By Trustee Tim Smith, Giddings, TX
Confident excitement would be the term I would use to summarize my take on SimGenetics and the American Simmental Association’s position in the industry and the potential for the breeds’ expansion over the coming years. I have just completed my first year on the ASA Board of Trustees and it has truly been an honor to serve in this role. In September, the ASA Board and multiple staff members completed a professionally facilitated 5-year planning meeting and then in January during the National Western Stock Show, we held the ASA Annual Meeting. During these long productive discussions, there were a number of positive trends, strong factual data and general excitement shared. A common denominator during both meetings was to strengthen our communication with members and their customers. With a communication goal in mind I decided to utilize this Forum as an opportunity to share a few facts and highlights that I find very positive surrounding SimGenetics!
DID YOU KNOW . . .
• In 2013 the ASA database received records on 102,841 animals, an increase of 21.2% over 2012, and of those animals 59,092 were registered, which is an increase of 7.1% over 2012. Transfers in 2013 totaled 23,943 animals and of those transferred 44.6% were males, which indicates valued bull sales and SimGenetics growth in the commercial industry.
• The most recent evaluation of Simmental Genetic Trends proves that birth weights continue to decline, while growth traits of weaning weight and yearling weight continue to increase. Just another reason why our product continues to gain market demand in the commercial industry!
• The “ASA Science Forum” spearheaded by ASA staff, Jackie Atkins, PhD and Lauren Hyde, PhD, is another great communication tool. The Forum focuses on three main topics: DNA testing, genetic conditions, and genetic evaluations. This interactive Forum has a new post weekly, allowing you to respond and post your own thoughts and/or ask questions. What a great way to stay current on new genetic happenings! You can access this Forum from the ASA web site.
• THE (Total Herd Enrollment) numbers enrolled for 2013 surpassed 90,000 females with 1,349 members participating. In 2013 85% of the data submitted came from THE herds. We are encouraging the membership to participate in this program to ensure the continued growth of the ASA genetic database. Remember the first transfer on each animal recorded is free!
• “Have You Herd” is a blog available to our membership, spearheaded by staff member Leoma Wells. The intent of the blog is to inform our members about the most recent information concerning DNA and genetic testing, THE topics as well as other topics of interest to members. You can access the blog from the ASA Homepage.
• ASA possesses the largest multi-breed database in the world with 11.8 million combined records including the Simbrah Breed.
• In 2013, ASA members submitted 31,381 jobs through ASA’s website (herdbook.org), that’s 719 jobs per week. In addition,
|ASA staff submitted another 37,000 jobs on behalf of ASA members. I believe we have the best processing staff in the industry — a tip of the hat for a job well done!
• ASA is aggressively pursuing the use of genomic enhanced EPDs and the amount of genomic data submitted has doubled within the last 1.5 years.
• The most recent evaluation of Simmental Genetic Trends indicates that our breeds’ yield grades continue to decline and become more desirable, while our marbling score continues to increase. Carcass merit is another reason why we will continue to gain more market demand in the commercial industry!
• “tREG”, a blog spearheaded by staff member, Hannah Wine, is an extension of information published in the Register, but it also include the faces of people involved in SimGenetics. The blog serves to introduce new staff, breed representatives, and covers featured breeders and other SimGenetic enthusiasts. This blog also keeps you up to date on happenings and new industry events, while keeping you abreast of the most recent science available to SimGenetics. You can access this blog from the ASA web site.
• The ASA SimTalk publication is distributing 50,000 copies. The largest portion of the circulation goes to commercial buyers and every new buyer of a SimGenetic animal with a paper transferred to their name, automatically goes on the mailing list. This is a great indicator of our continued growth and a good reason to transfer every animal you sell. This is a great place to advertise with lots of bang for the buck!
• The most recent domestic semen sales report from the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) is for year 2012 indicates that Simmental is the second largest breed for amount of semen sold. For more information concerning numbers and other breed rankings, visit the NAAB website.
• The ASA Carcass Merit Program (CMP) is the largest and longest running (since 1997) structured carcass evaluation program in the world with data collection performed on over 10,000 carcasses.
• ASA has a new field team of area representatives to serve the membership and represent SimGenetics at industry events. They are listed with contact information on the ASA website and in the SimTalk publication. Get to know your representative!
• Communication is important to each of your ASA Board of Trustees and our contact information is listed in the front of each Register, SimTalk, and on the ASA website. Please feel free to contact us — we welcome your comments!
This information just strengthens my belief in SimGenetics and continues to keep me excited about our cattle and our ASA! We have access to the science, data and tools needed to ensure our continued growth of SimGenetics and their growth within the beef cattle market share!
|Some breeders have expressed concern about using MBV on SimAngus with a low percentage of the Simmental or Angus/Red Angus component. Not to worry. In a paper presented last December by Dorian Garrick and Mahdi Saatchi of Iowa State University at the 10th BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop, training on mixed breed populations results in similar MBV accuracies as training on breed-specific populations. This means that breed associations can use the same set of prediction equations on their purebred and crossbred cattle.
Pooling Breeds and Breed Associations
Many breed associations record cattle of other breeds, particularly composites with Angus. For example, American Gelbvieh Association records Balancer cattle that are crosses with Angus or Red Angus, and North American Limousin Foundation records Lim-Flex cattle that are crosses with Angus or Red Angus. American Simmental Association and Red Angus Association of America record a wide range of breed crosses. For each of these associations, it is desirable that a single prediction equation be used across their pure and composite cattle. This is important because the breed is often not known at the time of sample submission – some samples are submitted from animals that do not have registration numbers. This precludes the ready use of breed-specific imputation techniques, or breed-specific prediction equations.
Fortunately, Saatchi and Garrick have demonstrated that, in most cases, the training data from different breeds can be pooled, with the resultant training population producing cross-validation MBV accuracies that are similar to those obtained from within-breed training for any of the breeds being pooled. Further, GeneSeek has made their 50K genotyped populations available to the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium to allow their use in training or validation to the benefit of breed association clients. In particular, this allows Angus animals with 50K genotypes to be used in training of any other breed that has those animals represented in their NCE. That is, they do not pool deregressed EPD from different NCE, but use the NCE EPD for that animal from the target breed association. Training is therefore not breed specific, but breed association specific.
Please note: Accepting online registrations only. Mail-in registration forms are not available.
Contest information: Study Materials
2014 National Classic XXXIV
Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville
Forms and Information2014 National Classic Information
Schedules, forms, and information - click here
North Central Regional
The 71st Annual Alabama Cattlemen's Association (ACA) Convention and Trade Show was held February 18-19, in Montgomery Alabama. The theme for this year's convention was "Keeping You on Track", which was very relevant as the trade show was housed in the Union Station train shed. Once again, Zoetis sponsored a strong series of Cattlemen's College session. Over 750 attendees were "kept on the track" of becoming more profitable as they learned about issues facing the beef industry in Alabama. Becoming more sustainable was a common theme across the Cattlemen's College session.
A few ways cattlemen can improve sustainability include: increasing weaning weights, becoming less dependent on stored feeds and rely more on forages, and decreasing the amount of carcass blemishes on by practicing safe cattle handling techniques and Beef Quality Assurance best management practices recommendations. Drs. Jennifer Johnson and Kim Mullenix, extension Forage specialist and Beef Cattle Systems specialist, respectively, led a timely session on wintering brood cow herd. Dr. Wade Shafer from the American Simmental Association talked to attendees about the importance of crossbreeding and sire selection. Drs. Frank Owsley and Misty Edmondson led two sessions on the importance of Beef Quality Assurance and safe animal handling. Alabama Cattlemen's Association Executive vice president, Dr. Billy Powell, ACA staff member, Erin Beasley, and Southeast Ag Network's Randall Weismann led an issues management discussion.
American Simmental Association member, Jimmy Holliman, 2013-2014 ACA President passed the gavel down to Woody Clark of Andalusia in the Opening General Session.
An Illinois Simmental operation revels in its well-earned reputation for close family ties and quality cattle.
By Dan Rieder
The word “tarnation” is defined by an on-line dictionary as “a euphenism for damnation and is used to indicate annoyance or disgust.” By inserting one additional letter the word takes on an entirely different meaning. TarrNation refers to the Tarr family of Fox Creek Cattle Farm, located at Newton, Illinois. The nickname was hung on them by sale manager/cattle consultant Doug Parke of Paris, Kentucky at this past year’s Eastern Regional Classic. To Parke,it seemed like whenever a big-time cattle event was held in the region, the Tarr family showed up enmasse.
Last December, Dr. Lauren Hyde presented ASA's experience with blending genomic data into our genetic predictions at BIF's 10th Genetic Prediction Workshop in Kansas City. Dr. Hyde discussed the history of GE-EPDs within the ASA, the discovery of a problem with GE-EPD methodology that artificially made animals with good EPDs look even better and animals with bad EPDs look even worse, and the steps ASA and the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium have taken to address the problem.
| Check out our new ASA Science Forum.
Join Drs. Lauren Hyde and Jackie Atkins in discussions about the latest topics. They welcome your questions.
We started an ASA Forum that is science based with communication boards on Genetic Conditions, Genetic Evaluation, and DNA Testing. Dr. Lauren Hyde and I are moderating the forum and we would love to hear your input. You can find the forum by going to our homepage www.simmental.org and clicking on the ASA Forum button (between the Membership Directory and the Sire Source). Once on the forum, you can read through the posts for information on topics provided. You can also login and post replies to any of the subjects. It is the sincere hope of the ASA that our members will use this forum not only to educate themselves but to post their own questions or comments. We want to hear what you think about these topics and which areas you would like more information about. If you have questions about a topic that is not yet posted, send me an email jatkins@simmgene. com and I will do my best to address this issue on the forum.
Latest Post: Bull Selection - What criteria do you use to select bulls?
Breeding for Profit ~ A Producer's Guide: This newest ASA brochure addresses what animal breeders and industry professionals have long understood ~ that crossbreeding is the number one component affecting profitability in any genetic program. Hybrid vigor has the largest impact on economically important traits within a cowherd like fertility, longevity and overall cowherd efficiency. Although the beef industry as a whole has been slow to adopt this science, many have realized outstanding profit through the use of structured crossbreeding programs. This brochure will be used at trade shows, state association event, educational events as well as for individual distribution.
The Flipbook version is on the website, we hope you will enjoy it ~ click here.
Asociacion Simmental - Simbrah, the Simmental Association in Colombia, extends an invitation to all Simmental enthusiasts to the World Simmental Fleckvieh Federation World Congress 2014 being held in Colombia this year from July 18-24th.
For full details on the Congress, schedule and fees, please visit the http://www.worldsimmentalcongress2014.com
Asosimmental ~ Simbrah, has designed a schedule that will allow participants to know a part of the Colombian culture, visiting the capital city (Bogotá), where they will have the opportunity to participate in the National Fair Simmental Simbrah, with the exhibition and judgment of more than 500 animals, tourist places like Monserrate, la Candelaria and the gold Museum. Also, tours of a religious monument built by miners in the area known as the Cathedral of Salt and three farms specialized in the production of Simmental breed genetics.!! In Cartagena de Indias, the participants will tour the walled city, they will join in the development of union meetings and presentations of the breed, then, they will shift to the savannas of Bolivar to a farm specialized in the production of genetic crossing between Simmental with the Gyr breed, in addition enjoying moments of folklore amenities with the Congress attendees and Colombian farmers.