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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

August 28, 2013

AGI and GeneSeek Launch Developmental Duplication Test

Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) and GeneSeek®, a Neogen Corp. subsidiary headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., announce the immediate availability of the developmental duplication (DD) genetic condition test. The launch allows Angus breeders to order the DD test either by using Association archived or new samples. Details on the test are available at the American Angus Association AAA Login website (

“Our experienced and dedicated team is able to provide consistent and rapid service on all of our DNA tests,” says Stewart Bauck, GeneSeek general manager. “Improved DNA technology has allowed us to couple a variety of tests with our GeneSeek Genomic Profiler GGP-HD product as well, in a cost-effective manner.”

The DD test may be purchased as a stand-alone item or paired with the GeneSeek Angus GGP-HD test. To learn more about DNA technology offered by AGI and GeneSeek, visit

National Angus Conference & Tour Currently Under Way

The 2013 National Angus Conference & Tour (NAC&T), themed “Angus Along the Hudson,” began today. The event, headquartered out of Albany, N.Y., includes trips to upstate New York and historical locales.

Conference attendees heard today from Chef John Doherty, formerly of the Waldorf=Astoria and now an independent contractor; David O’Diam, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB); Debbie Lyons-Blythe, Life on a Kansas Ranch blogger; Eric Grant, American Angus Association; Kip Palmer, Palmer Foods; and Scott Vernon, Vernon Communications. Attendees also heard from staff members of Angus Genetics Inc., conference sponsor Purina; Association President Phil Trowbridge; and Association CEO Bryce Schumann.

Associate Editor Kasey Miller is attending the event for the Angus Journal. Follow her highlights on Facebook ( Journal) and Twitter (@AJeditor). The Angus Journal will be posting PowerPoints, audio and summaries of the conference sessions within the week to the newsroom at Photo galleries from the conference will also be available, and watch for coverage in the October issue.

Statement by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack on 2013 Farm Income Forecast

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement Aug. 28 on the 2013 farm income forecast from USDA’s Economic Research Service:

“This week’s forecast of a $6.8 billion increase in net farm income is a testament to the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, and a further sign of the positive momentum they have achieved over the past five years. A 6% increase in this key measure would be the second highest inflation-adjusted amount since 1973, even as agriculture has worked hard to recover from an historic drought and other disasters. I am confident that our farmers and ranchers will continue to show the determination and innovation that has been the hallmark of American agriculture for generations. To help continue their strong momentum, producers and rural communities are counting on Congress to provide a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will lend certainty to Federal farm policy — as well as passage of a commonsense immigration reform measure to ensure a stable and dependable agricultural workforce in the years to come.”

For more information, please view the proceedings here.

BQA Certification Workshops Continue

Four Advanced Beef Cattle Care and Health Training workshops, hosted by the Kansas Beef Council (KBC) and the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University, will be hosted in September. The beef checkoff-funded sessions will provide beef producers and veterinarians with up-to-date standards and technologies to improve animal welfare and food safety. The training sessions will be led by Dan Thomson, Chris Reinhardt and Dave Rethorst, all of the Beef Cattle Institute. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Producers and veterinarians will receive Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training and information relevant to the cow-calf, stocker and feedlot industry segments; animal husbandry best management practices; and downed animal care and humane euthanasia training. In addition, stockmanship principles and low-stress cattle-handling techniques will be studied. All producers and veterinarians who attend will earn BQA certification, which is valid for three years.

For more information, please view the Angus Journal calendar of events in the Angus Journal® Virtual Library here.

Refined Tools Help Improve Quality Beef, Geneticist to Tell at MU Thompson Farm

Beef cow herd owners have new tools — and refined old tools — to speed genetic progress in their herds. Farmers can learn those at a field day Sept. 17 at the University of Missouri (MU) Thompson Farm in Spickard, Mo. Jared Decker, MU Extension geneticist, will explain expected progeny differences (EPDs) — the old tools.

“EPDs have two main problems,” Decker says. “First, they are not precise for young animals. Second, with more available for use, they become overwhelming.”

Advances in DNA testing allow cattle breeders to account for all 20,000 genes when estimating an animal’s genetic merit. Results of current genetic tests on young sires provide data equivalent to a bull with 20 progeny to test.

Decker’s talk on genetic tools will mesh with other talks by the MU Beef Team at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in Columbia.

Old EPDs covered only a couple of genetic traits. And those traits were tracked and proven through testing of progeny. Using live offspring, it took years to develop accurate EPDs. Now DNA tests and genomic EPDs increase accuracy quicker. Tests require a drop of blood, or hair follicles.

“Genomic-enhanced EPDs allow commercial breeders to make more rapid genetic progress,” Decker says. “Decisions become more accurate. And they allow using younger, superior sires.”

To begin, EPDs aim to simplify decisions on buying and mating animals. One number would tell a lot. Higher accuracy arrived with genomic testing. The new EPDs allow sorting desirable animals from cull animals that have identical EPDs under the old system. This adds complexity. There are so many EPDs for traits it becomes difficult to know where to look.

“Now, farmers might be looking at 15 traits,” Decker says. “That’s more than our brains can handle all at once.”

For more information, please view the Angus Journal calendar of events for the Thompson Farm Field Day in the Angus Journal® Virtual Library here.


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