Monday, December 16, 2013

Angus EPD Highlights

On Dec. 6 the American Angus Association released their Angus Sire Evaluation Report - spring 2014. This release includes several significant updates to the evaluation including updated economic assumptions that impact the $Values as well as the third recalibration of the HD 50K predictions. Here are a few of the highlights from the new EPD run.

Calving Ease
1AN01202 LONG DISTANCE is the No. 1 CED bull on the entire Angus Sire Evaluation based on bulls with +80 or higher for YW EPD, and he does so much more including breed-leading SCR, DOC, CEM and $W EPDs.

1AN01217 IN SURE
1AN01217 IN SURE comes in at No. 8 for CED on the evaluation, based on bulls with +80 or higher for YW EPD. He too, is a SCR and DOC leader along with ranking No. 3 for $B among the breed’s elite proven calving ease bulls, that are +17 or higher for CED.


Other semi-proven, .60 or higher BW ACC, bulls that offer not only widespread pedigree diversity, but also breed-leading, double digit calving ease include: 1AN01275 PROSPER at CED +18 and BW -3.0; 1AN01231 AUTHENTIC at CED +16 and BW -0.5; 1AN01253 NAMESAKE at CED +16 and BW -1.0; 1AN01242 FULL POWER at CED +15 and BW -0.5; 1AN01215 IRISH  at CED +15 and BW -0.3; 1AN01224 CEDAR RIDGE at CED +15 an BW -1.0. 

Curve Benders

1AN01230 EXCITEMENT is one of only two bulls on the Angus Sire Evaluation that is negative for BW EPD and +130 or greater for YW EPD. His outcross pedigree offers unlimited mating flexibility on most of today’s popular pedigrees.

1AN01278 DOUBLE VISION is the No. 1 bull for YW EPD at +149 on the Young Sire Supplemental list for bulls that are +9 or higher for CED. He sets himself apart on the young sire list not only because of his across the board, breed-leading EPD profile, but because of his outcross pedigree and powerful phenotype.

Low Input/High Output (Bulls that Combine $EN and $W)

Genex still dominates the list of proven low input, high output bulls with 1AN01044 FINAL ANSWER and 1AN01131 BISMARCK.

1AN1201 ANGUS 011
 We also have a nice showing on the young sire list with bulls that are +6 or higher for CED, -$5.00 or higher for $EN and $50.00 or greater for $W. They include 1AN01254 HOMESTEAD, 1AN01207 ANGUS 011, 1AN01246 REVIVAL and 1AN01240 EFFECTIVE, the most of any stud!


CEDAR RIDGE continues to add accuracy while maintaining excellent CED, DOC, SCR and positive carcass EPDs. His MILK EPD has climbed to +37, but he is still very acceptable for $EN at -$8.28. In addition, 1AN01263 UNMISTAKABLE just misses the list with a CED EPD at +5. He is among the breed’s elite for moderating milk, MILK EPD at +12, and mature size, MH EPD at -0.6, without sacrificing growth, WW +72 and YW +120, scrotal circumference, SCR +0.77, or muscle shape, REA +0.86.
Heifer Pregnancy
Heifer pregnancy is a trait catching the attention of more breeders and now includes the incorporation of HD 50K data. Genex proven sires like 1AN01116 UPWARD, BISMARCK, 1AN01146 RIGHT ANSWER, 1AN01117 THUNDER and 1AN01141 PIONEER all rank in the top 5% of the breed for the HPG EPD along with up and coming bulls like LONG DISTANCE.


1AN01215 IRISH
 Among the proven bulls the following lead the way in DOC for Genex: 1AN01222 PRIORITY +37; LONG DISTANCE +33; CEDAR RIDGE +30; IRISH +30; 1AN01170 CHISUM +28. Note the variety of pedigrees among this group of bulls. There are only six bulls on the entire Young Sire Supplement list that have a DOC EPD of +37 or higher. 1AN01238 RESOURCE leads the list with the highest $W value and FULL POWER leads the list with the highest $B value, while both offer breed-leading EPDs and phenotypes in addition to breed-leading attitudes!


End Product
Baldridge Waylon is the No. 1 $B bull on the Angus Sire Evaluation and Genex has secured his No. 1 son, 1AN01312 DOWNLOAD. DOWNLOAD leads the Genex lineup as our No.1 $B sire at $118.70. He offers more flexibility and marketability to most Angus breeders because of his CED EPD of +9 vs. Waylon’s CED EPD of +3.   

1AN01297 RITO 12E7
1AN01297 RITO 12E7 closely follows DOWNLOAD as our No. 2 $B sire at $115.90. A unique Rito Revenue son for growth and SCR that is too young to make the Angus Sire Evaluation, never the less, there is not a bull on the entire report or supplemental sire summary that can match his combination of MARB at 1.40 and REA at 1.49.

Other $B leaders, with progeny data, all ranking in the top 2% of the breed for $B includes: DOUBLE VISION $109.70, 1AN01229 ADVANTAGE $109.20; 1AN01232 SIGNIFICANT $107.90; 1AN01226 UPROAR $107.10; FULL POWER $107.00.

Author, Lorna Marshall, is the U.S. Beef Programs Marketing Manager.  Lorna works with herds across the U.S. offering genetic and reproductive solutions to help improve their profitability.  She also offers support to the more than 200 Genex Beef Independent Contractors.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 2013 Proof Highlights

Genex had a great proof run last week.  On the Holstein side 1HO09800 ERDMAN captured the #1 spot atop the Lifetime Net Merit List (LNM$). As for the TPIlist, 1HO09527 MASSEY sits at #3 and 1HO08784 FREDDIE at #4.  The genomic lists were just as productive with Genex sires holding 32 of the top 100 LNM$ and 19 of the top 100 TPI spots.  Take a look at other great Holstein highlights below!

On the Jersey and Colored Breed side, things look just as great!  27 Genex genomic sires are on the top 100 Lifetime Cheese Merit list and 26 are on the top 100 JPI™ chart.  1JE00711 PLUS is #1 on the top 100 daughter-proven JPI list. And the highlights continue...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall at Genex Hawkeye West - Billings, MT

Last time I gave you an update on the happenings at Genex Hawkeye West in Billings, MT it was the middle of summer.  We've now moved into fall and things are really starting to get busy here!  As I mentioned before here, bull numbers are at there lowest during the summer, but now that it is mid-November we are filling back up!  There are nearly 90 bulls on collection today, with more arriving every week!

Herdsman, Chance Eaton, collects 1AN1237, SAV ANGUS VALLEY 1867.

Along with lots of bulls coming back to stay with us we have had several other exciting things going on this fall.  On October 16 we hosted our first Genex Member Appreciation Luncheon here at Hawkeye West.  As Genex is a Cooperative it is very important that we stay close of our membership, we very much value their business and loyalty.  We were thrilled that Genex board member, Bobby Robertson, from Tahlequah, OK was able to be with us.

Genex Hawkeye West manager, Ryan Thorson, welcomes the crowd the Member Appreciation Luncheon, while Genex Board Member, Bobby Robertson, looks on.

While Bobby was here, we were also able to honor Genex Area Marketing Manager, Dwain Hould, for his 10 years of service to Genex Cooperative.  Dwain manages the Genex beef marketing staff in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and part of Wyoming.

Genex AMM, Dwain Hould, receiving his 10 Year Service Award, from Bobby Robertson.

Here in Billings, we had a wet fall, which was very welcome after our last couple of summers!  As ranchers in the area sell their calves, optimism in the beef industry is very high!  We are very proud to be part of this industry and we hope that you will stop by and visit us anytime you are in the area.  The bulls are always available for viewing and we would love to see you!

Bulls enjoying a crisp fall morning at Genex Hawkeye West.


Author, Sarah Thorson, is our Beef Education Manager. Sarah grew up in Eastern Montana on her family's ranch. She is a graduate of Montana State University and has been a member of the Genex team since 2004. Sarah works closely with the Genex Beef Marketing Staff, providing training to the cooperative's nearly 200 Independent Contractors. She also provides Artificial Insemination training for Genex members and customers and reproductive consulting.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Superior Livestock and Genex Cooperative Joint Bred Heifer Sale

In an exciting joint venture, Superior Livestock and Genex will be hosting a Joint Bred Heifer Sale on Friday, November 22, 2013.  The sale will be broadcast live on RFD-TV!

All heifers consigned to the sale will be either Genex sired, bred, or both.  Genex sires that will be represented in the offering include:  SAV FINAL ANSWER 0035, Connealy RIGHT ANSWER 746, SAV BISMARCK 5682, Connealy IN SURE 8524, Connealy THUNDER, MA FINAL CHOICE 8036, and Feddes BIG SKY R9.

For more information, or to view videos and pictures of some of the lots consigned click here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

From the Road

Recently I returned from a trip to South Dakota and had the opportunity to stop at Genex Dakota Sire Service in Mitchell, S.D. 1AN01242 FULL POWER looks amazing after running with cows at Brockmere Angus in Missouri this summer. He looks like he’s been on feed for exhibition! He’s a tremendously correct, square, clean bull with awesome muscle shape and rib.
His feet are impeccable with a deep heel, no curl in his toes and standing perfectly square. This summer he bred his last cow and will be a permanent resident at one of our studs. I’m very excited about his potential to break the stereotype that great number bulls are poor phenotype bulls.

1AN01240 EFFECTIVE continues to develop and look amazing. He’s so deep, wide based and sound featured with the look of a cow maker.

One of my visits was to Mohnen Angus and the 1AN01165 SUBSTANCE bulls there are amazing. Tremendous thickness, ruggedness and power for a lower BW sire group. I think you will be impressed by them as well as the 1AN01230 EXCITEMENT bulls.


Author, Jon Janssen, is the Beef Sire Procurement Manager. Jon's responsibilities include evaluating prospective beef sires and acquiring sires or semen marketing rights to provide Genex members and customers with a solid beef sire lineup. From 1999 to 2009, he served as the Genex beef programs development manager. Prior to that, he was a Genex sales representative in Nebraska. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Little Brown Cow, Big Profit

They breed back fast! I have no calving problems. They eat less. Easier to work with.
I can calve them in sooner. Nutrient dense milk. Feed efficiency.

These are just some of the things I hear across the country when customers share why they milk Jerseys. The growth of the Jersey breed has been on a rapid and steady increase for the past decade for one basic reason = EFFICIENCY. In a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, A comparison of the environmental impact of Jersey compared with Holstein milk for cheese production, it was found that the Jersey cow has a 20% reduction in total carbon footprint when compared to their Holstein counterpart. This is huge.

This topic was one of many covered at the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) annual meeting this past summer. Breed updates included AJCA recording an all-time record high for 2012 Jersey registrations (103,345), and they are now on track to have an even better year in 2013. Genomic females evaluated in 2013 are currently 56% higher than this point last year. In addition, Jersey breed growth nation-wide is at an all-time high and growing at a rapid pace.

It is estimated the current Jersey population is over 850,000 head which is about 9.25% of the total U.S. cow population. This growth is expected to accelerate over the next few years. One of the biggest indicators of breed growth comes from domestic semen sales. Based on NAAB numbers, domestic Jersey semen sales have also seen a drastic increase in the last couple years. With the 2012 numbers in, Jersey semen now accounts for 10.8% of the U.S. market share.

With this kind of breed growth, comes big breed goals. AJCA has announced they have a goal for Jerseys to become 25% of the U.S. dairy population by the year 2020. The bottom-line, take-away message from Neal Smith, Executive Secretary of the AJCA, was, “Efficiency drives profitability. Profitability leads to breed growth. Breed growth leads to opportunity.”

Genex is committed to our Jersey lineup and serving our customers needs in this exciting time of Jersey breed growth. Remember, little brown cow = big profit!


Author Leah James is our U.S. Jersey Marketing Manager.  James grew up on a family dairy farm and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education. She has since worked within the artificial insemination industry and for the American Jersey Cattle Association. Today, she and her husband also operate a 125-cow dairy consisting of registered Holsteins, Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On the road with Genex Independent Contractors

A big part of my role at Genex/CRI is providing training and support to the nearly 200 Independent Contractors that sell beef semen and breed cows for Genex all over the U.S. and Canada.  Last week was our annual Genex Progeny Tour/IC Graduate School.  This event is the result of a lot of hard work and planning.  It's always fun to see it come together, but also a relief when you can look back and say it was successful event.  This year I was lucky to have a lot of help planning the tour, as two of our Genex Territory Sales Managers, Darcy Warren and Ryan Ollerich, took charge of planning the tour stops.  The truly helped make this one of our best events ever!

On October 1-3, 2013, nearly 75 Genex Independent Contractors and Beef Marketing and Genetics staff gathered in Sioux Falls, S.D.  This group represented 22 different states and one Canadian province.  I can't tell you how exciting it is when you get on a bus filled with cattle enthusiasts to spend a couple of days looking at Genex progeny and learning more about what our beef line-up has to offer.

On the first day of our tour we were privileged to have the opportunity to view Genex progeny on display at Mohnen Angus, Varilek Angus and Koupal Angus.   We stopped at Genex Dakota Sire Service in Mitchell, SD to view Genex bulls that are there on collections.  Two bulls that I was extremely impressed with were 1AN01240  Schiefelbein EFFECTIVE 61 and 1AN01302 Connealy WESTERN CUT.  While we were at Genex Dakota Sire Service we also had the opportunity to take in the Genex Progeny Showcase, as several producers brought progeny for us to view.

Genex Independent Contractors, Duke Warren and Clarence Schumcher, catch a ride while viewing cattle at Mohnen Angus.

View of the Genex Progeny Showcase at Genex Dakota Sire Service.

On our second tour day we made stops at Eugene Rapp's, Ogren Brother's, Penrhos Farms and Goodwin Heritage Feedlot.  Penrhos Farms, Britton, S.D., is owned by the Owen Jones family.  They have been a progeny test herd for Genex for nearly two decades!  This was a favorite stop for nearly everyone on the tour.  It was really exciting to see generations of Genex A.I. sired cattle stacked on top of each other.  While we were there we had an opportunity to view some of the first progeny on several of Genex's up and coming bulls such as 1AN01238 SAV RESOURCE 1441 and 1AN01214 WRA WALKER X3.  

ICs, Steve Lund and Donovan Dirks, study the 1AN01233 Flag CROSS COUNTRY 90052, progeny on display at Varilek Angus.

The group taking in the view at Koupal Angus.

After two exciting days of viewing Genex sired progeny we settled in for a day of learning.  Dr. George Perry from South Dakota State University was kind enough to meet with our group and discuss management considerations for getting the most out of our reproduction programs.  Dr. Tonya Amen from Angus Genetics, Inc. lead us in a discussion on Angus 50k, the incorporation of DNA into EPDs and what' s new on the horizon.

I would like to thank all of our tour stop hosts for their extreme hospitality!  Your willingness to open your farms and ranches to our group is invaluable.  Your enthusiasm for good cattle is electrifying. The experience that we were able to gain will help us to continue to give sound genetic and reproductive advice to Genex members and customers all over North America.

October 1-3, 2013 nearly 75 Genex Independent Contractors, Beef Marketing and Genetics staff gathered in Sioux Falls, S.D. for the annual Genex Beef Progeny Tour/IC Graduate School.


Author, Sarah Thorson, is our Beef Education Manager. Sarah grew up in Eastern Montana on her family's ranch. She is a graduate of Montana State University and has been a member of the Genex team since 2004. Sarah works closely with the Genex Beef Marketing Staff, providing training to the cooperative's nearly 200 Independent Contractors. She also provides Artificial Insemination training for Genex members and customers and reproductive consulting.


Monday, September 30, 2013

I Need To Know...

Is she pregnant or not; I need to know.  If you are looking for an easy way to pregnancy check on your schedule, or in between vet herd checks, then DG29 Blood Pregnancy Test might be the perfect fit.  Testing is as easy as 1-2-3
  1. Select animals that are eligible for testing.  Any heifer at least 29 days post breeding and cows at least 90 post calving are candidates.  Selecting cows less than 90 days my result in a false positive.   ET recipients may also be tested on or after day 32 or 25 days after implantation (embryo is at day 7 when implanted + 25 days = day 32). 
  2. Collect the blood sample.  Genex has kits available with all testing supplies needed-blood tubes, needles, needle holders, and shipping containers.  The following is a video on the proper blood collection procedure.  Blood Collection Instructional Video
  3. Submit the sample.  Strategically placed across the US for quick turnaround time, samples may be sent via USPS, UPS or FedEx to Jerome, Idaho, Menomonie Wis. or Ithaca, N.Y. laboratories.  Blood samples need no refrigeration and are good at room temperature for a week.
Results are returned by email, fax or mail within 24 hours after the lab receives the samples.  All labs are running samples Monday through Friday.  The status of pregnancy is reported as positive (pregnant/embryo in development) or negative (open).  Using this test will help identify open cows and heifers earlier in turn decreasing days open and increasing profits.

So if you need to know the pregnancy status of your dairy or beef animals, talk with your Genex Representative to learn how the DG29 Blood Pregnancy Test might be the perfect fit in your reproductive program.

Check out the Genex website for more information.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What is JUI™?

JUI - what is it and how should it be used?
Jersey Udder Index(JUI) was established as a reference tool for Jersey breeders to use when selecting sires. Formulated by the American Jersey Cattle Association, JUI is based on lifetime profitability. The respective weights of each trait in the formula are based on the traits relation to lifetime profitability.

Calculation of the Jersey Udder Index
This index is the sum of a sire’s Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTA) for udder traits multiplied by their weights in the Functional Trait Index: Jersey Udder Index (JUI10) = [(.30 x FU) + (.35 x RUH) + (.61 x RUW) + (1.0 x UD) + (.85 x UC) + (.10 x TP) + (0 x TL)]
When you split out the weights of JUI, the highest priority trait is udder depth. Nearly one third of the index is based on this trait. Following udder depth in importance is udder cleft. Udder depth and udder cleft together make up well over half of the JUI index. The third and fourth priority traits are rear udder height and rear udder width respectively. Rounding out the final traits for the JUI index include fore udder and teat placement.

The thing to keep in mind when referencing the JUI index is that JUI needs to be balanced with production traits. Because there are such high weights on udder depth and udder cleft, often times functionally correct and highly profitable sires will not see the extremes in their JUI rankings. As a reference point, based on the August 2013 sire summary, ranges for JUI on all active sires is -3.00 to +7.53.

The top Genex JUI sire is 1JE00812 HAWTHORNE (Zuma x 90 pt. Paramount). HAWTHORNE comes in with a +5.12 JUI and complements this with huge Cheese Merit Dollars (CM$) of +584. In the number two spot, 1JE00806 TORONTO fits in with a +5.06 JUI. TORONTO hails from one of the most popular cow families of the breed with TORONTO’s dam being Heartland Nathan Texas-ET, EX-95%. When highlighting JUI, 1JE00654 ALLSTAR has to be mentioned. With over 300 daughters scored in his type proof, ALLSTAR keeps climbing on his JUI ranking and comes in at +4.51 with 96% reliability.

When looking at the Genex active sire listing, post August 2013 proofs, we boast an impressive JUI across all active sires of +2.85. Our GenChoice™ active lineup comes in just a hair under +3.00 JUI (+2.97) and carries an industry leading total number of available sires as well as elite pedigree diversity. As with any index, JUI should be used as one tool in the bigger picture of fitting your genetic needs.

Author Leah James is our U.S. Jersey Marketing Manager.  James grew up on a family dairy farm and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education. She has since worked within the artificial insemination industry and for the American Jersey Cattle Association. Today, she and her husband also operate a 125-cow dairy consisting of registered Holsteins, Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How Genetic Recessives Work

Recently the American Angus Association announced the discovery of a genetic condition known as Developmental Duplication (DD). The condition is thought to be inherited as a simple recessive. In the case of DD, animals that are born affected by the condition are relatively rare as most DD affected pregnancies result in early embryonic death. Developmental Duplication is not the first genetic condition to be discovered in recent years, nor will it be the last. The discovery of DD has caused quite a lot of press in the past couple of weeks, and even some panic among breeders. For this reason I think it is important to step back and review how simple recessives work and how with a carefully managed breeding program you can avoid seeing affected animals in your herd.


A calf exhibiting the affects of Developmental Duplication.

Before we begin a discussion of genetic recessives it is important to understand a little bit about genetics and inheritance of genes. Phenotype is the external appearance of an animal. For instance, an animal’s phenotype would include coat color. Genotype refers to the actual genes that an animal has or the animal’s genetic make-up. Traits are the result of at least one pair of genes, one of the genes being inherited from an individual’s mother; the other is inherited from an individual’s father. When both genes in a pair are the same, they are called homozygous genes. If they are different they are known as heterozygous genes. Sometimes one of the genes in a pair is dominate over the other gene (recessive). When this happens the gene that is dominate is the gene that is expressed as an individual’s phenotype, even if the individual’s genotype is heterozygous for that trait/condition. The only way the recessive gene is expressed is if an individual has two copies of the recessive gene. It is important to note, that even though we often talk about genetic recessives in a negative context, such as the case with DD, a recessive is not necessarily negative or lethal. In cattle other examples of recessives include coat color (black being dominate to red) and horned/polled condition (polled being dominate to horned).

In the case of developmental duplication, and other simple recessive conditions, there are two possible phenotypes that an animal can have and three possible genotypes. The two possible phenotypes are a completely normal looking animal not affected by the condition and an animal that is affected by the condition resulting in either early pregnancy loss or possibly a calf born with extra limbs. The genotypes that can be expected are:
  • DD – or an animal that receives a copy of the gene from both its mother and its father that is free of the mutation
  • Dd – this animal’s outward appearance is totally normal and healthy, however they carry one copy of the gene that carries the mutation, an animal with this genotype is referred to as a carrier as they can pass on the mutated gene to their offspring without being affected themselves
  • dd – this is an affected animal, the copies of the gene that it received from both its mother and its father carry the developmental duplication mutation.

The question becomes how can you best manage developmental duplication in your herd? The first option is going to be the most time consuming and costly. You can genetically test all the cows in your herd that are potential carriers for DD (the American Angus Association recently announced the release of a commercially available test for DD by Zoetis, read about it here) and cull those cows from your herd. Then make sure that all A.I. and herd sires you use are free of the genetic defect as well. For many people this will be the way they choose to manage and eliminate the developmental duplication gene from their herd.

The mating of a bull with a genotype of DD to a cow with a genotype of DD results in all potential offspring having the DD genotype.

The other option is a carefully managed breeding program. Since we know that in order to get an affected calf both the mother and father must be carriers you can choose to not test any of your cows that are potential carriers if you only use bulls that are non-carriers. If you would still like to use bulls that are carriers, you need to avoid breeding a carrier bull to any cows that are potential carriers or test your cows and avoid breeding carriers to carriers.

The mating of a bull with a genotype of DD to a cow that is a carrier of the condition (genotype Dd) will result in 50% of their potential offspring having a genotype of DD and 50% of their potential offspring being carriers for the condition with the genotype Dd.  None of their potential offspring will be affected by the condition.

The mating of a carrier bull (genotype Dd) to a carrier cow will result in 25% of their potential offspring having a genotype of DD, 50% of their potential offspring being carriers for the condition with the genotype Dd, and 25% of their potential offspring being affected by the condition with a genotype of dd.  This mating should be avoided.

Whatever your method of managing developmental duplication or other genetic conditions in your herd you can be assured that Genex will continue provide you with high quality semen, from bulls whose carrier status we know, so that you can make informed breeding decisions. In this age of genomic testing this is certainly not the last new genetic condition that will be documented so knowing all your options for managing them in your herd is essential.


Author, Sarah Thorson, is our Beef Education Manager. Sarah grew up in Eastern Montana on her family's ranch. She is a graduate of Montana State University and has been a member of the Genex team since 2004. Sarah works closely with the Genex Beef Marketing Staff, providing training to the cooperative's nearly 200 Independent Contractors. She also provides Artificial Insemination training for Genex members and customers and reproductive consulting.