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7 P Ranch 40th Annual Production Sale Oct. 31, 2015 View Catalog
Deer Creek Farm Fall Production Sale Nov. 14, 2015 View Catalog
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NAILE Results
A Cosmetic Genetic Trait Affecting Simmental Cattle Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation (OH)

A Cosmetic Genetic Trait
Affecting Simmental Cattle
Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation (OH)
For the past two and a half years, the American Simmental Association has been working with Dr. Jon Beever from the University of Illinois on a specific genetic condition called oculocutaneous hypopigmentation or OH. Animals with OH have uniformly light colored irises coupled with an unusual chocolate coat color. This is not a lethal condition. In fact, the effects of OH seem to be mainly cosmetic. OH is a simple recessive trait meaning an animal must inherit two copies of the mutation to display the trait.

Recently Dr. Beever has found the causative mutation and developed a diagnostic test for OH. Using this diagnostic, an archive of ~245 SimGenetic bulls were tested for OH. The incidence of this particular mutation is very low in the Simmental animals screened to date. The mutation can be traced back to an Angus bull, Sir WMS Warrant, which was likely misdiagnosed as a heterochromia irides HI carrier. Although this mutation possibly originated from the Angus breed, out of over 1,300 Angus animals tested, only one (Sir WMS Warrant) has been identified as a carrier of OH.

Due to the non-lethal nature of this condition and the low frequency of the mutation in the Simmental population, the ASA will not require any testing for the trait. The ASA will add OH to TraitTrac and OH test results will populate the pedigrees similar to other traits. This genetic trait will be treated the same as other largely cosmetic traits like coat color and horned/polled.

GeneSeek has included the marker for OH on the next generation of GGP bovine chip assays. As soon as GeneSeek launches the next GGP-HD and GGP-LD testing, ASA members will have access to these test results. Until that time, individual animals may be tested through Dr. Jonathan Beever at the University of Illinois (; 217-333-4194).
Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation (OH)
Dr. Jon Beever, University of Illinois,
November, 2015

In the spring of 2012, the American Simmental Association (ASA) received an abnormality report indicating the occurrence of a newborn calf with "white-colored" eyes and a diluted hair coat (see picture at right). All the appropriate DNA samples were collected, used for the validation of parentage, and archived for future reference. Over the next two years, three additional calves were reported to the ASA with similar characteristics. Based on the recurrence of this trait, an investigation was initiated to establish whether the condition was genetic. DNA samples collected from the four affected calves were genotyped using the Neogen GGP-HD. The resulting genotypes were analyzed in contrast to the genotypes of ~80 Simmental sires. This analysis showed clear evidence that the condition is inherited as a recessive trait. Based on hese results, the DNA sequence for several genes was analyzed in each of the affected calves. Within one of these genes, a mutation was identified that is predicted to impair the function of the encoded protein. In fact, in mice, mutations within the same gene cause a very similar condition that is referred to as "chocolate", where black mice have a diluted coat color and beige-colored irises (or irides).

Further investigation, including the genotyping of frequently used sires, indicates the mutation is present at a relatively low frequency in the Simmental population. This is consistent with the very low frequency of affected calves reported over the three year period. Examination of carrier pedigrees reveals the Simmental bull, PVF-BF BF26 BLACK JOKER (ASA #1930631), as the most popular recent ancestor with DNA available for testing. However, several of the genotyped carriers do not have this sire in their pedigrees indicating the mutation could be significantly older. Considering this information and the prior description of similar traits in other breeds, namely heterochromia irides (HI) in Angus cattle, the possible origin of this mutation was investigated by obtaining samples from known HI carriers. Although there are very few DNA samples available from these older animals, a sample was obtained for the Angus sire SIR WMS WARRANT (AAA #9196894). Indeed, WARRANT was found to be a carrier of this newly identified mutation. Therefore, it is most likely that the mutation was introduced into the Simmental population by the use of Angus cattle during the development of black purebreds. The subsequent screening of more than 1,200 Angus sires indicates the mutation has most likely been eliminated from the current Angus population via pedigree selection in the early 1980s.

Based on these data, the scientific literature was reviewed in an effort to understand if there were documented features that clearly distinguish between the oculocutaneous hypopigmentation (OH) and heterochromia irides (HI) traits, both of which had been previously described. It is our opinion that the characteristics displayed by these affected Simmental calves is more representative of OH than it is of HI. Additionally, examination of the human and mouse literature also supports this designation. Thus, we suggest that if both phenotypes exist in the cattle population, WARRANT should be designated as an OH carrier. Further screening of current descendants of Angus HI carriers is being conducted but has not identified any additional carriers of this mutation within the Angus population.

Information contained in reports and literature from the 70s and 80s, and in these current Simmental cases, indicate that this abnormal phenotype has little or no effect on the viability or performance of affected individuals. However, in some cases, a possible sensitivity to light has been reported. Thus, we suggest this mutation be monitored similarly to other non-lethal traits such as coat color or horned/polled. As with any recessive condition, breeders can avoid the appearance of affected calves by restricting matings between carrier animals.

Spotlight on GGP-LD

Spotlight on GGP-LD
Jim Butcher
Last year Gateway Simmentals tested nearly their entire bull sale group with GGP-LD. When asked why they choose to invest in GGP-LD testing, Jim Butcher responded with the following:
1. It comes with parental validation. It is really nice to sell bulls without any surprises on pedigree down the road.
2. With genomics becoming a bigger part of the genetics puzzle, it is a good thing to have our genetics represented in the system.
3. Even though we have big contemporary groups, the subtle changes in EPDs within sire groups and the overall groups is very useful."

Spotlight on GGP-LD
Betsy Senter
"The beef industry, agricultural colleges, and breed associations in particular, are investing millions into research to make our selection easier and more effective. We, as breeders and producers, must learn to "trust" the science.  We have to turn our focus from just looking at a calf (phenotype) and look deeper (genomics).  "Trust" what the science can show you and "Invest" in your own herd!  That's what GGP-LD can do for your program!"

Spotlight on GGP-LD
Bob Weaber, Ph.D

“Using genomically enhanced EPD for selection of young breeding stock provides a level of precision and reliability that’s never been available to seedstock producers before.  By genotyping replacement heifer candidates, breeders can improve the heifers’ EPD accuracies about as much as the progeny data resulting from a female’s whole lifetime of production. The best part is you can know a replacement heifer’s estimate of genetic merit as if she’s been in production for years, all before she’s even weaned from her dam. Genotyping young bull candidates has the dual benefit of identifying those bulls that should be in the development pen and pointing to those individuals that offer truly unique and valuable genetic combinations. Your bull buyers benefit from the improved accuracy too! Using GE-EPDs with improved accuracy improves the reliability of the decisions breeders make and, ultimately, the rate of progress their selection program can achieve.”

Dave Nichols Saddle & Sirloin Portrait

Saddle and Sirloin Hall of Fame Inductee
On November 15, Dave Nichols, a longtime Simmental breeder and past ASA Chairman, was inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Hall of Fame, in Louisville, KY.

In honor of prestigious award, Nichols Farms donated a 3-n-1-sale lot to the Simmental-Simbrah Foundation to commemorate this event. Thank you to Bob Volk, J&C Simmental, for his out-right purchase along with additional contributions from "Friends of the Foundation" for a grand total of $23,250. Thank you DP Sales Management (Doug and Debbie Parke, Drew and Holli Hatmaker) and Fred Schuetze for their hard work in securing donations.
A huge Thank you from the Foundation board to the many supporters of the this project ~ we could not have done it without your help:
Hereford Association, Bill and Carol Taylor, Gary Felger, Allen E. Christian, The CUP LabTM, LLC, Kathy and Wade Shafer, Glen and Linda Klippenstein, Michael Dikeman, Jim and Helen Gibb, Tom and Dianne Risinger, E. C. and Margie Larkin, Gulf Coast Cattleman, Rob and Peggy Brown, Merlyn Nielsen, Rod and Jennifer Hartwig, Jerry Lipsey, Leah and Harlan Ritchie, Gary and Georgia Runyon, Matt Spangler, Jimmy and Kathleen Holliman, Quinn Cow Company, Bruce and Alicia Crutcher, William Clark, Creston Livestock Auction, Inc., W. Mark Hilton, R. Mark Thallman, Tim and Jill Curran, Circle Ranch, Steven and Diane Kappes, David Notter, Heartland Cattle Company, Jeffery A. Schoen, Beef Improvement Federation, Norm Vincel, Darrh Bullock, 3C Christensen Ranch, Brian House, Iowa Simmental Association, Mrs. Lytle Tom, Farmers Lumber Company, American , Ronda and Jason Driskill, Bert and Millie Moore, Toby and Casie Muller, Gordon and Melissa Hodges, Buzzard Hollow Ranch, Hudson Pines Farm, Smith Genetics, Reavis Farms, 7 N Cattle Company, McCrary Farms, Carl Low, RA Brown Ranch, Pine Ridge Ranch, Smith Farms ~ Ronnie & Susan Smith, RX Simbrah, Filegonia Cattle Company, Little Creek Farms, Vantage Point Farms, 7P Ranch, Allied Genetics, BK Cattle Company, CLO Simmentals, Krieger Farms, Tuell Cattle Company, Premium Sourced Cattle, Freedom Run Farm, Ligon Simmentals, Lone Tree Simmentals, Wesner Livestock, White Star Cattle Company, Western Indiana Cattle Company, American Livestock, Independent Cattle Company, Rugged R Cattle Company, Tom Brothers Ranch, McDonald Farms, Drake Simmentals, SVJ Farm, Circle T Farm, Windy Ridge Simmentals, Dillon Simmental Farm.
Dr. Bert Moore,  Dr. Wade Shafer and Dave Nichols

Drew Hatmaker,  Wade Shafer, Bruce Miller, Dave Nichols, Bob Volk, Nancy Tom, 
Holli Hatmaker and Doug Parke

Dave Nichols and Nancy Tom
Dave Nichols and Bob Volk
Wade Shafer, Nancy Tom,  Dave, Phyllis & Jennifer Nichols,  Judy & Fred Schuetze

DoubleTree Is Denver Headquarters

Once again, the DoubleTree Hotel Denver, 3203 Quebec Street will serve as headquarters for the ASA Annual Meeting, Foundation Auction, and ASA Board Meetings. A special Stock Show rate of $104 is available to ASA members; to reserve your rooms, please call 303.321.3333 and ask for the "Simmental" block.

A complimentary shuttle service is provided to the NWSS; schedules will be available in December.

Facts About Beef Website Debunking Myths About Beef

Myth: Beef doesn’t have a place on my plate as part of a healthy diet. Fact: Beef still has a place on your plate, and you can feel confident that there are a variety of ways to include beef on your plate as part of a healthy diet.  Read more.

Myth: Big beef uses antibiotics without regard for animal welfare or human health. Facts: Antibiotics are just one tool beef farmers and ranchers use to keep cattle healthy by treating and preventing the spread of illness. Cattle can pick up illnesses, just like humans, whether they’re out on pasture or in a feedlot with other ... read more.

Myth: Vegetarian diets are healthier than diets that include meat

The Facts: Experts agree that the healthiest diets include a balance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and moderate portions of nutrient-dense lean meat and skinless poultry. In fact, there are some risks associated with vegetarian diets that don’t ensure adequate intake of important nutrients. A recent Glamour article notes a plant-based diet, plus lean meats and fish, is the diet that will make you feel your best.According to a recent Gallup poll, only 5% of American adults consider themselves to be vegetarians. However,  vegetarian diets are a frequent topic of conversation in the news and in daily conversations. With all the chatter about vegetarianism, you may want to find out if vegetarian diets really are healthier than diets that include meat.

Learn more about how incorporating lean meat, like beef, into your diet can ensure good health.

Feed Intake Project

The ASA Foundation's Feed Intake Project

  • -The collection of feed intake data is difficult and expensive—prohibitively so for most breeders.

  • -By working together, we can develop the means to leverage DNA in the genetic prediction of intake.

  • -ASA currently has intake records on roughly 3,500 head, collected largely on carcass merit program cattle fed at the University of Illinois.

  • -This project came to a close 5 years ago. Very little intake data have been submitted since the University of Illinois project.

  • -To develop effective DNA predictions, we must ramp up our collection of intake data.

  • -The ASA aims to collect feed intake data coupled with the carcass merit program starting in 2015 and we need your help.

  • -We ALL will benefit from the collection of this data—ASA members, member's customers and the industry.

  • -Donate to the American Simmental Simbrah Foundation earmarked for the Feed Intake Project and help make collecting feed intake data a reality for the ASA.


Call or email Fred Schuetze for more information. 817.894.0563

ASA New Headquarters Photo Diary



The construction of the American Simmental Association (ASA) state-of-the-art headquarters building located on a 4.3 acre lot one mile north of its current location is making significant headway.

Click here to view our photo diary. Pictures will be updated as the building progresses.

eBEEF is the beef genetics/genomics community of practice with eXtension.


Our mission is to foster a research and outreach community, engage beef cattle producers and ag professionals through trainings and publications, and support research and outreach projects.


Upcoming Sales

Download and view Simmental promotional videos.
  12/5/2015 Next Step Cattle Co.'s Carcass Merit Bull Sale Auburn, AL map
  12/5/2015 A December to Remember at Pleasant Hill Farms Rockfield, KY map
  12/5/2015 Montana's Choice Simmental Sale Billings, MT map
  12/5/2015 Jewels of the Northland Sale Clara City, MN map
  12/7/2015 Dakota Made Production Sale Salem, SD map
  12/7/2015 Genetic Perfection Sale Fremont, NE map
  12/9/2015 Double Bar D Farms Simmental "She's Got The Look" Female Sale Grenfell, SK map
  12/12/2015 North Dakota Simmental Association's Showcase/Classic Sale Mandan, ND map
  12/12/2015 North Alabama Bull Evaluation Sale Cullman, AL map
  12/12/2015 Driggers Simmental Farm Bull Sale Glennville, GA map
  12/12/2015 Sandeen Genetics Buildin' A Brand Sale Bloomfield, IA map
  12/12/2015 Tom Brothers Ranch and DA Cattle Private Treaty Bid-Off Sale Campbellton, TX map
  12/12/2015 Hartman Cattle Company's 20th Annual Customer Appreciation Sale Tecumseh, NE map
  12/16/2015 Six-R / AKA Livestock Bred Heifer Sale Ogden, IL map
  12/19/2015 Pride of the Prairie Sale Chandlerville, IL map
  12/19/2015 South Dakota Simmental Source Sale Mitchell, SD map
  12/28/2015 St. Nick's Eggstravaganza Online Embryo Event Seward, NE map
  1/16/2016 University of Florida Bull Test Sale Greenwood, FL map
  1/16/2016 SimMagic On Ice Denver, CO map
  1/18/2016 National Western "The One-Volume XXIII" Sale Denver, CO map
  1/19/2016 Wild Wild West Simmental Sale Brighton, CO map
  1/27/2016 Sioux Empire Simmental Show and Sale Sioux Falls, SD map
  1/30/2016 Double J Farms' 42nd Annual Private Treaty Simmental Bid Bull Sale Garretson, SD map
  1/30/2016 J&C Simmentals Annual Bull Sale West Point, NE map
  1/30/2016 Forster Farms 37th Annual Production Sale Smithfield, NE map
  1/31/2016 Triangle J Ranch's Annual Production Sale Miller, NE map
  2/1/2016 Sloup Customer Appreciation Online Sale Seward, NE map
  2/1/2016 36th Annual Gateway "Breeding Value" Bull Sale Lewistown, MT map
  2/3/2016 Begger's Diamond V Big Sky Genetic Source Bull Sale Wibaux, MT map
  2/6/2016 Olrichs/Felt Farms Bull Sale Norfolk, NE map
  2/6/2016 Dixie National Simmental Sale Jackson, MS map
  2/6/2016 Black Hills Stock Show & Sale Rapid City, SD map
  2/6/2016 Prickly Pear Simmentals "Made In Montana" Sale Helena, MT map
  2/7/2016 Hartman Cattle Company's Simmental Bull Sale Tecumseh, NE map
  2/8/2016 Edge of the West Bull and Female Sale Mandan, ND map
  2/8/2016 Dakota Power Bull Sale Valley City, ND map
  2/8/2016 Iowa Beef Expo Des Moines, IA map
  2/10/2016 River Creek Farms 25th Annual Production Sale Manhattan, KS map
  2/10/2016 Wilkinson Farms' Breeding for the Future Sale Napoleon, ND map
  2/11/2016 Lassle Ranch Simmentals 23rd Annual Production Sale Glendive, MT map
  2/11/2016 Bichler-Johnson Simmentals 10th Annual "Quality Not Quantity" Production Sale Linton, ND map
  2/12/2016 TNT Simmentals' 30th Annual "Genetic Explosion" Sale Almont, ND map
  2/12/2016 Hook Farms and Clear Springs Cattle Co. "Bred for Balance" Sale Tracy, MN map
  2/12/2016 Hart Simmental Beef Builder Bull Sale Frederick, SD map
  2/12/2016 Watertown Winter Farm Show & Sale Watertown, SD map
  2/12/2016 Bata/Olafson 19th Annual Joint Simmental Bull and Female Sale Rugby, ND map
  2/13/2016 Grass-Lunning Bulls-Eye Bonanza Sale LeRoy, MN map
  2/13/2016 Kenner Simmentals' 20th Annual Production Sale Leeds, ND map
  2/13/2016 Berger's Herdmasters SimAngus Hybrid Bull Sale North Platte, NE map
  2/14/2016 Rydeen Farms 18th Annual "Vision" Sale Clearbrook, MN map
  2/15/2016 Bulls of the Big Sky Billings, MT map
  2/19/2016 Dakota Xpress Annual Bull and Female Sale Mandan, ND map
  2/19/2016 Mader Ranches Bull Power Sale Carstairs, AB T0M, Canada map
  2/19/2016 R & R Cattle Company's Annual Production Sale Chamberlain, SD map
  2/19/2016 Cow Camp Ranch Annual Spring Bull Sale Lost Springs, KS map
  2/20/2016 Ellingson Simmentals' Annual Production Sale Rugby, ND map
  2/20/2016 Sandy Acres Simmental Bull Sale Creighton, NE map
  2/20/2016 29th Annual "Genetics with the Holistic Approach" Sale Aberdeen, SD map
  2/20/2016 Rhodes Angus Open House Bull Sale Carlinville, IL map
  2/25/2016 Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale Springfield, IL map
  2/27/2016 Gold Bullion Group, 14th Annual Bull Sale Wamego, KS map
  2/27/2016 Sunset View Farms' Family Traditions Bull Sale Auburn, KY map
  2/27/2016 Hofmann Simmental Farms' "Buy Your Way" Bull Sale Clay Center, KS map
  2/27/2016 Minnesota State Simmental Sale Rochester , MN map
  2/27/2016 Mid-America Simmental Sale Springfield, IL map
  3/1/2016 Hill's Ranch Production Sale Stanford, MT map