Essentials for a Successful Week

Only 6 more days until we are all “Under the Big Top” in Madison, Wisconsin! Here in the office we are packing things up and figured we would remind you all about the essentials you need to survive the week.

As you pack your trailer to head to Junior Nationals here is a tune (and show packing list) for you to listen to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS8nU9qxVTk.

ESSENTIALS:

                                                      WATER

HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Days in the barn can get long and will be even longer if you’re not properly hydrated.

 

SNACKS

Busy days at Junior Nationals can cause kids to get “Hangry.” Be sure to pack all your favorite snacks. Here is a list of our favorite snacks at cattle shows:

Emily M.: Grapes, Chex Mix, Pringles

Anna: Pita Chips, Hummus, Salami

Emily D.: Cheese sticks, Cheez-Its, Cinnamon Rolls

 

COMFORTABLE SHOES

Standing on cement all day can be hard on the feet. Be sure to pack a variety of shoes to switch out from day to day. You will appreciate this decision later in the week.

 

HAIR

Your cattle’s hair typically always comes first, so remember Revive and brushes to make sure their hair is on point for the show ring. Next, your hair. Rain is in the forecast!! Hats are a lifesaver on rainy days, or even days you just want to sleep in an extra 10 minutes.

 

REGISTRATION PAPERS

Don’t get to check-in and end up getting the “YOU HAD ONE JOB” look. Make sure those registration papers and health papers are in a safe spot to bring to check-in.

 

PROJECTS

Don’t forget to pack those projects you have spent countless hours on! Make sure to bring extra supplies, just in case something gets messed up on the drive!

 

POSITIVE ATTITUDE

The most important thing to pack along: a positive attitude. Cattle shows call for early mornings and late evenings, but a positive attitude always makes it more enjoyable. This week is about making memories that you’ll cherish for a life time, while making new friends along the way.

 

Hope we could help with your preparation for Junior Nationals! Safe travels as you make your way to Madison!

Be in the Know About Junior Nationals Rules

Time has flown by and we are excited to meet you all in Madison in just a short 12 days. As you do any last-minute polishing to your projects for Junior Nationals we have some tips to help you make sure you are properly prepared.

Cattle Check-In

  • Weigh In: All cattle must come to check-in. Each animal will be weighed in.
  • Health Requirements: Be sure to read up on Wisconsin Health Requirements. They will heavily examine for warts and ringworm. A vet will be at check-in to check health papers and inspect animals.

Arts & Crafts, Photography, Promotional Poster and Graphic Design

  • Think out of the box: Create/capture things that describe your personality and you will use in the future. The project is always more special when it means something to you, plus judges like to see your personality shine out through your projects.
  • Options: Always have several options to choose from, then narrow it down. Be sure to gather opinions from other people if you’re stumped, but remember your opinion is always the most important.
  • Attention grabber: First impressions are everything, when the judges see you project you want it to stick out and be unique.
  • Come prepared: Be sure to fill out your name tag and statement of originality, so that check-in goes smoothly.
  • Reminder: All exhibits should promote the Shorthorn breed.

Cattlemen’s Written Test

  • Try something new: This is a new contest this year! Step out of your comfort zone and test your knowledge.
  • Come prepared: Don’t come into the test blindsided; study beef industry and Shorthorn breed facts.

Mentor Apprentice

  • Meet a new friend: A great rule to live by is to is meet three new friends at every show you go to, no matter what their age is. Attend Youth Conference I to either get pair with a younger member or older member for the week. This is a great way to get involved and meet new people from other states.

Showmanship

  • Presentation: Although this is a no-fit showmanship competition, make sure your animal is clean and ready to walk in the show ring.
  • Confidence: Be sure to bring confidence to the show ring to show the judge you are comfortable with your animal. This is a major thing judges look for.
  • Be on time! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare you animal. Each judge moves at their own pace, keep an eye on how on the speed of the judge so you know when to have your animal ready.
  • Senior Showmanship: The top 10 seniors will complete the showmanship competition by fitting and then showing their animal at the conclusion of the day. Competitors will receive 45 minutes to fit their animal.
  • Reminders:
  • Bulls cannot be shown
  • There’s a peewee competition for Juniors under the age of 5
  • You must use the same animal throughout the competition

Team Salesmanship and Speech

  • What is the Judge looking for?
    • Confidence: Own what you know. Present all your information with confidence. Make sure you are speaking clearly and loudly. This shows that know what you are talking about and are proud of your work.
    • Eye contact: Making the appropriate amount of eye contact is important when presenting. Practice at home presenting to a group of people so you feel comfortable.

Reminders:

  • The judges will ask questions
  • Dress for Speech Contest: prospectors are school clothes, seniors are semi-formal.
  • Team Salesmanship: You must be there 20 minutes before your scheduled time.

Fitting

  • Teamwork: Know each team members strengths and weaknesses, then assign each job to the appropriate team member based off that.
  • Plan ahead: Make a plan with each team member, so it is clear they know what they will be doing. Divide it up so everyone has a job and is always working. A strong plan will make it, so the 30 minutes run smoothly and efficient.
  • Keep it clean: Keep your area clean so the judges can easily get around and examine your teams work.

Reminders:

  • Animals may enter the ring with a show halter in the prospector division only.
  • Don’t forget any of your supplies, generators are encouraged to make sure you have enough power.
  • Team members may be from any state as this doesn’t go towards the outstanding State award.

Judging

  • Things to know: The contest is scheduled to include 4 cattle classes (12 minutes per class). There will be 10 questions. PI will only judge two classes and then be dismissed.

Not signed up as an exhibitor for Junior Nationals? But you are a member of the American Junior Shorthorn Association? You can still compete in the contests! Just pay the exhibitor fee and sign up at Junior Nationals!

Our goal is to make this the “Greatest Show on Earth” for all ages. For kids 5 or under there’s still lots of fun activities to participate in “Under the Big Top”!  Sign up at http://signup.com/go/BRpDHqm.

Hope we could answer any last–minute questions for this year’s Junior National contests. Take a look at the Edge so you’re aware of all the contest rules. If you have any more questions regarding any of the contests or need tips and advice feel free to contact us here at the office!

 

Get to know the Interns

Emily Meinhardt (In the office I am known as “Emily Hereford”)

Hometown:Marysville, Kansas

Fun Facts about Marysville:

  • Home of the black squirrels
  • Home to Valley Vet, I worked there in High School. If you ever go through definitely stop and get a tour if you can. It’s an incredible place!

University:Kansas State University

Here is a video link to get you excited about K-State. WATCH IT, you won’t regret it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww40DOpNGR0

Interesting Facts:

  • Founded in 1863 as the first land grant university
  • Originally known as Kansas State Agricultural College

Staples of being a Wildcat:

  • Purple Pride Ice Cream: Any big K-State event will without a doubt have Call Hall ice cream. Purple Pride, which is blueberry flavored, was created as a staple to K-State.
  • The Wabash Cannonball: Dance routine that symbolizes Wildcat unity, done at EVERY sporting event, and then of course at all K-State couples weddings. Growing up going to K-State football games this has always been my favorite tradition.
  • “Family”: It is without a doubt how you feel while at anything K-State related.
  • Favorite place to eat: Powercat, they have incredible Mac & Cheese, that you can load with anything you’ve ever imagine.

Major:Agriculture communications and journalism with minors in leadership studies and animal sciences and industry.

Involvement:Kappa Alpha Theta, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Block and Bridle, and Student Government of Association

Interesting Fact: My families business, KanEquip, sells BLUE tractors. Once in pre-school I got in trouble because I wouldn’t dress up on green day and I said I hated it. Oooops!

Obsessions: McDonalds sweet tea, baby calves (especially Herefords), planners (I love being organized), and the Lake

Dream Job:Own a boutique and with an antique store attached, where I can spend my day refurbishing old furniture (nothing to do with AgCom, I know).

 

Anna Miller

Hometown: Linden, California

School: Oklahoma State University

Cool Facts:

  • After every touchdown, we have a black quarter horse named Bullet gallop around the football field.
  • We have a Quidditch team (yes, really) and have made it to Nationals a few times. Yeah, Harry Potter!
  • It used to be tradition for upperclassmen to throw freshmen into the campus pond, but now there is a $400 fine for doing so.
  • In the ’70s, the Strip — Stillwater’s strip of bars — was commonly used for streaking.

Major:Agricultural Communications and Animal Science

Involvement: Delta Delta Delta, Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlewomen, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and FARM Theory.

Campus favorite things:

  • The fountain in front of the library is dyed orange during Homecoming season.
  • Hammocking at the OSU Botanic Garden is the best way to study with the free Wi-Fi. Or the reality: taking a nap after cruising social media, courtesy of the provided Wi-Fi.
  • Game Day is the best day ever and will forever remain so! #gopokes

Go-to places to eat: Chips and queso at Fuzzy’s with your best pals.

Interesting fact:I have an attention-starved miniature dachshund who even has his own Instagram account (go follow @teenie_weenie_charkie!)

3 obsessions:

    1. Red cows. Red Angus will forever hold my heart (Shorthorns are growing on me though!)
    2. I’m a big meme gal and can scroll through Twitter eternally.
    3. Making unnecessary Instagram accounts (see above interesting fact). I also made one last semester while I was abroad in Ireland: @anna_eating_abroad. Bet you can figure out what that one featured!

Dream job:Working in the agriculture industry where I can meet new people and share our industry’s story!

 

Emily Dyes

Hometown:Holliday, TX

(There are really no interesting facts about the BIG town of Holliday (population 1,700); however, I do know Doc Holliday was not from here)

University: Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)

Traditions/Fun Facts:

  • Tortilla Toss– This became a tradition in 1992 when an ESPN announcer made the comment that the only thing in Lubbock was “Tech football and a tortilla factory”.Two days after this, Tech played Texas A&M (ranked in the top 10 at the time) and beat them. It was a pretty big upset, so the tradition stuck (although it hasn’t brought much luck lately).
  • Texas Tech as two official mascots-
    • The Masked Rider-started as a dare in 1936, no one knew the rider’s identity so he was called the ghost rider. In 1954 the Masked Rider became the official mascot, making Tech the first school with a live horse.
    • Raider Red-Became an official mascot in 1971 when the Southwest Conference created the rule that no live animals would be allowed at away games unless the hosting school permitted it.
  • “Guns Up”-Started in 1960 and is commonly thrown up when people say, “Wreck ‘Em”. Oklahoma State does something similar with “Pistols Firing” but this wasn’t a thing for our Northern siblings until 2001.

Major: Interdisciplinary Agriculture (AgEd)

Interesting Facts about myself:

  • I’m terrified of mayonnaise. (Don’t ask; I know it’s very irrational).
  • I’ve raised and showed Shorthorns my whole life.
  • I have abnormally small hands for someone that’s 5’9.
  • For 2 years I went to a school that had the smallest 6-man football team in Texas (Cranfills Gap), I also only had 4 kids in my grade there!

 Obsessions:

  • Black coffee
  • Johnny Cash (and really any old country)
  • PIZZA

 

 

Contemporary Grouping: Why, When, and How

Proper contemporary groups are just as important to our database and genetic evaluation as proper data collection. Data and contemporary groups build on each other in order to have a strong genetic evaluation. Contemporary groups can be a bit overwhelming, and rightfully so. Knowing which animals belong together in one group or another can take some time to fully grasp. It’s a topic that has been covered many times, but a little refresher course hasn’t ever hurt anyone. Hopefully by sharing some background information and a few helpful hints, your understanding of contemporary grouping will become clearer.

Why We Need Contemporary Groups
As you know, not all weights and measures are created equally because not all cattle are managed in identical environments.

So how do we use data in genetic evaluations when it’s not all collected on an equal playing field? By utilizing proper contemporary groups! Our EPD calculations are driven by comparisons in performance between animals, rather than actual measurements for a trait. Contemporary groups are used to define which animals are to be compared to each other within a herd. By making sure we compare the right animals to each other, we get the best information available to fuel the EPD calculations. Having weights recorded is important, but having the right weights recorded in a contemporary group together is equally necessary.

When to Worry with Contemporary Groups
I commonly get asked when in the production cycle to start paying attention to contemporary groups. The answer is the day your first calf is born, and every time you collect a new piece of data in your herd. Contemporary groups start when birth records are recorded. It is important to ensure that you have your calves grouped correctly at birth, because all subsequent contemporary groups are based off the initial birth groups. The largest contemporary groups will always be for birth records, since cattle can only be removed from the original contemporary group over time. Every time a new data point is collected, the contemporary group should be examined for animals that might have been treated differently and are no longer fairly compared to the rest of the group. Once an animal is no longer on the same playing field (either advantaged or disadvantaged), they need to be regrouped. If you have a calf that gets really sick between birth and weaning, or if you choose some calves to begin prepping for the show barn, those cattle should be removed from the larger contemporary group. When collecting data such as weaning, yearling, or ultrasound, the date of data collection also dictates contemporary groups. All the calves that need to be in the same weaning contemporary group need to have their weaning weights taken on the same day. If there are multiple weighing days, then you will have multiple contemporary groups.

How to Build Your Contemporary Groups
There are some rules you will want to follow when putting your cattle into the proper contemporary groups. The sex of calf is a major factor, always sorting heifers and bulls into their own groups at birth, and then into heifers, steers, and bulls for any data collected from weaning onward. Grouping calves by calving season is also important. Most breeders calve in smaller windows and don’t have to worry too much with season. However, if you don’t have a tight calving season, it is recommended to group your birth contemporaries into 90-day windows to get a fair comparison. Obviously, management and location are a major factor. If you run cows on multiple ranches, then you will have contemporary groups for each ranch. Fortunately, Digital Beef does a pretty good job of covering some of these bases for you. If you need to manually put cattle into different groups, there are functions available to help you do so, such as the “Season” (birth recording) and “Mgmt” (Weaning) options when recording data.As always, we want to help you if you have any questions with your contemporary groups. Not only does having them done correctly benefit you, but also the rest of the breed as we continue to build our database. A stronger database is the foundation for better EPD calculations.

 

2017 ASA/University of Illinois Sire Test Early Results

Early results are in from the 2017 ASA Sire Test with the University of Illinois, and Shorthorn genetics look to be proving their mettle in a real-world commercial setting. Even though they are heavily involved in cow-calf research, the University of Illinois runs their cow herd as close to a no-nonsense commercial operation as you will find in any university system. It’s a great opportunity to work with cattle that are forced to work in tight breeding seasons, have quality udders, and maintain themselves while raising a calf on minimal supplementation. A special thanks to the breeders who participated in the 2017 Sire Test. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to gather this valuable information that will help move the Shorthorn breed towards our goals of growing commercial acceptance for our cattle. From September 8- October 4, 151 Shorthorn-sired calves were born, with 91% of the calves born in the 17 day window from September 13- September 30. Using UI’s SimAngus cow herd resulted in 123 black-hided calves, 15 black calves with white markings/blue roans, and 13 red hided calves. These calves were raised without creep feed until weaning on February 14, 2018. After some time to precondition the cattle, they will be shipped to the UI Farm near the university campus this month, where they will go on feed. Data collection in this phase of the trial will include gain, feed efficiency, and eventually carcass data. Initial reports indicate that these weights stack up comparably to other calves within the UI herd, showcasing the value of Shorthorns as the British breed crossbreeding solution. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to draw any conclusions comparing groups of extremely small size. Having only 1 or 2 calves may not be a fair representation of a sire’s genetic capabilities. Unfortunately, nature didn’t bless us with perfect distribution of steer and heifer calves across all sires. Weaning weight data listed is adjusted to a 205 day weaning weight. All data has been uploaded to Digital Beef. We are working with UI to plan a field day in August. This will include a chance to see the cattle on feed, as well as educational presentations and fellowship with other Shorthorn breeders. Be sure to look for more information on this event in future issues of the Shorthorn Country. View Full Report Here!

American Rancher featuring Shorthorn Cattle

This is the most recent American Rancher featuring Shorthorn cattle. The ASA slogan ‘Performance with Purpose’ truly describes the Shorthorn breed and the breeders that raise Shorthorn cattle. Check it out!

 

Saturday August 25: National Shorthorn Sire Test Field Day

Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 25. The ASA and the University of Illinois will be hosting the National Shorthorn Sire Text Field Day.
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Join us on the U of I campus for an educational program as we discuss the ASA Sire Test. Speakers include Dr. Dan Shike from University of Illinois, Matt Woolfolk from ASA and more.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch catered by the U of I Meat Science Club
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. –  We will head out to the University Farm to view the calves in the feedlot from the 2017 ASA Sire Test
If you would like to join us for this event, please contact Matt Woolfolk to RSVP (matt@shorthorn.org).

Single-Step EPDs: Sounding Like a Broken Record

Have you ever been pulling out of your driveway, headed to church or to dinner, only to notice just before you leave that your cows are out? Well, our cows have gotten out again on our way to finalizing the single-step genetic evaluation using the new BOLT software. When the IGS team noticed an issue with the data submission systems in another breed, it had an effect on all of us that are members of the group. Now they are working on fixing the issues, and would like to do some test runs before releasing the information live to the breeders .Ideally, they would like to have four weekly test runs without errors in able to go live. Doing so will give IGS better opportunities to find and fix issues before releasing the improved run. It’s more important to the IGS team to get it done correctly than to just get it done. Their diligence to bringing us the best genetic evaluation in the industry should certainly be commended, even if we have to be patient a while longer.

With new technology comes a learning curve, and if you are a student like me, repetition is necessary to grasp the major concepts. Since there are some new changes with the transition to the single-step multi-breed genetic evaluation, we will discuss some of those a little further to drive home the significance.

With the move to the new single-step genetic evaluation, it has been noted the accuracy values you will see in the registry will be lower than values from the previous EPD runs. That certainly sounds confusing, but there is a method to the madness. When EPD calculations first began, there simply wasn’t enough computer power available to do the tabulations necessary to come up with the true accuracy of an EPD. Instead, the scientists of the day used a technique called the approximation method to come up with as good of a prediction of accuracy as the technology of the day could compute. Geneticists realized that while these approximations of accuracy were they best they could do at the time, they were probably a bit overinflated compared to the “true” accuracy of an EPD. Thanks to technology advancements, we are now able to process the tabulations that produce the truer accuracy value that wasn’t possible before. It will take some time to wrap our heads around bulls that were once listed at a 0.90 accuracy might now be closer to a 0.65, but remember that the newer, lower number is a better representation of the accuracy value. It’s like your neighbor’s fishing stories: If he told you he caught a 15 pounder (old method of accuracy calculation), in reality he probably caught a 10 or 12 pound fish (new single-step accuracy method)!

A neat feature of the new single-step genetic evaluation is how genomic data is handled during the calculations. We have already covered how the new system eliminates a step in the current process of calculating genomically-enhanced EPDs. What’s interesting is that with the new system, not only does genomic data affect the animal that has been genomically tested, but also related animals. If you have genomically tested your herd bull, then the information gathered from his genotype has an effect on his offspring’s EPDs, as well as half and full siblings and other closely related animals. That does not mean that just having DNA on your herd bulls is a good substitution for genotyping your replacement females or sale bulls. Obviously, having information on an animal’s own genomic profile will be more valuable than just having the sire DNA tested. After all, Dad’s genetics are only half the story! Testing the offspring gives you the full genomic story.

2018 Herdsman – Ron Rutan

The 2018 Shorthorn Herdsman of the Year was awarded to Ron Rutan of RC Show Cattle in Eaton, Ohio. His long history of being involved in the Shorthorn breed began with his parents and grandparents raising Shorthorns. Rutan started RC Show Cattle with Christy Campbell in 1991 and from there he stayed actively involved with Shorthorns.

Rutan has taken cattle all over the country to many national shows over the years and in the last ten years he has displayed quite a few Shorthorn bulls in the yards at the National Western Stock Show.

“We bred the bull Damn Proud and when that bull came along Ron became even more enthusiastic about Shorthorns,” Campbell said.

Rutan has served as a director of the Ohio Shorthorn Association. RC Show Cattle also has an Annual Early Bird Sale on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend to auction their cattle.

Outside of being involved with Shorthorns, Rutan has owned and operated a fence construction business for the last 33 years as well as custom hoof trimming. Many people come from all over Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky to have Rutan trim hooves of their show cattle. Rutan also was Texas for a little bit in the 1970s and had a custom fitting service.

“We always are particular in picking a good string for Louisville,” Campbell said. “RC Show Cattle usually has 13 or 14 head there and people respect that. There are also not many people from Ohio that take cattle to Denver. Ron and Clair Bye took three head and came home with five banners. I would say that is pretty great. People also respect Ron’s quietness and that he isn’t arrogant.”

Rutan said the Shorthorn heritage goes way back in his genes and they were one of the first breeds he worked with growing up. Shorthorns have remained in his life but he enjoys working with all breeds of cattle.

“It was quite the honor to be selected as herdsman,” Rutan said. “It was a total surprise to be chosen. I never would have expected it. It is pretty gratifying to be recognized. I just work hard and do what I love.”

The Shorthorn Herdsman award is in honor of Lawrence Grathwohl, presented by the Grathwohl family and sponsored by the Shorthorn Foundation. Congratulations to Ron Rutan on being selected as the 2018 Shorthorn Herdsman of the Year.

Alabama Family Shares Passion for Shorthorn Cattle

Catrett FamilyIn Luverne, Alabama, Perry and Ashley Catrett raise their daughters, Cassidy and Cameron. Even though Perry and Ashley did not grow up showing cattle, their daughters expressed an interest in showing. Cassidy and Cameron started out showing crossbred and commercial cattle because their dad and his family raised commercial cattle.

After Cassidy and Cameron proved their commitment to showing, they family decided to start showing purebred cattle and purchased three Shorthorns to start a herd. They found that it was difficult to find Shorthorns in Alabama and other southeastern states, but they chose Shorthorns initially for their docility and color.

“Their dad likes that they have taken an interest in the beef industry,” Ashley said. “He thinks that showing helped them develop their passion that they may not have if they would have only stuck to the commercial cattle.”

Cassidy and Cameron have built up a herd of Shorthorn cow-calf pairs that is nearly as many cattle as their dad has in his commercial operation.

“The girls have even convinced Perry to use a Shorthorn bull,” Ashley said. “He transitioned to using a Shorthorn bull on the commercial herd as clean-up for artificial insemination work.”

Cassidy the older of the two, developed an interest in AI for bred and owned cattle. She even attended AI school to help grow her knowledge. Cameron has interest in embryo transfer. Ashley said the girls work together to improve their herd.

The Catrett’s began attending the National Junior Shorthorn Show in 2012 and it has been a great way for them to connect with other breeders.

“The girls have been able to learn more by attending nationals and networking with other breeders than they ever would have on their own,” Ashley said. “Shorthorn is our breed of choice and we enjoy having a week to spend with others that have a passion for the breed.”

Cassidy and Cameron were instrumental in starting a state association that now has at least 20 families involved, said Ashley. There is now a breed steer show at their state show and they offer scholarships through the state association.
“My daughters have goals of continuing in the agricultural industry,” Ashley said. “They will always want to have a Shorthorn herd. It is their passion.”