Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back talking with the Executive Vice President of the American Hereford Association, Jack Ward, about technology in the beef industry.
While genomic technology has been used frequently at the seedstock level, Ward said he sees potential for growth in the commercial industry and the feedlot sector to identify what kind of cattle and genetics will work best to reach the desired end-product that meets consumer demand.
The American Hereford Association put on a Junior Feed-Out program last year, Ward said, as it has given youth the chance to gain industry knowledge from all parts of the beef production chain. This program was opened up to commercial cattlemen as well, Ward said, and 1500 head of cattle on feed were genotyped, sire-identified and used for genetic evaluation.
“We track these cattle all the way through and were able to provide information not only about the cattle, but also about where the cattle came from, the husbandry practices of those people…,” Ward said.
Some of the main goals of tracking this information, Ward said, are to provide the industry with identified genetics that are useful to the industry and to share a story with the producer.
Today, a third set of cattle is on feed in Nebraska, Ward said, and individual feed intake is collected, along with methane excretion, nitrogen excretion, and more. The project continues to focus on where the Hereford breed fits in the commercial industry, Ward added, and where it can fit in terms of sustainability.
From a genetic standpoint, Ward said the American Hereford Association is working to create a way to measure methane emissions as an EPD. While delivering a product of value to the consumer is a top priority, Ward emphasized a focus on continued profit for ranchers.
“It is a wonderful business, and it is changing all the time,” Ward said. “It is exciting and keeps us all interested in what we are doing.”
To listen to Part 1 of Ron’s conversation with Jack Ward, CLICK HERE.
Herefords will be showing at Cattlemen’s Congress Wednesday through Saturday of this week. To see the complete schedule of everything happening at the fourth Cattlemen’s Congress, CLICK HERE.
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.