2018-2019 National & Regional Show Winners

See the 2018-2019 Show Region Winners below. The detailed report will be in the May/June issue of Shorthorn Country.

 

National Shorthorn Show Female of the Year: Steck Chelsie C 704 ET, Riley Johnson, Jackson, MN.

National Shorthorn Show Bull of the Year: TJH Bo’s Maxim H7, Crow Creek Farms, Lawton, OK.

National ShorthornPlus Show Female of the Year: SULL Black Cherri 7217E ET, Jake Brandt, Clarion, IA.

National ShorthornPlus Show Bull of the Year: CCF Nicholas C59E, Crow Creek Farms, Lawton, OK.

 

Northeast Region Winners:

Shorthorn Female of the Year: CF V8 Mona Lisa Reward 782 SOL ET, Ryan Wickard, Wilkinson, IN.

Shorthorn Female Runner-Up: Midnight Madison 716, Annette Braun, Mechanicsville, MD.

 

Shorthorn Female Division Winners:

Early Spring Heifer Calf Champion- HAA Fantasies Halo ET, Todd DeGasperi

Senior Heifer Calf Champion- SULL Myrtle 7655E ET, April Troyer

Senior Heifer Calf Reserve Champion- M&L Misty’s Deception 1217, Landon Helmke

Intermediate Champion Female- Midnight Madison 716. Annette Braun

Intermediate Reserve Champion Female- Don Amber 520 ET, April Troyer

Junior Champion Female- CF V8 Mona Lisa Reward SOL ET, Ryan Wickard

Junior Reserve Champion Female- Armstron Queen 1704 ET, Benjamin Allen

Senior Champion Female- SULL Rose’s Legacy 7102E ET, Kolten DeGasperi

Senior Reserve Champion Female- SS Ocean Mirage 714 ET, Marsch Show Cattle

 

Shorthorn Bull of the Year- Armstrong Easy Rider 1603, John M. Allen, IV, Saxonburg, PA.

Shorthorn Bull Runner-Up- GLF Spirit Fusion, Henry Dodrer, Jr., Westminster, MD.

 

Shorthorn Bull Division Winners:

Senior Bull Calf Champion- GLF Spirit Fusion, Henry Dodrer, Jr.

Junior Champion Bull- MVF Hot Rod, Masonic Village Farm

Senior Champion Bull- Armstrong Easy Rider 1603, John M. Allen, IV

 

ShorthornPlus Female of the Year- HAA Ebony, Kolten DeGasperi, Westminster, MD.

ShorthornPlus Female Runner-Up- Burgess Red Ivy 27017 ET, Annette Braun, Mechanicsville, MD.

 

ShorthornPlus Division Winners:

Junior Champion Female- HAA Ebony, Kolten DeGasperi

Junior Reserve Champion Female- Burgess Red Ivy 27017 ET, Annette Braun

 

ShorthornPlus Bull of the Year- Harmony White Storm, Annette Braun, Mechanicsville, MD.

Junior Bull Calf Champion- Harmony White Storm, Annette Braun

 

 

Southeast Region Winners:

Shorthorn Female of the Year: GCC Evolution Charm 7102 ET, Kolten Greenhorn, Bellbrook, OH.

Shorthorn Female Runner-Up: RFSS Roan Margie ET, Evea Ennis, Martinsville, IN.

 

Shorthorn Female Division Winners:

Early Spring Heifer Calf Champion- CF TF No Foolin 897 UR X ET, Camryn Clapp

Early Spring Heifer Calf Res. Champion- Bratcher Myrtle Bo 812 ET, Craig Bratcher

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- GAF Miss Sassy 2518, Jake Ozburn

Junior Heifer Calf Reserve Champion- Martindell Dreams 801, Austin Martin

Senior Heifer Calf Champion- Martindell Lily 787, Austin Martin

Intermediate Champion Female- GCC Evolution Charm 7102 ET, Kolten Greenhorn

Intermediate Reserve Champion Female- RFSS Roan Margie ET, Evea Ennis

Junior Champion Female- VSC Fancy Margie 60, Mitch Williams

Senior Champion Female- RFSS Roan Sis, Mattie Williams

Senior Reserve Champion Female- VSC Destiny Best Asset 57, Molly Williams

 

Shorthorn Bull of the Year- EGL Neptune MX 759, Evea Ennis, Martinsville, IN.

Shorthorn Bull Runner-Up- Armstrong Easy Rider 1603, John M. Allen, IV, Saxonburg, PA.

 

Shorthorn Bull Division Winners:

Early Spring Bull Calf Champion- VVCC Rocky, Valley Vista Farms

Early Spring Bull Calf Res. Champion- DFF Revolution, Lanie Sutherland

Junior Bull Calf Champion- White Lightning 21MV ET, Cheyenne Cattle Company

Senior Bull Calf Champion- EGL Neptune MX 759, Evea Ennis

Senior Bull Calf Reserve Champion- MFK Last Dance 387K X, Maurice & Faye Korthaus

Intermediate Champion Bull- VCC Ain’t No Foolin’ 1701 ET, Vollborn Cattle Company & Cedar Lane Farm

Senior Champion Bull- Armstrong Easy Rider 1603, John M. Allen, IV

Senior Reserve Champion Bull- MFK Hot Rebel 26K X, Wesley Maurice Korthaus

 

 

ShorthornPlus Female of the Year- 4D Mae Lynn D21E, Rachel Drumm, Winchester, KY.

ShorthornPlus Female Runner-Up- Martindell Lily 839, Austin Martin, Tompkinsville, KY.

 

ShorthornPlus Division Winners:

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- Martindell Lily 839, Austin Martin

Intermediate Champion Female- Circle J Mabel 005E, Austin Martin

Junior Champion Female- SharBen Lil Miss Can’t Be Wrong, Adymae Williams

Senior Champion Female- 4D Mae Lynn D21E, Rachel Drumm

 

North Central Region Winners:

Shorthorn Female of the Year: DSF Esther 4F, Nathan Studer & Jenny Sruder, Creston, IA.

Shorthorn Female Runner-Up: Bergs Sweet Katie, Madeline Berg, Osage, IA.

 

Shorthorn Female Division Winners:

Early Spring Heifer Calf Champion- DVW 24 Roses 318, Wasinger Cattle Company

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- DSF Esther 4F, Nathan Studer & Jenny Studer

Junior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- Bergs Crystal’s Sally, Lauren Berg

Senior Heifer Calf Champion- Homedale June Rosewood 7806, Samantha Jo Jabs

Senior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- Homedale June Rosewood 7789, Lane Thomas Jabs

Intermediate Champion Female- Bergs Sweet Katie, Madeline Berg

Intermediate Res. Champion Female- Homedale MLS Max Rosa 7790, Elizabeth Jabs

Junior Champion Female- DSF Missie 104E, Rose Family

Senior Champion Female- DSF Sonya 11E, Brock David Studer

 

Shorthorn Bull of the Year: JS Continental Divide, Blake Lehman, Eureka, IL & James R. Johnson, Niantic, IL.

Shorthorn Bull Runner-Up: 6B’s Guardian ET, 6B Farms, Allison, IA.

 

Shorthorn Bull Division Winners:

Early Spring Bull Calf Champion- Bergs Red Duke, Madeline Berg

Early Spring Bull Calf Res. Champion- Studer’s Forsyth 65F. Nathan Studer & Jenny Studer

Junior Bull Calf Champion- Studer’s Fairgame 6F, Brock David Studer

Junior Champion Bull- JS Continental Divide, Blake Lehman & James R. Johnson

Senior Champion Bull- 6B’s Guardian ET, 6B Farms

 

ShorthornPlus Female of the Year- SULL Black Cherri 7217E ET, Jake Brandt, Clarion, IA.

ShorthornPlus Female Runner-Up- WGR Midnight Mirgage 708E, Mikayla Wetzel, Faribault, MN.

 

ShorthornPlus Division Winners:

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- 6B Nan 18, 6B Farms

Intermediate Champion Female- WGR Midnight Mirgage 708E, Mikayla Wetzel

Junior Champion Female- SULL Black Cherri 7217E ET, Jake Brandt

 

South Central Region Winners:

Shorthorn Female of the Year: SULL Lucy 7686E ET, Dayson Cash, Fay, OK.

Shorthorn Female Runner-Up: RSF Simply Dessert Rose 3E, Ryan Lane, Siloam Springs, AR.

 

Shorthorn Female Division Winners:

Late Spring Heifer Calf Champion- 2GS Cumberland 523F, Garrison Spooner

Early Spring Heifer Calf Champion- M&E Mary’s Cumberland 952, M & E Shorthorns

Early Spring Heifer Calf Res. Champion- JVCC Miss Margie, Luke Jones

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- LDB Magic Rain 801 ET, Brittany Blankinship

Junior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- M&E Cumberland 948, M & E Shorthorns

Senior Heifer Calf Champion- SULL Lucy 7686E ET, Dayson Cash

Senior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- WHR Queen of Sonny 7N15 ET, Carolyn Norris

Intermediate Champion Female- RSF Simply Dessert Rose 3E, Ryan Lane

Intermediate Res. Champion Female- AF Lassies Rose 1725, Merideth Behrens

Junior Champion Female- Simple Brilliance, Lane Blankinship

Junior Res. Champion Female- LH Dee Licious 0317, L H Show Cattle

Senior Champion Female- DTR Mona Lisa 701E, Josie Heter

Senior Res. Champion Female- TRN Foxxy 687 ET, Graham Spooner

 

Shorthorn Bull of the Year: TJH Bo’s Maxim H7, Crow Creek Farms, Lawton, OK.

Shorthorn Bull Runner-Up: Fieser’s Mr. Impact 517, Dayson Cash, Fay, OK & Fieser’s Polled Shorthorns, Plains, KS.

 

Shorthorn Bull Division Winners:

Early Spring Bull Calf Champion- DCL Margie’s Swagger, Dayson Cash

Junior Bull Calf Champion- J&M Maxim Silver ET, J & M Shorthorns

Senior Bull Calf Champion- Fieser’s Ranger, Cash-Farms Shorthorns

Senior Bull Calf Reserve Champion- K’s Zepplin 717, L H Show Cattle

Intermediate Champion Bull- Fieser’s Rookie, Cash-Farms Shorthorns

Junior Champion Bull- Fieser’s Mr. Impact 517, Dayson Cash & Fieser’s Polled Shorthorns

Senior Champion Bull- TJH Bo’s Maxim H7, Crow Creek Farms

 

 

ShorthornPlus Female of the Year: JVCC Red Diamond 701, Kadin Kinder Worthington, El Reno, OK.

ShorthornPlus Female Runner-Up: Miss Star Knite, Kadin Kinder Worthington, El Reno, OK.

 

ShorthornPlus Division Winners:

Early Spring Heifer Calf- Ms. Annie, Ashlyn Larman

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- LDB Cowgirl’s Phoebe 805, Lane Blankinship

Junior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- CCF Violet C01F, Buck Downum

Senior Heifer Calf Champion- AJC Classy Stella, AJ Show Cattle

Senior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- LDB Reckless Mulan 803, Lane Blankinship

Intermediate Champion Female- Miss Star Knite, Kadin Kinder Worthington

Intermediate Res. Champion Female- DTR Ruby Rock Candy 758E, Josie Heter

Junior Champion Female- JVCC Red Diamond 701, Kadin Kinder Worthington

Junior Res. Champion Female- Ms. Laney, Ashlyn Larman

Senior Champion Female- CCR Pepper, Madyson Nunn

 

ShorthornPlus Bull of the Year: CCF Nicholas C59E, Crow Creek Farms, Lawton, OK.

ShorthornPlus Bull Runner-Up (TIE): FSC Mr. Fireball, Brett Forgy, Caddo, OK

CRC Little Boy Blue 12D, TSW Cattle, Marlow, OK

 

Early Spring Bull Calf Champion- FSC Mr. Fireball, Brett Forgy

Junior Bull Calf Champion- CCF Paxton C14F, Crow Creek Farms

Senior Bull Calf Champion- CCF Nicholas C59E, Crow Creek Farms

Senior Champion Bull- CRC Little Boy Blue 12D, TSW Cattle

 

 

West Region Winners:

Shorthorn Female of the Year: LC Augusta Pat 2728, Catherine Heather, Sanger, CA

Shorthorn Female Runner-Up: LC Augusta Pat 2817, Don Cardey, Turlock, CA

 

Shorthorn Female Division Winners:

Early Spring Heifer Calf Champion- LC Augusta Pat 2817, Don Cardey

Junior Heifer Calf Champion- LC Augusta Pat 2728, Catherine Heather

Junior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- LC Welcome Lady 2704, Don Cardey

Senior Heifer Calf Champion- JT Betty Angel 2564, J T Ranch

Senior Heifer Calf Res. Champion- LC Augusta Pat 2667, Don Cardey

Intermediate Champion Female- GSC Rosie Ransom 2503, Greg Cardey

Intermediate Reserve Champion Female- JT Betty Angel 2472, J T Ranch

Junior Champion Female- LC Augusta Pat 2385, Don Cardey

Junior Reserve Champion Female- JT Betty Angel 2334, J T Ranch

Senior Champion Female- GSC Princess 2222, Greg Cardey

Senior Reserve Champion Female- LC Funny Face 2300, Don Cardey

Cow/Calf Champion- GSC Sweetheart 1311, Greg Cardey

Reserve Cow/Calf Champion- LC Augusta Pat 1383, Don Cardey

 

Shorthorn Bull of the Year: GSC Studer 2259, Greg Cardey, Turlock, CA.

Shorthorn Bull Runner-Up: GSC Gold Label 2148, Greg Cardey, Turlock, CA.

 

Shorthorn Bull Division Winners:

Early Spring Bull Calf Champion- GSC Studer 2865, Greg Cardey

Junior Bull Calf Champion- LC Gold Label 2685, Don Cardey

Junior Bull Calf Res. Champion- JT Studer 2725, J T Ranch

Senior Bull Calf Champion- GSC Gold Label 2585, Greg Cardey

Senior Bull Calf Res. Champion- LC Studer 2563, Don Cardey

Intermediate Champion Bull- LC Studer 2464, Don Cardey

Intermediate Res. Champion Bull- GSC Studer 2419, Greg Cardey

Junior Champion Bull- GSC Studer 2259, Greg Cardey

Junior Reserve Champion Bull- LC Gold Label 2263, Don Cardey

Senior Champion Bull- GSC Gold Label 2148, Greg Cardey

 

ShorthornPlus Female of the Year: PHF Idaho Duchess 294E, Arielle Phillips, Caldwell, ID

Intermediate Champion Female- PHF Idaho Duchess 294E, Arielle Phillips

An In-Depth Look at Selection Indices: Part 2

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.

$Feedlot ($F)
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

An In-Depth Look at Selection Indices: Part 1

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!

STATE ASSOCIATION CO-OP ADVERTISING PROGRAM UPDATED GUIDELINES

STATE ASSOCIATION CO-OP ADVERTISING PROGRAM

  1. The state association coop advertising program is designed to help ASA and state associations share the cost of promoting the Shorthorn breed.
  2. Advertisement requests must be made by state association’s president, vice-president or secretary manager. Advertisements cannot be requested by groups of breeders or individuals.
  3. The ASA will reimburse 50% of the ad cost, up to a total of $650 per state per fiscal year.
  4. There are limited coop funds available for states in each fiscal year. No more coop ads will be funded when available funds have been utilized.
  5. Each state association must pay advertisement and send paid invoice to ASA to be reimbursed. ASA encourages the state association to include a copy of the ad placed with paid invoice.
  6. ASA will have 4 general ad choices and 2 contract ads for state associations to choose from. ASA encourages states to use contract ads for more Shorthorn promotion throughout the year.
    1. General Ads are a minimum of a quarter page in size and not larger than a full page in size.
    2. Contract Ads cannot be smaller than 1 column by 2 inches.
    3. Ads will have space to include the state association logo and contact information.
    4. Ads will include the ASA logo and contact information.
    5. Ads can include state events, dates and locations but not individual breeder information and dates.
    6. All ad requests must be submitted to ASA at least 5 business days before deadline. Ads will not be eligible for ad copy approval if received less than 10 business days before deadline.
  7. State Associations must provide the following ad specs to the ASA.
    1. Publication name, phone number and email address
    2. Ad Deadline
    3. Ad Size
    4. Full Color or Black & White
    5. State Association information to be included in ad
  8. State associations are required to meet above guidelines in order to be eligible to receive reimbursement for coop ads.

Guidelines updated September 26, 2018

College Tips from the Interns

College can be overwhelming and stressful at points. Here are some of our tips to make sure you have a successful semester at college.

  1. Get involved.

There is an organization for everyone at college. Try out several organizations and find a couple that fit for you. Getting involved in organizations within your major is a great way to make connections with other students, faculty and even alumni. Be careful because it is easy to get over involved — make sure to find a few organizations that work with your schedule.

  1. Get to know your professors and faculty within your department.

Getting to know those involved in your department can open a lot of doors for you. Professors are more likely to lend a helping hand to a familiar face, whether it be with class-related things or helping with connections. If you can, try to sit in the front row of your classes so professors get used to seeing your face and notice your presence!

  1. Take advantage of a free meal when you can get it.

You would be surprised with  how many free meals you can get in college! My freshman year I was living on campus and at least once a week (normally more) there would be an organization giving out free pizza or social nights with free ice cream. Definitely take advantage of these! Money will get tighter during your college days, so anything free is a plus and it’s also a great way socialize.

  1. Learn your way of studying.

Studying can be difficult, especially if you never had to study in high school. It is important to find your way of studying early on in your college career. This might be reviewing before you go to each class, or maybe it’s making flashcards. Find a strategy that works for you that you can stick with.

  1. Study abroad.

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, while also experiencing different cultures. Study abroad agricultural programs allow you to experience different scales of agriculture and production methods you are unfamiliar with. You would be surprised with how different the world varies in agricultural practices.

  1. Attend networking events.

Networking can often seem intimidating and nerve-racking, but it is an essential skill to learn. Try attending events as soon as you can, even as a freshman, so you can practice your skills connecting with others. If your school hosts career fairs, attend and talk to recruiters for practice, even if you aren’t looking for a job right away. This will make you feel more comfortable in the future when you begin seriously looking for a job.

  1. Find a balance.

This can make or break you when you go to college. You need to figure out how to balance schoolwork with social life, working, and trying to stay healthy. It’s not always easy, but once you adjust to being on your own and making your own choices you’ll be fine!

  1. Sleep is important.

Sometimes you can get so overwhelmed with school, work, activities and studying you forget an important factor in it all: sleep. All-nighters are necessary at some points, but not constantly. Know the amount of sleep you need to be productive during the day.

  1. Find a buddy in each class.

This can be the most important one at times. You never know when you’ll need to miss class and notes. Also, study buddies are a great reso

urce to learn from each other.

  1. Your friends will change, and that’s okay.

It’s important to know you may not stay best friends with people you grew up with just because you go to the same college. Do try to stay in contact and don’t forget about your hometown friends, but don’t be afraid to branch out and be open minded to making new friends.

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.