College Insight from the Interns

  1. Preparation
  • 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.
  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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)
  1. 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!
  1. Get to know your professors
  • Especially the professors in you major. They will be tremendous help in your education and career development.
  1. 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.
  1. Dorm size vacuum (‘Dirt Devil’ from amazon)
  2. Iron and Ironing Board (you or someone on your floor will need this sometime)
  3. Pillows and favorite blanket/s (this is a great reminder of home)
  4. Air mattress (you will have visitors)
  5. Plates and silverware (you will be eating in your room often)
  6. 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.
  1. Internships!
  • 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.

Interns View on NJSS

As we unpack and recover from the busy and fun week in Lebanon, Tennessee, the interns wanted to give our views on NJSS.

Wyatt

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.

Faith

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!

Wade

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.

Top 15 Show Essentials that often get forgotten- Don’t forget these!

As we pack and get ready to leave for the National Junior Shorthorn Show, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of items that often get forgotten. Below is the Top 15 items that we have forgotten and we don’t want you to make the same mistake!

  1. Show Stick
  • This may seem like a “no duh,” but we can’t name the amount of times that we had to borrow a show stick.
  1. Extra Socks and Shoes
  • You don’t want wet shoes all day after washing!
  1. Registration Papers & Health Papers
  1. Speakers/Headphones
  • Who doesn’t love some good tunes at a show?! But remember your surrounding and your audience, you’re a role model for your fellow members.
  1. Favorite Food/Snacks
  • Although fair and concession food is delicious, it can get tiring after a few days. Make sure to bring some of your favorite snacks! Below is a couple of our favorite food while attending shows!

Wyatt: crockpot cheesy potatoes, cake cookies, and hobo sandwiches

Faith: Chips, summer sausage & cheese, and sweet tea

Wade: crockpot breakfast burritos, peanut butter cornflake bars, and cinnamon rolls

  1. Lawn Chairs, Coolers, & Crockpots
  • Lawn chair for naps, cooler for drinks and food, and crockpots for cooking.
  1. Contest materials
  1. Boots
  • You don’t want to show in your barn shoes.
  1. Favorite Starched Show Jeans
  • You also don’t want to show in your barn jeans.
  1. Revive, Hocus Pocus, Tall Adhesive, & Paint
  • Although you can buy these at many shows, it’s easy to spend some big bucks if you forget these.
  1. Clippers
  • These are crucial in preparation for the showring.
  1. Extensions Cords
  • Clipper and blower cords are only so long….
  1. Wash Bucket, water hose, and foamer
  • You ever tried washing an animal without these? Good luck.
  1. Fans
  • Remember, “No Butt Fans in the Barn.” But they are allowed in tie outs
  1. Show Halters
  • It happens to everyone, double check before you leave!

We are 3 DAYS from Junior Nationals! We can’t wait to see you all in Tennessee!

An In-Depth Look at Selection Indices: Part 3

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.

$Fescue

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.

Wrap Up
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

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.

Interns Views on NJSS

Now that we are all settled back in from the NJSS we want to share with you what us interns enjoyed about the week in Madison.

 

Emily Meinhardt

Growing up attending Hereford Junior Nationals, being part of NJSS was a different experience for me. I have enjoyed seeing all the little and big details that go into planning a national event. Attending Junior Nationals has always been the highlight of my summer, so I enjoyed attending another one and getting to know exhibitors and breeders within the Shorthorn breed. I spent a large majority of my time capturing those precious moments through a lens at NJSS. Getting to photograph each exhibitor showcasing their projects and watching their passion shine was definitely the highlight of my experience. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the week “Under the Big Top.”

 

Emily Dyes

My favorite part of Junior Nationals was getting to see all of the time and hard work put into each participant’s projects. Whether it was in the show ring or contests, kids from across the country took pride in what they brought to Madison. Being the Registrations intern, I felt like I knew every kid’s name by heart and talked to many parents on the phone, so finally putting faces to all the names was awesome. Thanks for a great NJSS this year, good luck to everyone next year!

Anna Miller

The National Junior Shorthorn Show was one of the first times I have experienced a Junior Nationals. It was a huge learning experience for me, and I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes aspect of helping to organize the event. As the Youth Activities intern, I enjoyed organizing contests and meeting contest judges, putting together scripts and presentations, and helping with the odd tasks that needed to be done. It was exciting to arrive at the NJSS and finally be able to put a face to all the names I learned in preparation for Junior Nationals. Overall, the show was an incredible opportunity and I have so many fun memories!