Changes to the Growth EPD Evaluation

by Matt Woolfolk, ASA Director of Performance Programs

Our genetic evaluation provider, International Genetic Solutions (IGS), recently made adjustments to the mechanics and models that tabulate the weekly EPD runs. IGS facilitates the largest weekly beef cattle EPD run on the planet. With the growing volume of data entering the IGS evaluation from over 20 worldwide breed associations, adjustments were needed to improve the efficiency of the weekly runs. As data volume increases, time to complete the eval also increases. We used to be able to get our new EPDs every week on Monday afternoon, but that has slid back later in the week over time. The computer power that IGS uses for the tabulations couldn’t keep up with the influx of data from around the globe without some adjustment to the models.

Implemented with the run conducted the week of December 11, the changes center around adjustments to the breed comparison tools used within the evaluation, how that comparison data is handled through the evaluation, as well as updates to the EPD bases that are in place. As a true multi-breed evaluation, these comparisons are necessary to the function of the IGS eval and need to be updated from time to time. With these changes to the models, breeders should expect to see changes in their EPD values for BW, WW, YW, and MILK EPDs. While values may change, there is minimal shuffling of where cattle rank for these traits. Changes in EPD values are occurring across all the IGS member breeds with these updates to the model. So what we anticipate you seeing is a quicker, more efficient evaluation run each week with some slight differences in the values of your growth EPDs. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the announcement from IGS and the deadlines for Shorthorn Country, the earliest we could discuss these changes in print comes after the fact with this article. The initial announcement can be found in the December 5 Shorthorn Insider e-mail newsletter.

Our partnership with IGS allows us to bring you the strongest genetic prediction tools found in the beef industry. Our involvement in IGS allows Shorthorns from around the globe (Australia, Canada, and the United States) to all have EPD profiles that are directly comparable to each other. Participating in the cooperative, or any genetic evaluation for that matter, will come with occasional changes as the science teams work to improve the product they distribute to the breed association. I was once told that if you’re trying to make improvements and nothing changes, then you didn’t make improvements. We expect to see improvements in the genetic tools we can offer you with this round of updates from IGS, even if the numbers look a little different.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me (matt@shorthorn. org) to further discuss these new models. Happy New Year!

ASA recognizes Rick Leone & Family as Builder of the Breed

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Rick Leone & Family of Fowler, Colorado, was honored as a 2023 Builder of the Breed. The prestigious “Builder of the Breed” recognizes Shorthorn breeders who have shown true dedication for an extensive time and contributed to the stewardship of the Shorthorn Breed. This award recognizes their efforts in breeding and promoting Shorthorn cattle, which have added to genetic improvement of the breed. Individuals are recognized who have continuously been supporters and promoters for both the Shorthorn breed and the beef cattle industry. Builder of the Breed award winners are recognized for making a lasting impact on our breed.

The Leone Family of Peak View Ranch represents the Builder of the Breed qualifications through their dedication to the Shorthorn breed. The family acquired their first Shorthorn in 1976 as part of Rick’s 4-H involvement. Rick’s passion for the breed has been reflected by a lifelong commitment to service and stewardship. He has exhibited cattle at county, state and national levels as a youth. He served on the Rocky Mountain Shorthorn Association board while in college at Colorado State University. He also served on the ASA board of directors for six years including president from 2019-2020.

Rick along with his wife Trish and their two kids, Gabriella and Valentino, are strong advocates for performance testing and support the value of EPDs. Their herd has won the Century Club award for several years as well as several Performance animals. They support research and participate in feedlot trials in several locations. Their passion for the breed shows as soon you have a conversation with them about Shorthorn cattle.

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Rick Leone & Family on their prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Builder of the Breed.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777 ###

ASA recognizes Bill Bales & Joe Bales as Builder of the Breed

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Bill Bales and Joe Bales, a father son duo of Morristown, TN, were honored as 2023 Builders of the Breed. The prestigious “Builder of the Breed” recognizes Shorthorn breeders who have shown true dedication for an extensive time and contributed to the stewardship of the Shorthorn Breed. This award recognizes their efforts in breeding and promoting Shorthorn cattle, which have added to genetic improvement of the breed. Individuals are recognized who have continuously been supporters and promoters for both the Shorthorn breed and the beef cattle industry. Builder of the Breed award winners are recognized for making a lasting impact on our breed.

Bill grew up on the family farm, Hillside Farm, that traces back to the 1890s. He got his start with the Shorthorn breed by exhibiting steers in the local 4H and FFA shows. He was a banker by profession but also was responsible for the cattle herd and was an active proponent of youth livestock events, served at the local, state and national levels. He is a lifetime member of the ASA and served as director and officer of the Tennessee Shorthorn Association.

Joe also grew up on the family farm and started with the breed by showing steers locally. Once he added heifers to his show string, he began exhibiting across the Southeast and nationally. He is a lifetime member of the ASA and a former board member and vice-president of the American Junior Shorthorn Association. He most completed his six year term as ASA board of director and served most recently as president.   

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Bill Bales and Joe Bales on their prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Builder of the Breed.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777

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ASA recognizes Ward Bakenhus as Builder of the Breed

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Ward Bakenhus of Columbus, Nebraska was honored as a 2023 Builder of the Breed. The prestigious “Builder of the Breed” recognizes Shorthorn breeders who have shown true dedication for an extensive time and contributed to the stewardship of the Shorthorn Breed. This award recognizes their efforts in breeding and promoting Shorthorn cattle, which have added to genetic improvement of the breed. Individuals are recognized who have continuously been supporters and promoters for both the Shorthorn breed and the beef cattle industry. Builder of the Breed award winners are recognized for making a lasting impact on our breed.

Bakenhus embodies the Builder of the Breed qualifications through his commitment to the Shorthorn breed. He was born into the famous Ar Su Lu Shorthorn program and was involved at a young age in day-to-day operation of the cattle and crop farm as well as being part of the American Junior Shorthorn Association. Upon graduation, he returned to the family farm to continue the development and success of the Ar Su Lu herd.

Bakenhus led the family to exhibit annually at the National Western Stock Show Yards Show for many years, with the record of exhibiting more Pen Show Champion Pens than any other operation in the breed. The family held an annual female and bull sale for many year and their cattle became foundation animals for several other breeders. He was a major contributor in providing genetics and direction to Shorthorn herds all over the country. He has been a fixture to the Shorthorn breed, even serving a two-year term on the ASA board of directors.

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Ward Bakenhus on his prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Builder of the Breed.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777

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ASA recognizes Bryan & Marti Warner as Heritage Award Winners

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Bryan & Marti Warner of Pavillion, Wyo., were honored as 2023 Heritage Award Winners. The Shorthorn Heritage Award recognizes Shorthorn members who have shown exceptional leadership for Shorthorn activities in a state or regional area. These honorees are persons that have shown exceptional passion in all areas of the breed. Award recipients have promoted the breed by taking leadership roles within their respective geographical areas. They are individuals that can be given credit to helping with the long-term success of the breed at any level. They have attended functions, been a mainstay, and have shown their passion and love for the breed and the people in the breed. A Heritage Award winner is a true Shorthorn enthusiast who has positively impacted the breed to the benefit of all Shorthorn breeders.

Bryan grew up in Colo. and was involved in farming and trucking. He became a very good over-the-road truck driver. Marti grew up in Wyo. on a Hereford ranch. She was involved in all ranch activities including haying to handling cattle. Bryan and Marti met in 1985 and began their journey together.    

The Warner’s began buying and selling “fixer-upper” properties which led to them owning a small farm that allowed them to raise some cattle and grow hay. In 1996 they attended the National Western Stock Show and they decided to watch a Shorthorn sale. They bought two heifers, and it was the beginning of their Shorthorn herd. They bought Shorthorn cattle from several breeders across the U.S. They have focused on calving ease and maternal strength in their herd. They have been honored with the Century Club Award in 2010 and 2011 from the ASA for registering 100 calves or more. They think their greatest gift is their involvement in the ASA and the friends they have made over the years.

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Bryan & Marti Warner on the prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Heritage Award Winners.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777 ###

ASA recognizes Mary Hinton Bass as Heritage Award Winner

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Mary Hinton Bass of Olton, Texas, was honored as a 2023 Heritage Award Winner. The Shorthorn Heritage Award recognizes Shorthorn members who have shown exceptional leadership for Shorthorn activities in a state or regional area. These honorees are persons that have shown exceptional passion in all areas of the breed. Award recipients have promoted the breed by taking leadership roles within their respective geographical areas. They are individuals that can be given credit to helping with the long-term success of the breed at any level. They have attended functions, been a mainstay, and have shown their passion and love for the breed and the people in the breed. A Heritage Award winner is a true Shorthorn enthusiast who has positively impacted the breed to the benefit of all Shorthorn breeders.

Mary received her first Shorthorn heifer when her dad purchased a heifer for her to show in 4H. This began her ongoing passion of 62 years being involved in promoting the Shorthorn breed. She was a charter member of the Texas Junior Shorthorn Association and later served as secretary/treasurer for three years. She served as a princess and the Texas Shorthorn Lassie and represented the state in the National Lassie Queen contest in 1969. While in college she met her husband, J.O. and they moved her herd to his farm in west Texas and call it MJ Shorthorns.    

She served for many years as the Texas Shorthorn Association secretary/treasurer. As part of her duties, she traveled to a few events to promote the Shorthorn breed. She served on the National Shorthorn Lassie board and was honored as National Lassie of the Year in 1985. After her son James began showing, they traveled to shows across the state. She hopes to be around long enough to get her grandkids started in the Shorthorn business.

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Mary Hinton Bass on the prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Heritage Award Winner.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777 ###

ASA Recognizes Alan K. Sears as Merit Award Winner

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – The American Shorthorn Association Awards hosted their Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 22, 2023, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.

Alan K. Sears of Eaton, Colo., was honored as 2023 Merit Award Winner. The merit award is given to recognize individuals that are not Shorthorn breeders who support and promote the cattle industry. This award honors those beef cattle industry leaders who have specifically assisted and had a positive influence on the Shorthorn breed. These individuals have been exceptional supporters and dedicated friends of the Shorthorn breed for many years. This describes Alan K. Sears and shows why he is deserving of his recognition.

Sears first beef project was a red Shorthorn heifer purchased at the Indiana Shorthorn Association Blue Ribbon Sale. After that first heifer, he was hooked on the breed. Shorthorn cattle and the Purebred Beef industry became his passion. After graduating from Purdue University, he was hired in 1977 to work at the ASA to run junior activities and as a field representative. He was integral in merging the youth conference and junior national show into one event.   

After leaving the ASA, Sears worked at Drovers Journal and then the North American Limousin Foundation. He found his way back to the Shorthorn breed when he was hired in 1993 to work for the Shorthorn Country magazine. After his time at the magazine, he went to work for the Western Livestock Reporter and then Deiter Bros., followed by Five Star Cattle Systems. In 2008, he returned to Western Ag Report as well as starting his own business providing sale management, genetic and marketing consultation services. You can find him at different Shorthorn sales across the country.

The American Shorthorn Association congratulates Alan K. Sears on the prestigious honor as being selected as a 2023 Merit Award Winner.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777 ###

New ASA Board Members and Officers Elected

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – During the American Shorthorn Association Annual Meeting on October 22, 2023, delegates from across the country gathered at the Hilton Kansas City Airport to elect new ASA board members.

The nominating committee submitted three candidates for the available positions. Tyler Cates from Ind., Cory Bollum from Minn., and Mark Gordon from Ill. All three will serve a three-year term; Cates and Cory will serve their first term, Gordon will serve his second term. 

The board elected new officers for the nine-member board. The new president of the board is Toby Jordan of Ind. The vice-president is Lee Miller of Ohio and the executive director is John Sonderman of Neb. They serve alongside Jeff Bedwell of Okla., John Russell of Texas, and Rick Osterday of South Dakota.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777

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ASA Holds Annual Meeting in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (November 1, 2023) – During the American Shorthorn Association Annual Meeting on October 22, 2023, more than 100 members from 24 states gathered at the Hilton Kansas City Airport to elect new ASA board members, learn about the state of the association and receive awards.

The event kicked off on October 21 at the ASA office with a social for breeders to gather and enjoy the company of new and old friends.

The next morning, delegates convened to listen to Montie D. Soules, Executive Secretary/CEO of ASA, share the State of the Association. This included Key Performance Indicators, finances, and other association updates.

“The ASA had a really great year,” Soules said. “The association continues to grow, and we are headed in a positive direction. We couldn’t do it without all the people of the breed.”

After the report, the nominating committee submitted three candidates for the available board positions. Tyler Cates from Ind., Cory Bollum from Minn., and Mark Gordon from Ill. All three will serve a three-year term; Cates and Cory will serve their first term; Gordon will serve his second term. The board elected new officers for the nine-member board. The new president of the board is Toby Jordan of Ind. The vice-president is Lee Miller of Ohio and the executive director is John Sonderman of Neb. They serve alongside Jeff Bedwell of Okla., John Russell of Texas, and Rick Osterday of South Dakota.

Following the election of board members, attendees heard updates from junior activities, the Shorthorn Youth Development Fund Foundation, the Shorthorn Foundation, and several other committees.

After the meeting adjourned, attendees enjoyed a steak luncheon and listened to motivational speaker Matt Booth who encouraged positivity in daily life.

The final event was the awards presentation. Breeders who registered more than 100 head in a fiscal year were given the Century Club Award. Next animal owners received certificates for Performance Animals that met certain qualifications. The National and Regional Show Winners for 2022-2023 were recognized with leather banners and metal awards. The final presentations of the evening were special recognition awards. This year the Heritage Awards went to Mary Hinton Bass and Bryan & Marti Warner. The Merit Award recognized Alan K. Sears. The Builders of the Breed were Ward Bakenhus, Bill Bales & Joe Bales, and Rick Leone & Family.

In 2024, the ASA Annual Meeting will be October 26 in Kansas City, Missouri.

About ASA

The American Shorthorn Association’s mission is to serve all members, protect the integrity of the herdbook and database; enhance and communicate the value of the Shorthorn breed, and expand the use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry. Visit shorthorn.org to learn more.

American Shorthorn Association :: 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151:: 816.599.7777

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