Our time here at the American Shorthorn Association has flown by and we’re sad to say goodbye, but so grateful for our time we have been in the office. We have all learned many new skills and are so happy to have had this adventure. Working in a breed association and the agricultural industry has allowed us real life experience and has given us a taste of future career possibilities. Although we all come from a different breed, the Shorthorn breed is something special to us now.
To say goodbye to the staff, we had a little potluck to celebrate our internship before we finished our final days. We took our favorite recipe from the NJSS beef-cook off contest and prepared it for the office as the main dish. We made grilled steak taco’s with poblano-mango salsa. Our apartment doesn’t have a grilled, so we improvised and cooked them stove top. After cooking, we cut them into bit size chunks that were great size to put in tortillas. We had all the “fixings” to build your own taco and the other staff made side dishes and desserts. We had an array of Mexican dishes that went along with the tacos perfectly. It was a great time to enjoy the company of the office. Below you can find the recipe for the steak taco’s!
As we say goodbye to the office, we would like to thank the staff for putting up with us and providing such a fun and enjoyable work atmosphere. As we part ways, Wade and Wyatt will head back to finish their senior year of college and Faith will move home and continue her search for her dream job. We thank the ASA and their members for having such an amazing association and wish you the best of luck in your future as you continue to build the success of the Shorthorn breed.
Grilled Steak Tacos with Poblano Mango Salsa
1 pound of boneless steak
2 medium poblano peppers
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2” thick slices
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium mango
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
8 small corn tortillas (6-7 inch diameter)
Fresh Cilantro Sprigs & lime wedges (optional)
1) Grill peppers and onions over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, set aside
2) Combine cumin and garlic, press onto steaks. Place steak on grill over medium heat, cook for 8-13 minutes.
3) Remove and discard skins, stems and seeds from peppers when Coll enough to handle. Chop peppers and onions. Combine veggies, mango, chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4) Place Tortillas on grill. Grill for 30 seconds or until heated through and browned lightly.
5) Carve steak and season with additional salt. Top tortillas with equal amounts of beef and mango salsa. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.
On Thursday July 18, 2019 Shorthorn enthusiast exhibited at the California State Fair open show. The Open Shorthorn Show was judged by Brent Murphy of Houstonia, MO. Murphy evaluated 33 purebred females and 15 purebred bulls.
Grand Champion Bull honor went to GSC Gold Label 2585, owned by Greg Cardey of Turlock, CA.
JSF Polaris 201F was named Reserve Grand Champion Bull, owned by Sadie Faith Plummer of Herald, CA.
Grand Champion Female was awarded to KRLE Myrtle Bo Juliet 814 ET, owned by Aaron Kerlee of Denair, CA.
Reserve Grand Champion Female was B/F Pretty Girl 8053, owned by Matt & Stacey Bigelow of O’Neals, CA.
Other Champions include:
Open Purebred Female Show Divisions:
Spring Heifer Calf Champion
- Sunny Day FB Countess 4G, Alpha & Sherri Gipe, Merced, CA.
Spring Heifer Calf Reserve Champion
- LC Augusta Pat 3280, Don Cardey, Turlock, CA.
Junior Heifer Calf Champion
- LC Funny Face 3192, Don Cardey.
Junior Heifer Calf Reserve Champion
- LC Funny Face 3197, Don Cardy.
Senior Heifer Calf Champion
- B/F Pretty Girl 8053, Matt & Stacey Bigelow.
Senior Heifer Calf Reserve Champion
- B/F Cherokee Lady 8121, Matt & Stacey Bigelow.
Intermediate Champion Female
- KRLE Myrtle Bo Juliet 814 ET, Aaron Kerlee.
Reserve Intermediate Champion Female
- LC Catherine 2883, Don Cardey.
Junior Champion Female
- Sunny Day Homestead Foxxy 20F, Dennis Pluth, Clearlake Oaks, CA.
Reserve Junior Champion Female
- Sunny Day FB Suzy 8F, Timothy Whitfield, Merced, CA.
Senior Champion Female
- B/F Mary 7042, Matt & Stacey Bigelow.
Reserve Senior Champion Female
- AFR Shannon BB F05, Albiani Shorthorns, Elk Grove, CA.
Cow/Calf Pair Champion
- JP-JP Bar SULL Wild Rose, Juston Plummer, Herald, CA.
Reserve Champion Cow/Calf Pair
- Sunny Day GT Countess 18D, Alpha & Sherri Gipe.
Open Purebred Bull Show Divisions:
Spring Bull Calf Champion
- GSC Gold Label 3283, Greg Cardey.
Spring Bull Calf Reserve Champion
- JT Jake Sensation 192, Jared Tanaka, Vacaville, CA.
Junior Bull Calf Champion
- LC Studer 3219, Don Cardey.
Junior Bull Calf Reserve Champion
- JT Studer 3189, JT Ranch, Turlock, CA.
Senior Bull Calf Champion
- JT Studer 2987, JT Ranch.
Senior Bull Calf Reserve Champion
- GSC Studer 3041, Greg Cardey.
Intermediate Champion Bull
- GSC Studer 2946, Greg Cardey.
Reserve Intermediate Champion Bull
- LC Studer 2869, Don Cardey.
Junior Champion Bull
- JSF Polaris 201F, Sadie Faith Plummer.
Reserve Junior Champion Bull
- LC Gold Label 2685, Don Cardey.
Senior Champion Bull
- GSC Gold Label 2585, Greg Cardey.
Reserve Senior Champion Bull
- LC Studer 2563, Don Cardey.
- Start as a high school freshman and keep track of all involvement through clubs, organizations, associations, sports, youth groups, volunteering, awards, etc. This will make filling out applications less stressful. Also, apply for as many scholarships as you can!
- Research the different universities of interest, make a campus visit and then pick your best fit.
- Live in the Dorms
- This is a great way to meet friends and give you the true “college experience.” It also makes for some great stories to tell down the road.
Below are a few stories from the interns days in the dorms.
Wyatt– My roommate and I did not get along very well, and he made living with him very difficult. I finally had enough and put laxative in his workout powders. Although this is not something I would ever do again, it does get a laugh out of most people!
Faith– One time my roommates boyfriend branded himself and came over to our room for medical attention. Let’s just say the scar is fairly ugly and it wasn’t his best decision but it’s a memory that we will all share till we go to the grave.
Wade– My friend and I would have weekly movie parties and would leave the door to my room open so other people could join. One time we ended up with 25 people in my room although by dorm rules we were only allowed to have 10 people in a room at a time.
- Check and make sure that the college credits you have taken in high school will transfer to your university. Talk to your advisor & see how you can make them all work.
- Get involved!
- Have an open mind and don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Whether its high school or college don’t hold yourself back in fear. Life is too short to not venture out and try new things.
- Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
- Although you might think your parents and siblings are the worst thing ever, moving away will make you realize that they aren’t all that bad. You may not always agree with them but your time away will help you to appreciate them and value them. Also, you’ll be calling your parents often(they know more than you would like to admit)
- Take a fun class!
- These sometimes turn out to be the best part of college. You’ll meet new people and develop new fun skills all while having a good time! Yes, it’s going to cost a little money, but you can only use the young and irresponsible card for so many years!
- Get to know your professors
- Especially the professors in you major. They will be tremendous help in your education and career development.
- Make a packing list and do some research
- Every college is different, and some may require more packing than others. What kind of clothes are you going to need? Does your dorm come with a fridge and/or microwave? What movies help you get over homesickness? This is a time where overpacking should be a priority. Below are a few items that the interns were very glad they packed.
- Dorm size vacuum (‘Dirt Devil’ from amazon)
- Iron and Ironing Board (you or someone on your floor will need this sometime)
- Pillows and favorite blanket/s (this is a great reminder of home)
- Air mattress (you will have visitors)
- Plates and silverware (you will be eating in your room often)
- Take your time
- Enjoy your time at college and take it at your own pace. There is no shame in taking extra time or graduating early. Your main focus should be getting an education that has prepared you enough for the work force.
- Internships are important in so many ways. They give you real life work experience and sometimes can be the make or break factor in realizing if your major is the right fit for you. They’re also great for networking and meeting new people-you never know who your boss/supervisor will know and they could be very helpful in your career down the road.
As we unpack and recover from the busy and fun week in Lebanon, Tennessee, the interns wanted to give our views on NJSS.
Attending Shorthorn Junior Nationals was a different experience for myself in many ways. It was rewarding to see all the hard work come together. This great week of fun made memories for the youth and their families. Although, I am used to attending Hereford Junior Nationals, the dedication and passion the youth have for the Shorthorn breed is similar and was rewarding to encounter. I was able to spend most of my time capturing photos of the exhibitors and their animals. I know the time and dedication it takes and it’s fulfilling to be able to capture their success through a lens. Be sure to check out the AJSA Facebook page in the next few days for all the photos I captured at the 2019 NJSS in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Wow! Junior Nationals is done and it’s hard to believe that it is already over. I had such a great time getting to meet the juniors and parents involved with the Shorthorn association. Overall, this was one of my favorite shows to attend and work as an intern. I had fun helping wherever I was needed and hope the juniors had a blast at the 2019 NJSS in Tennessee. Congratulations to everyone who participated in Lebanon, I wish you luck for the upcoming show season. Get out there and show off the great breed of Shorthorns!
NJSS was a different experience for me, as I grew up going to Hereford Junior Nationals. As the youth activities intern, I had the opportunity to prepare all the contests, scripts, organize awards and help with many other tasks. Until you are actually in those shoes, you never realize all the work behind the scenes to make a junior national successful. I have a new-found respect for all those hard-working individuals who help make a show happen without any major issues. I really enjoyed all the task my internship gave this year. While in Lebanon, Tennessee I was able to match a name to a face at the end of the week and look forward to seeing those familiar face at other shows. The Shorthorn breed, as a whole, welcomed us with smiling faces and great personalities. Overall, the NJSS was an awesome experience and, although I may be a Hereford kid, look out for me at future Shorthorn Junior Nationals.
Our names are Wade, Wyatt, and Faith and we will be your entertainment (interns) for this summer’s tour. The biggest show of the year is scheduled in Lebanon, Tennessee, on June 17. We have been very busy preparing for the performance of the year and we’re ready for a week of “Strumming a Shorthorn Tune!” Our band members and stage crew here at ASA are excited for a fun filled week and can’t wait for the final performance!
Keyboard Player Wyatt
Is everyone ready for a good time?!? This past week in the office has been very busy but also very enjoyable! My main focus has been preparing the set list (exhibitor folders), designing graphics and preparing content for our social media pages. I have really enjoyed meeting my fellow band members (other interns, well only one of the interns since the one of them is my twin brother) and the stage crew (ASA staff) as we prepare for this great performance! I have really enjoyed Kansas City and look forward to exploring more! I’m very excited to meet you all in Tennessee!
How’s everyone doing?! I have been Strumming a Shorthorn Tune all week as my band members (other interns) and I prepare for our upcoming concert! I have been working hard on ticket orders (entries) to make sure that you have all the correct information and payments to attend this great performance that you don’t want to miss. I’m excited to be here and can’t wait to learn more about Kansas City and the Shorthorn breed. Hope you’re ready to rock out and strum along with my crew and me! If you have any questions about your tickets (entries) make sure to contact me or our lead singer (Shelby Rogers) at any time!
Who’s ready to have some fun?! Hope you’re all ready to pack the seats and tap along to the best hits at the greatest concert of the summer. I have been incredibly busy preparing contests for our audience (Junior members) and making sure the week is filled with exciting and competitive activities. The fellow band members and set crew have enjoyed the last week of getting to know each other and we are looking forward for the final performance in Tennessee. Kansas City has been a good time and I’m excited for more adventures in the near future. Make sure to get your tickets booked and get ready to jam along to the newest and hottest hit of the summer!
We are 18 days away from the biggest concert of the summer and can’t wait to enjoy the fun filled week in Tennessee!
We’ve reached the finale in the series of articles discussing the lineup of available selection indices for Shorthorn breeders and customers. After covering the basics of what goes into a selection index in January, and further explaining $Calving Ease and $Feedlot in February, March finds us with two final pieces of the index puzzle to piece together: $British Maternal Index ($BMI) and $Fescue.
$British Maternal Index
The written definition of $BMI on the ASA website is as follows:
“This multi-trait selection index attempts to measure a bull’s potential profitability when complimenting the British cow base (Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, etc.) in a maternal breeding program. Shorthorn females can likewise be gauged at adding value to British or British-composite bulls of other breeds. A balance of growth (WW) and carcass traits (REA, Fat, MB) are desired with a strong maternal component (CED, Milk, CEM) aimed at moderate mature size (YW), optimum reproductive efficiency and cow longevity.”
A few points of emphasis can be gleaned from this Websteresque definition. First and foremost, you can figure out that there are several traits of interest included in $BMI. In a more comprehensive scenario like this one, there are more traits that become involved. I think you will notice that the production situation outlined in this index is more complex than $Feedlot, and certainly more involved than $Calving Ease. Many of America’s commercial cattle producers have their programs set up with management similar to what is described in $BMI: British-based cows, selling calves at weaning, and retaining replacements heifers.
With most commercial cattlemen selling calves at weaning, the economic drivers of this sector of their enterprise are ive calves and pounds of calf at weaning. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense for the CED and WW EPDs to play a significant part of $BMI. Weaning weight has arguably the most significant impact on $BMI of any included traits. When retaining females for the breeding herd, they need to be able to have a live calf, produce milk to raise that calf, and do so in a moderate mature size. While we have EPDs to measure two of these 3 traits (CEM and Milk), we have to use YW as an indicator trait for mature size since there is a not current EPD for mature cow weight in the Shorthorn genetic evaluation. A higher YW EPD has a more negative impact on $BMI, as bigger YW indicates a larger mature cow size. Even though it is not a direct point of emphasis in the scenario outlined for $BMI, carcass traits (REA, Fat, Marb) do play a role in the calculation, albeit smaller than the other traits outlined. Once these cattle are sold at weaning and enter the feedlot, the ones with the genetic capability to perform on the rail become more valuable to feeders.
When the $BMI index was developed, The American Shorthorn Association did not have a Stayability EPD to include in $BMI. Obviously, the ability of a female to stay in the cow herd productively has an impact on her ability to add profit to the ranch’s bottom line. Like I mentioned in the previous article for $Feedlot, it’s not as easy to edit an index as to just stick the Stayability EPD into the $BMI formula and it still work properly. There have been several discussions amongst staff, ASA BOD and breeders involved in ASA committees on the best way to improve this index going forward.
The youngest and most unique member of the Shorthorn index lineup is $Fescue. The components of $Fescue are very similar to $BMI, but with an added genomic piece to the puzzle. The addition of $Fescue is only for those animals who have had the Fescue Tolerance T-Snip test that is offered by AgBotanica performed and recorded with ASA. The test results are reported on a 0-50 scale, with cattle scoring a 50 considered to be most tolerant of toxic fescue. Research from AgBotanica indicates that cows with incrementally higher scores for the fescue tolerance test weaned off heavier calves than those with lower scores (40s weaned off heavier calves than 30s, who weaned off heavier than 20s, etc.)
The methodology behind $Fescue includes the calculation of $BMI with the Fescue Tolerance test score incorporated into the equation as a weighted factor. With the research conducted by AgBotanica showing how much of an effect the score has on weaning weight produced, it was possible to weight the score into a selection index. The most logical piece to incorporate with $Fescue is $BMI, as a production scenario that is most likely to be impacted by grazing toxic fescue is a cow/calf situation like the one outlined for $BMI.
With this look into the components of each selection index that is offered to ASA members, hopefully you now have a better idea of what makes up these tools and have more confidence to use them in your mating decisions. As always, these are just a few of the available tools out there to help you breed better cattle. A tool is only useful if it’s used properly, and only using one tool to try and do a complex job (like breeding cattle) can prove very difficult. Use your knowledge of your herd, in addition to the available tools like EPDs and selection indices, to make the most informed decision.
Written by Matt Woolfolk, Director of Performance Programs
I kicked off 2019 by beginning this series on the selection index lineup we have available to Shorthorn breeders and their customers. In the January issue, a basic overview of selection index technology was provided in Part 1. With the concepts of how selection indices are constructed laid out, it’s time to go deeper into the specific indices that are available in the Shorthorn genetic evaluation. In this installment, I’m going to provide you some more information on two of our selection indices; $Calving Ease and $Feedlot.
$Calving Ease ($CEZ)
The $Calving Ease index in our genetic evaluation is the simplest in terms of the number of traits included. This index is designed to identify the bulls that are best suited for use in breeding heifers. Bulls with a high $CEZ value are the bulls that are expected to sire offspring that calve unassisted and then grow out to a moderate mature weight. To meet that goal, the EPDs included in $CEZ are Calving Ease Direct (CED) and Yearling Weight (YW). CED is weighted heavily in this index, while YW is taken into consideration as an indicator trait for mature weight, which we do not have an EPD for currently. Higher growth cattle (the ones with really high YW EPDs) will see their $CEZ impacted more heavily than moderate YW EPD cattle, as the index is designed to select for cattle that will reach a moderate mature weight. Currently, the average of all non-parent cattle in the Shorthorn database for $CEZ is 28.10. Cattle in the top 25% of the breed have a $CEZ of 36.56 or greater, while cattle in the top 10% will boast a 46.10 or greater $CEZ.
For those of you who retain ownership of feeder cattle, or might have customers that do so, the $Feedlot index is designed with that production scenario in mind. Sires that excel in $F are expected to sire feeder calves that will grow rapidly and produce a carcass that can grade very well on a quality scale. The $Feedlot has a few more pieces to it when compared to $Calving Ease. The EPDs included in $F include CED, Weaning Weight (WW), YW, Fat, Ribeye Area (REA), and Marbling (MB).
I’m sure the first thing that catches your attention from this list is the inclusion of CED. CED is incorporated into $F because even though this is a terminal index with growth and end product emphasized, completely ignoring calving ease could lead to dystocia problems, even in a terminally-focused operation. Therefore, CED is included in $F, albeit in a smaller emphasis than the other traits involved. As you would expect, growth and carcass merit are highlighted in $F. Of all of the carcass traits (Fat, REA, and MB), MB is more heavily emphasized than the others, as quality-based premiums and improving carcass quality grade are increasingly important in the industry. Both growth traits are more heavily emphasized in $F than CED and the carcass traits. After all, even at harvest, cattle are still sold by the pound, and cattle that grow are more likely to produce heavier (and more valuable) carcasses. Yearling Weight is used as an indicator trait for Carcass Weight, with the reasoning being that when $F was developed several years ago, there was no Carcass Weight EPD to include. Unfortunately, implementing Carcass Weight in place of YW is not as simple as taking one number out and putting another in.
As of the time that this was written, the average of non-parent Shorthorn cattle for $F is 52.35. For an animal to be in the Top 25%, the $F must be 54.51 or greater, and a $F of 57.04 qualifies in the Top 10% of non-parent Shorthorns. Hopefully, having some insight into what goes into our stable of selection indices gives you a better idea of how they might be beneficial to use in your breeding programs. It’s hard to use something when you don’t understand how it works, whether it is a power tool, an electronic device, or a selection index. In the next issue of Shorthorn Country, Part 3 of this series will tackle the $British Maternal Index, as well as the $Fescue.
Written by Matt Woolfolk, ASA Director of Performance Programs
A hot topic in the hallway at the ASA Annual Meeting in Kansas City was the use of selection indices and the tools we have available in the Shorthorn breed. Selection index technology wasn’t an official topic in the educational forum, but I believe there was a lot of interest and educating going on among many breeders in attendance. There was a lot of good information and philosophy spread amongst breeders, and I hate that everyone couldn’t be in attendance to be a part of these discussions. That spurred the idea to spend a few months writing about selection indices, how they work, and what we have available in the Shorthorn breed at this time for you to use in your breeding programs. In order to get the best view we can at the whole picture, I think it’s only fitting that we start with the basics before diving into the more specific material.
The development of selection indices in the beef cattle industry are a relatively new addition to genetic evaluations. After EPDs came along, the idea to combine some of those genetic predictors into a single figure to attempt to gauge economic and genetic merit led to the implementation of the selection index. A selection index is intended to give a cattleman a relative economic value for an individual animal when in a specific production scenario. Traits that are important to a scenario are identified and included in an equation. The traits in the equation are weighted based on their economic value in the individual production scenario. Depending on the situation, some traits will be weighted significantly in the calculations, while others may only play a small role in the final output. Simply put, a selection index is like a long, complicated algebra formula, but instead of just X and Y for variables, there are a LOT more, with some indices having nearly enough components to have variables A through Z!
Usually, an association will offer several selection index options to their membership to try and meet several of their breeding objectives. Each index is calculated from a specific production situation, and it is important to know and understand those situations when studying an index. An index built for a breeding program of mature cows may not be as effective for you if you are looking to breed heifers. An index built with retained ownership of feeder cattle in mind may not quite fit your needs (or the needs of your customers) if selling calves at weaning is your main objective. Of course, whatever index is available to you may not be a perfect fit for your operation, but there’s a good chance that one or more indices will fit the needs of your program pretty well.
A selection index is designed to help breeders improve genetic merit without the drawbacks of single trait selection that can sometimes occur when using a single EPD to make breeding decisions. We all know that multiple traits must be taken into consideration when evaluating what makes profitable cattle in any situation, and a selection index is the best tool we have of predicting which animals can work in an environment.
The American Shorthorn Association has four available selection indices available for breeder use in their mating and selection decisions. They include $Calving Ease, $British Maternal Index, $Feedlot and $Fescue. In future issues, I will go into more detail about the components and uses of each index. Identifying traits of importance, the production scenarios designed for each index, and how we can use them as Shorthorn breeders and commercial seedstock producers will be discussed.
In the ever changing world of beef cattle genetic evaluation and selection, the use of the selection index is growing increasingly popular with commercial bull buyers. As providers of commercial seedstock, I hope that you feel it is part of your responsibility to understand and assist your customers in finding and using the proper selection index that meets their operation’s criteria. Hopefully, I will be able to fulfill my responsibility to give you the information you need to accomplish this goal over the next few articles!