Genetic Improvement Climbs Higher as Data Collection from Ranchers Increases

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Dr. Esther Tarpoff about data collection to improve the herd.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with the Director of Performance Programs at the American Angus Association, Dr. Esther Tarpoff, about data collection to improve the cow herd.

Working with Angus breeders across the country, Tarpoff said a large portion of her focus is on data collection. Data collected, Tarpoff added, includes information such as birth weights and weaning weights.

“We are taking that information; we worked hand in hand with AGI, Angus Genetics Incorporated, to then produce the EPDs that Angus members get back on their registered Angus cattle,” Tarpoff said.

There are many opportunities, Tarpoff said, to collect phenotypes and make selection tools for Angus members and their customers. With many ways to collect that information, Tarpoff recommends starting small.

“Do what you can,” Tarpoff said. “Do what you are comfortable with to start and do what you can do well.”

Tarpoff also talked about genomically enhanced EPDs.

“We are very fortunate to be able to use those for sure in the Angus industry, but in the entire beef industry to make better selection for those calves early in their life,” Tarpoff said.

The reason the genomically enhanced EPDs are a great resource today, Tarpoff said, is because of the dedication of Angus members collecting phenotypes for the last 50 years.

Improving the overall quality of the herd, Tarpoff said, depends on many factors, including breeding objectives and operation. Regardless of the goal of the operation, Tarpoff said the variety of EPDs available today makes it easier for producers to reach their goals.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR 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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