketing the value of sale bulls and heifers with increased confidence. Cattlemen and women do their best to select elite bulls to mate their cows to. Unfortunately, basic biology reminds us that variability exists even within the best mating plans. But exactly how much variability? Well, while discussed at length in the extension article The Random Shuffle of Genes: Putting the E in EPD , basic math tells us that within a single full sibling matin