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!

 

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

 

 

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.

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.”

ASA STAFF ATTENDS BEEF IMPROVEMENT FEDERATION CONVENTION

American Shorthorn Association staff attended the annual Beef Improvement Federation Convention last week in Manhattan, Kansas. Convention participants attended general sessions with industry professionals who spoke about the beef industry.

The Young Producer Symposium was the first afternoon before BIF started. This event was designed to create a network for young cattleman and to help them gain knowledge as they work towards growing their role in the industry.

The first official morning general session was titled “Opportunities for the Beef Value Chain: Can we become more coordinated and more profitable?” Speakers for the day included Glynn Tonsor and Ted Schroeder with Kansas State University, John Stika with a branded beef program, Brad Morgan with Performance Food Group, and Keith Belk with Kansas State University.

The second morning general session was titled “Protecting producer profit for the future.” The speakers for the day included David Lalman of Oklahoma State University, Chip Ramsay of Rex Ranch, Mark Enns of Colorado State University, and Clay Mathis of King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management.

“This annual BIF event is a great way to network with people who are involved in the industry,” said Montie D. Soules, Executive Secretary/CEO of ASA. “The speakers are great, but some of the best opportunities come from meeting people outside in the hall. There are so many chances to make lifetime connections.”

The afternoons were filled with breakout sessions that focused on topics from beef-production to genetic-improvement. Convention participants chose the session that was most pertinent to their needs.

Participants attended dinners at the KSU Weber Arena and Stanley Stout Livestock Marketing Center, which gave more ways for networking with people who are involved with all aspects of the cattle industry.

“This is one of the best conferences I go to,” said Toby Jordan of Waukaru Farms Inc. “There is always information about the latest and greatest when it comes to breeding. I also really enjoyed speaking at the Young Producer Symposium that was focused towards younger cattle producers that are trying to grow in the business.”

ASA staff also participated in the International Genetic Solutions seminar that was before BIF. IGS is a collaboration of 12 breed associations that are working to put the progressive commercial cattleman first by creating genetic evaluation. Soules was among the panel of association leaders that spoke about the importance of genetic improvement.

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Going to NJSS? Need a Place To Stay?

Where to Stay

Radisson:

There is a block of rooms on hold for Junior Nationals at the Radisson. *only King rooms are available
www.radisson.com/shorthorn

Hampton:

The Hampton Roseville opened on June 2nd and is now taking reservations.

Click here for more details and for reservations.

Campsites:
For reservations please call Tammy Nye 612-618-8566 or email tnyehome@gmail.com