BIF to Host Genetic Prediction Workshop

MANHATTAN, Kan. [Oct. 28, 2013] – The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) will host a Genetic Prediction Workshop in Kansas City, Mo., on December 12-13, 2013, at the Holiday Inn KCI Airport and KCI Expo Center, 11728 NW Ambassador Drive.

The conference is designed to give academic, allied industry, breed association staff and cattle producers a forum to learn about and discuss the latest developments in beef cattle genetic evaluation strategies. The implementation of genomics technologies in national cattle evaluation systems will be the focus of discussion.  Speakers will highlight the experiences and current status of technology deployment at several major US breed associations, experiences developing genomic predictions of genetic merit and alternate strategies for computation of genomically enabled EPDs. The conference will also feature discussion of planned modifications to the system used to compute the Across Breed EPD adjustment factors at the US Meat Animal Research Center.

A USDA multi-state project (NCERA-225) focused on implementation and strategies for national beef cattle genetic evaluation will meet prior to the Genetic Prediction Workshop. This meeting will feature station reports and research updates from a number of committee members.

Registration for the BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop is $100 and includes a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner and breaks during the conference. For NCERA committee members, an additional registration of $25 is required and includes a breakfast and break for this portion of agenda. Attendees must preregister for the events by December 1, 2013. Online registration and full agenda is available at http://www.ksubeef.org in the ‘Upcoming Beef Events’ section.

LODGING: A room block is available through November 8, 2013 at the Holiday Inn KCI Airport. Room rates are $94 plus applicable tax and are available the nights of December 11 and 12.  Conference attendees should call the hotel reservations department directly at 1-800-957-4654 and identify themselves with the NCERA-225 & BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop block.  Reservations made after 11/8/2013 are accepted based on room type and group rate availability.

For more information about the BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop or the NCERA-225 meeting please contact Dr. Bob Weaber at 785-532-1460 or bweaber@k-state.edu or Lois Schreiner at 785-532-1267 or lschrein@ksu.edu.

IBBA’s Statement Concerning Developmental Duplication (DD)

Published from the IBBA Breed Improvement Committee

In mid-August of 2013, the American Angus Association released a statement concerning a new genetic condition that was identified in Angus cattle. This new defect is called Developmental Duplication (DD) and is genetically transmitted as a simple recessive gene. Dr. Jonathan Beever, University of Illinois, one of the world’s most renowned experts in the genetic identification of abnormal conditions in livestock, has spent several years reviewing this condition prior to submitting a final report to the American Angus Association. When the gene associated with DD is paired (two copies of same allele) in a mating, the results are either 1) high probability of early embryonic death or 2) calves born with multiple limbs.  Other than an increase in the occurrence of mortality associated with dystocia, calves born with polymelia (born with extra limbs) often thrive, especially with removal of the limb or limbs at or soon after birth. Those animals identified as carriers (only one recessive allele) show no visible signs of the genetic condition and typically lead a normal life.

Based on research, Developmental Duplication is reported as a simple recessive trait like so many of the other genetic defects previously identified in cattle breeds around the globe.  Again, this means an animal must carry two copies of the defective recessive allele in order to show this condition. Dr. Beever tested a large number of high-use AI Angus bulls and found approximately 6.5 percent carriers of the DD genotype. Dr. Beever’s lab also discovered the DD genotype in the Brangus genetic population.

With the onset of DD, it is clear the discovery of genetic conditions will be a part of the future for all breeds of cattle. Several of our sister breed associations have already dealt with previously identified genetic conditions for years. It is a high probability IBBA will deal with some of these same previously identified conditions in our breed population. We will be working in good faith with our membership in identifying genetic conditions, managing these conditions, and protecting the interests of our commercial customers while addressing financial concerns in future breed policies.

Commercial testing is now available to identify animals carrying the DD genetic condition. We cannot stress enough the importance of a well researched and educated approach within each individual breeding program. If properly managed, the breeding and financial impact from this DD condition can be kept to an acceptable minimum.

The International Brangus Breeder’s Association Board of Directors, along with our Breed Improvement Committee, is considering the ramifications of this condition, the best interests of the breed and our membership, the state of where the science of genetics is moving with respect to the early detection of genetic conditions, and our ability to manage such genetic conditions. We are working on policy for these genetic conditions while putting the infrastructure in place to deal with abnormal genetic conditions in our breed population. Our Board will ultimately determine how we will best deal with DD and will keep you abreast of our progress.

More detailed information on polymelia condition can be found at:

http://www.angus.org/Pub/DD/DD_Announcement08122013.pdf

http://www.angus.org/angus.aspx

DNA Information Empowers Informed Selection and Breeding Decisions

Source: Pfizer Animal Genetics

Technology helps producers speed up genetic progress.

Steve Densmore, manager at Circle X Land and Cattle Co., is a strong believer in DNA testing.

Steve Densmore, manager at Circle X Land and Cattle Co., is a strong believer in DNA testing.

Selection and breeding decisions can affect the performance and profitability of a cow/calf operation for years to come. This is why Steve Densmore, who raises purebred Brangus cattle at Circle X Land and Cattle Co. in Bryan, Texas, uses genetic technology to help him make better decisions that also benefit his customers.

“We try to produce what commercial producers want,” Densmore says. “The genetic technologies we’ve acquired have allowed us to eliminate cattle that do not produce desirable traits and help us identify cattle that have traits that will continue to move our herd forward.”

Kent Andersen, Ph.D., associate director, Technical Services, Pfizer Animal Genetics, says the biggest advantage of DNA technology is the ability to make more-informed buying and breeding decisions.

“DNA technology is especially valuable when evaluating young, unproven seedstock,” Dr. Andersen says. “This information allows producers to make purchase decisions with greater assurance for important traits.”

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To help accomplish their goals, producers are utilizing GENESTAR® Molecular Value Predictions (MVP®s). GENESTAR, a targeted-marker DNA test, provides producers with genomic information about key production traits in all breeds of beef cattle. Test results include MVPs for feed efficiency, marbling and tenderness. The reports also include percentile ranks, which are determined by benchmarking each animal against hundreds of its breed contemporaries in the Pfizer Animal Genetics database.

Commercial Brangus breeder J. Mack Bohn of Diamond JK Ranches believes DNA testing helps him improve his genetics and operation.

Commercial Brangus breeder J. Mack Bohn of Diamond JK Ranches believes DNA testing helps him improve his genetics and operation.

This information also is beneficial for commercial Brangus breeder J. Mack Bohn of Diamond JK Ranches in Cyril and Marlow, Okla., and Roark Ranches in Marlow, Amber and Cheyenne, Okla.

“Incorporating genetic technologies has not only allowed us to continue to create a great Brangus female, but it’s moved our steer program several notches above where it used to be,” Bohn says. “I’m able to look at a bull and know so much about him before I ever even consider putting him on a set of females, rather than finding out three or four years later if I made the right choice.”

GENESTAR MVPs are derived using a targeted marker panel for feed efficiency, marbling and tenderness.  GENESTAR features a Palatability Index, which combines information about tenderness (shear force) and marbling, and ranks animals according to described genomic merit for traits that impact tenderness, juiciness and flavor. What’s more, producers can use GENESTAR to identify animals that are homozygous or heterozygous for black or wild-type coat color.

This information empowers producers to select animals that will advance their herd and the goals of their breeding programs, Dr. Andersen says. They can use this information to:

  • Select breeding stock that are more likely to transmit desired genetic merit for palatability traits, feed efficiency and coat color
  • Identify animals with desired genetics for consumer satisfaction
  • Make more-informed mating decisions
  • Advance genetic progress

Bohn says DNA information helps make proactive changes rather than having to fix problems later.“DNA results tell us so much, and it doesn’t take years to gather this information — it’s there almost immediately,” Bohn says. “We’ve eliminated some herd sires that looked like great candidates visually and on paper but didn’t meet our standards based on the DNA information. This saves us from investing time and money and incorporating them into our program. And now that we’ve started incorporating GENESTAR into our females, it gives me a lot of confidence that I’m building a superior product.”

Dr. Andersen says that given today’s high input costs, it’s valuable for producers to take advantage of selection information derived from genomic technology.

“Genomic information can help take some of the guesswork out of seedstock selection and breeding decisions,” Dr. Andersen says. “Producers should talk with their seedstock suppliers about providing this information on sale cattle to help ensure they can make the most informed purchase decisions for their operations.”

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All brands are the property of Pfizer Inc., its affiliates and/or its licensors. ©2012 Pfizer Inc. All rights reserved.

Why I Import U.S. Brangus Genetics

carlos ojea_72dpiA fifth generation producer from Argentina, Carlos Ojea Rullan and his family have been involved in the cattle business since 1878. One of the world’s most prestigious cattleman, Ojea has chosen the Brangus breed as a personal investment. In 2010, he started a new cattle company, and after much research, decided that Brangus was the best option for his new operation.

Ojea manages or consults 17 other cattle companies as well as his own family’s operations. In the last 20 years, these ranches have collectively obtained the world record of 124 Grand Champions, Reserve Grand Champions and Third Best bull or female titles in the prestigious global Palermo Show in the Angus, Brangus, Hereford, Braford and Shorthorn breeds.

Ojea has also served as a respectable judge in numerous show rings around the world. In the last six years, he has judged 18 of the most prestigious shows in for the Brangus, Angus, Hereford and Braford breeds. Having judged shows in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay and Colombia, his extensive experience and knowledge makes him one of the most demanded judges in the world.

“I have been involved in the cattle business for 35 years, more than 70 percent of my lifetime,” Ojea said.

Ojea said there were very few things in his life as a cattleman that have impressed him more than the Brangus breed.

“The breed’s versatility and ability to adapt to any kind of land and limitations in the Northern Argentina’s hot subtropical climate really caught my eye since the beginning,” Ojea said. “This part of our country has high temperatures that rise up to 50 degrees Celsius with all the insects and forage limitations that these conditions generate.”

In recent years, Northern Argentina has been showing an amazing increase in numbers and quality of cattle. Ojea recognizes the Brangus breed as one of the contributors of this genetic improvement.

“Because of this phenomenon, the demand of quality bulls and heifers is increasing every year with more breeders getting involved,” Ojea said. “We put a lot emphasis on selecting Brangus that will work in the real world.”

carlos ojea_show

Ojea said producers select for longevity, functionality, productivity, fertility and need to have the capacity to produce good quality meat in subtropical weather conditions. He said their commercial breeders put a lot of weight on phenotype and demonstrate functionality and beef production in one package. “That means moderate frame, thick, deep and powerful bodies as well as short hair,” Ojea said.

“We have been using some American Brangus genetics, both black and red,” Ojea said. “When we look for an American Brangus bulls, we try to find open pedigrees, good EPDs, fundamentally moderate frame and powerful phenotype that will adapt appropriately to our environment. These kinds of American genetics have been very helpful in our advancement in quality.”

Ojea is regarded as one of the most renowned cattlemen of our time, and is well known for his leadership and advancements made in the industry for improving genetic quality.

Brangus on The American Rancher

We were very excited to have Brangus featured on The American Rancher on RFD-TV throughout the first week in October. Pat Minick, host of the television series, explained the benefits of Brangus genetics and several producers talked about how they incorporate Brangus genetics into their programs.

Watch the complete episode here:

For more information about Brangus and to find a producer near you, visit us at GoBrangus.com.

Brangus to be Featured on The American Rancher October 1, 2 & 7

Brangus will be featured on the popular show The American Rancher on RFD-TV throughout next week. Geared toward and widely viewed by a true ranching audience of more than 100,000 weekly viewers, The American Rancher is a half-hour television series enjoying its eighth year of being included in the RFD-TV lineup.

“We are really excited about this upcoming episode and know it will be a great way to showcase the application of Brangus genetics in the commercial beef industry,” said Ben Spitzer, Commercial Programs Director at the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA).

The episode highlighting operations successfully implementing Brangus genetics will air three times during the first week of October, just ahead of many fall cattle sales. Cattle enthusiasts and those involved in the beef industry are encouraged to tune in to The American Rancher, and set the DVR to record the following shows: Monday, October 1, 2012, at 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.; and Sunday, October 7, 2012, at 11:00 a.m.

According to The American Rancher website, the television series educates audiences about the ranching lifestyle and the people working to shape the industry from a more personal perspective. The series has featured a variety of beef breeds and successful producers from all over the country. Visit The American Rancher website for more information about the series at www.theamericanrancher.com.

For more information about the advantages of Brangus genetics and IBBA marketing programs, visit the IBBA website at www.GoBrangus.com.

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