2019 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium & Convention

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by Dan Rieder A pair of longtime breeders and an ASA executive are recognized…

2019 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium & Convention

Angus Media
2019-2020 BIF Board of Directors, left to right: Tommy Clark, Culpeper, VA, president; Lee Leachman, Fort Collins, CO, past president; Jane Parish, Mississippi State University, BIF Executive Director; Bob Weaber, Kansas State University (KSU), BIF Central Region Secretary; Darrh Bullock, University of Kentucky, BIF Eastern Region Secretary; Mark Enns, Colorado State University, BIF Western Region Secretary; Josh White, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and Mark Thallman, US Meat Animal Research Center. Back row, left to right: Robert Williams, American Wagyu Association; Lex Carter, Pingree, ID; Jack Ward, American Hereford Association; Aaron Arnett, Sexing Technologies; Kajal Devani, Canadian Angus Association; Kevin Schultz, Haviland, KS; Gordon Jones, Lafayette, TN; Matt Perrier, Eureka, KS; Jackie Atkins, American Simmental Association; Lance Bauer, Beefmaster Breeders United; Gordon Hodges, Hamptonville, NC; Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association; Megan Rolf, KSU; John Genho, Woodville, VA; and Joe Epperly, Albion, NE. Not pictured: Vice President Joe Mushrush, Strong City, KS; Dan Moser, Angus Genetics Inc.; and Stephen Scott, Canadian Beef Breeds Council.
An engaged group of 500 attendees from all segments of the beef cattle industry gathered in Brookings, South Dakota for the 2019 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meetings, June 18-21. Two general sessions covered applications of technology and utilization of big data, followed by afternoon breakout sessions on a variety of topics. The depth and breadth of the industry was apparent throughout the meeting, as topics ranged from learning about the dairy industry harvesting oocytes from prepubertal heifers for in vitro fertilization to the value of stayability and longevity to commercial cow/calf producers. Dr. Bruce Golden was a featured speaker in one afternoon breakout session describing his work on detecting and treating various birth weight contemporary group recording methods in the IGS evaluation. Another new development shared at the meeting is the transition from a hard copy BIF Guidelines to an online wiki version to allow for more rapid updates as the guidelines are improved. Finally, Gordon Hodges, Chairman of the ASA Board of Trustees, and Dr. Jackie Atkins, ASA Director of Science and Education, were both elected to serve on the BIF board of directors. Congratulations, Gordon and Jackie.
Mershon Cattle LLC named BIF Commercial Producer of the Year

Congratulations to ASA member Mershon Cattle LLC for being named the 2019 Beef Improvement Federation Commercial Producer of the Year! Bruce and Tracey Mershon, Buckner, MO, were in attendance at the BIF meetings in Brookings, SD, to accept the award. Mershon Cattle LLC is a diversified crop and livestock operation with an Angus-based crossbred cow herd bred to Simmental, Hereford, and Charolais bulls. The Mershons say that a key to their success is gathering complete phenotypic records on each calf crop from birth to harvest, which allows them to implement strategic improvements in building accuracy for their cow herd. 
Bruce and Tracey Mershon accept 2019 BIF Commercial Producer of the Year.
Bruce and Tracey Mershon accept 2019 BIF Commercial Producer of the Year.
IGS Social
A highlight of the BIF meetings was an informal IGS social at the McCrory Gardens, an arboretum affiliated with South Dakota State University.  Over 100 guests joined us for casual conversation, snacks, and cold beverages amid the peonies in bloom. Several IGS breed association staff, academics, allied industry personnel, and seedstock breeders joined in on the festivities.  The evening was a great showing of comradery among like-minded seedstock industry partners. 


IGS breed association staff_ academics_ allied industry personnel_ and seedstock breeders mingle at the IGS social.
IGS breed association staff academics allied industry personnel and seedstock breeders mingle at the IGS social.

Save the date for BIF 2020
The 52nd Annual Beef Improvement Federation Meeting and Research Symposium will be held June 9 - 12 at the Embassy Suites Orlando - Lake Buena Vista South, FL.  Florida offers a unique opportunity as it is home to 9 of the top 25 beef cow herds in the country. The conference location is conveniently close to the Disney World theme park and other attractions like the Kennedy Space Center.  Mark your calendar for BIF 2020!

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