Beef Buzz News
Research from CSU and AHA will Allow Cattle Producers using Hereford Genetics the Opportunity to be More Sustainable
Wed, 20 Jul 2022 09:26:22 CDT
The American Hereford Association is partnering with Colorado State University in the Ag Next research collaborative to study the vast database of genetic information of Herefords to find sustainable ways to improve the breed. Senior Farm and Ranch Director, Ron Hays, features comments from Chief Executive Officer of the AHA, Jack Ward, and Chief Operating Officer of the AHA, Shane Bedwell, talking about the exciting possibilities of this research.
“We certainly understand the importance of this research and the effect it will have on multiple different parts of our industry,” Ward said. “Obviously, the American Cattlemen has been tremendous in their ability to produce more with less. We raise more beef with fewer cows than any of our competitors around the world.”
Although cattle are natural up cyclers, Ward said research to increase efficiency from a genetic standpoint is critical with the growing world population and depleting natural resources such as land.
“It is going to take a lot of components,” Ward said. “Over time, we definitely documented the value of Hereford genetics in commercial cow herds in terms of fertility and longevity. We have done a tremendous amount of research in collecting individual phenotypes for feed intake.”
Fertility, longevity, and feed intake, Ward said, are all important when it comes to sustainability as we move forward in the industry. This research, he added, lets consumers know that cattle producers using Hereford genetics have the opportunity to be more sustainable.
Chief operating officer of the American Hereford Association, Shane Bedwell, says that the data that has been collected over the years offers an incredible story of sustainability.
“A more fertile cow is a more sustainable cow,” Bedwell said. “The beauty with the Hereford Association and specifically Hereford genetics is all the research that has been done by the association and the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in feed efficiency, specifically.”
The U.S. Meat Animal Research Center found nearly a two-pound advantage in intake, Bedwell said, favoring the straight Hereford steer compared to the other breeds that were compared in that study. That really adds up and makes a huge difference on feed conversion, he added.
“Dr. (Dave) Lalman at Oklahoma State University showed the same advantage in comparing the F1 female, a good baldy, to the straight bred black female,” Bedwell said. “A two-pound advantage in intake in those cows on a pasture-based diet.”
When you start adding up all the things that the F1 female can do, Bedwell said it fits into a great sustainability story.
“The association has evolved over time, and we continue to document the research and the advantages that Hereford brings to the table,” Bedwell said. “It all adds up to a great testimonial for the breed.”
Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Jack Ward and Shane Bedwell on the Hereford breed’s role in the Ag Next research collaborative’s studies in genetic sustainability.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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