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At Express Ranch, they strive for the very best in cattle. In the past several years breeders have made strides by looking at the genomic data of the cattle they are breeding, and bulls they are using for breeding. Jarold Calahan of Express Ranches said all the bulls they sell, and all the cattle they have at Express do have genomically enhanced EPD's, "Real simply that means that we pull blood on each one of those calves, and that indicates that animals genomics, their genetic tabulation, and their ability to transmit those genetics to their offspring."
Calahan said that's essential for bull buyers because it gives them added confidence in what they are buying. Still, you don't really have to study the individual percentiles on those genomics. Calahan says all you really need to do is look at the EPD's, " All that information flows into that singular numerical value for each EPD. You don't have to worry about the percentile, in terms of what that animal did on genomics. The American Angus Association has tried to boil this down so that it's easy to use for the commercial cattlemen, and all they really have to do is analyze the EPD's, and figure out what he is looking for in his individual operation."
The Express Ranches spring bull sale is coming up on March 6th. They have over 509 Angus and 51 Hereford bulls to sell. Calahan says the goal is to supply the customers with what they need, "Bob (Funk) has always supplied the resources here that if we identify genetics that we don't own, we've had the opportunity to go try to obtain those genetics and put them back in our breeding operation. We're really proud of this set of bulls. Each year we try to make them better. We try to use a lot of common sense, and we still think that even with all the science and technology, we have to produce problem-free bulls for the people that buy them."
Calahan went onto say that is important that the bulls have the right disposition, they are good on their feet and legs, and they breed cows without problems, "A problem bull for whatever reason, whether it's fertility, whether its disposition, whether he gets out all time, that's a bull that nobody wants. So we try to produce problem-free cattle, with the added benefits, with as much growth, and carcass and calving ease that we can get in those cattle."
Calahan says production agriculture is always a challenge. Still, he's excited about the future, "I think that we have the potential to make cattle better and better that not only have the convenience traits but also add more value. The demand for high-quality beef domestically and internationally is as good as it's ever been. I think one of the reasons it is that good is because we have increased the quality of the product, we have increased the eating satisfaction. I think that's why we see the demand for high-quality beef in the US and around the world. We've led that charge here in the United States, with the Angus breed in particular. As you see emerging economies around the world, in those countries, the demand for beef is really really high, and the demand for US beef, because of its quality, I think will continue to increase."
Click the listen bar below to hear the complete interview with Jarold Calahan at Expres Ranch.
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