Volume 11, Issue 3
INSIDE... Value-Enhancement Opportunities Exist for Beef Producers Identify the market outlet that will reward your efforts at exceeding customer expectations.
Combined Effort to Integrate DNA Technology Limousin breeders are part of a pilot project to reduce selection risk by combining genetic markers with phenotypes and pedigrees.
Cattle Industry Anticipates GenomeAssisted Selection DNA-marker panels are ushering in a new era for beef production.
Multibreed Evaluation Generates New EPDs Pedigree and performance records for more than 2 million Limousin animals combine with improved hereditary ties to Angus seedstock to enhance genetic predictions.
Bottom Line is published three times per year by the North American Limousin Foundation, 7383 S. Alton Way, Suite 100, Centennial, Colorado 80112; (303) 220-1693; fax: (303) 220-1884; www.nalf.org Dir. of Member & Commercial Relations Frank Padilla, Ext. 123 Dir. of Performance Programs Lauren Hyde, Ph.D., Ext. 140 Dir. of Communications Brad Parker, Ext. 117
1 Breed Offers 2 Brand Options By Kent Andersen Few would argue the favorable effects branded programs like Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) and Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB) have had on their respective breeds. Beyond the benefits of establishing brand recognition among consumers, those programs have linked seedstock and commercial producers with feeders, packers and retailers – helping to give end-product direction to breeding and management. The greatest benefit of those programs, however, has been increased demand and prices for calves from those breeds.
Challenges, Opportunities Establishment of such breed-based, industrywide, branded beef programs historically has come with substantial risk and sizeable investments of time and capital – not to men-
tion the regulatory hurdles regarding breed claims. Among other challenges, pursuit of mass-market brand identity means costeffective orchestration of year-round supply of cattle and product that matches growth and fluctuations in consumer demand. Consequently, breed-based, mass-market, branded beef identity is exceedingly difficult to achieve outside the established, well-funded, large, geographically diverse populations (breeds) of cattle. Recognizing the potential value of having Limousin genetics linked to premium branded programs, the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) has developed formal partnerships with two nationally recognized brands – Laura’s Lean Beef (LLB) and Strauss Brands – over the past two years. NALF’s pricontinued on page 7
Value-Enhancement Opportunities Exist for Beef Producers By Doug McKinney There are numerous opportunities available in the beef industry for producers to add value to their calf crops. We create value by enhancing a product or service to meet or exceed consumers’ expectations consistently. In terms of beef producers, value results when they implement production practices to increase market demands for their cattle. Value-added marketing of cattle has received much attention in recent years. Progressive producers are capitalizing on opportunities to increase income by securing a better price for calves that have added value. Value might be in the form of weaning, various management practices implemented to improve health and performance, source and age verifications, documented genetics, or such documented production practices as “natural” or “organic.” Documenting the value-enhancing characteristics is a necessary step in that process. The final step in adding value is to establish or identify a market outlet that rewards the added value.
Verifications Various market, food-safety and national security issues have resulted in opportunities for early adopters to benefit from participating in value-added beef marketing and management programs. There are several value-enhancement
opportunities available to beef cattle producers, such as health-management, age, source, production-system and genetic verifications. Health-management verification is one form of value enhancement in which producers might want to participate. Improper management practices, particularly before marketing, lead to a high frequency of sickness among calves. Preconditioning is a general term referring to management practices occurring around weaning time that are associated with improving health and performance afterward. Preconditioning programs involve a series of management practices on the ranch designed to improve the health and nutrition of feeder calves, thereby reducing the stress associated with shipping calves at weaning and their arrival at a new environment. Preconditioning strengthens calves’ immune systems and improves performance in postweaning segments of the industry. Age and source verifications became important with the Japanese export agreement and mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL). Those two programs both will require a set of verification procedures for cattle producers to follow. Age verification is the ability to determine and verify an animal’s age at any point throughout the production system, including postharvest. Source verification is the ability to
trace beef back to the farm or ranch where the calf was born. duction protocols (including those for vaccinations, rations Producers cannot meet the standards for age verification and other forms of management), recordkeeping and the purwithout first meeting the requirements for source verification. chase price of feeder cattle. Either a process-verified program (PVP) or a quality-system Vaccinations for certain conditions – for example, bovine assessment (QSA) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture respiratory disease (BRD) – are critical to animals’ health and (USDA) validates age- and source-verification claims. well-being when the use of antibiotics is not allowed. Illness PVPs provide the beef industry with the ability is costly to a natural program because it requires to make marketing claims about beef attributes treatment, which usually disqualifies a calf for the beyond age and source verifications, but nearly all “natural” label. PVPs include age and source verifications. Other Premiums in natural programs vary tremendousattributes might include specific genetics, feeding ly. In 2008, they ranged from nothing to $20 per hunpractices, animal welfare, environmental producdredweight. Some programs offer other incentives, tion aspects and other claims that otherwise are such as guaranteed premiums and transportation difficult to verify by visual inspection. assistance. There are opportunities to receive preQSA is a type of USDA program that has a narmiums in branded beef programs that are available rower scope and is less complex than PVPs. USDA to beef cattle producers. Like other value-added developed QSA programs in 2004 primarily to qualiprograms, however, there never is a guarantee. fy beef for export. The only beef attributes verifiDifferent from “natural” beef, certified organic able through a QSA program are age, source and Doug McKinney beef comes from a fully verifiable production sys“natural.” tem that collects information about the history of Genetic verification is growing in demand because beef every animal – including the breed history, veterinary care breed associations have taken a proactive role in promoting and feed. Furthermore, the cattle must never have received their particular breeds within the industry. Associations will antibiotics, growth-promoting hormones or animal byprodassist producers by providing services that will enable access ucts, and they must be born and raised with humane treatto source, age and process verifications; genetics; and manment on certified organic pasture and only “organically” agement practices. Breed associations also provide marketing grown feeds and hay. USDA has put in place a set of national assistance to producers in locating and establishing markets standards for food labeled “organic.” for their cattle based on specific genetic characteristics. Despite the restrictions, raising cattle naturally has some The beef industry currently is undergoing a marketing revadvantages. Meat processors identify “natural” beef as a higholution. We are selling less beef as a commodity and marketer value product for consumers in some markets. Getting into ing more of it based on specific characteristics. the natural beef niche market has been a success for national Production-system verification resulted because branded companies like Laura’s Lean Beef (LLB) and Strauss Brands. beef programs have grown tremendously over the past 10 They are marketing to specialty food purveyors and major years and increasingly are resulting in price premiums for food outlets. producers who can provide cattle that excel in a given proFamiliarity gram’s carcass specifications. Two such companies, U.S. PreNatural production has grown during the past decade mium Beef (USPB) and the Iowa Quality Beef Supply because of consumers’ interest in meat. The first step in Network (IQBSN), reported an average of about $21 per head deciding if you should participate in a natural beef production greater than the cash market during fiscal year (FY) 2004. program (or any other value-enhancement program) is to Naturally familiarize yourself with its protocols, which usually are For example, producers can take advantage of the growing available on its Web site. Also look for information from a demand for “natural” beef. Each program is different, having variety of sources – including Extension personnel, private its own set of production requirements. To qualify for a natutechnical consultants, veterinarians, agricultural organizaral program, you cannot use growth promotants or antibiotics tions and breed associations. or feed animal byproducts. You should contact the program to become familiar with its requirements. About the author: Doug McKinney is a beef cattle valueWhen considering a natural beef program, there are severenhancement specialist at Oklahoma State University, Stillal variables to consider, such as the market, the specific prowater. LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
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“They Said It”
Compiled by Frank Padilla
I like to feed halfblood Limousin heifers. They can weigh 1,300 pounds and have a high dressing percentage. When you are looking at some of the premiums we are trying to get, extra weight and high yield mean more dollars. I have no problem getting Limousin-cross cattle to grade Choice. John Wubbenhorst, KCC Feeders, Minden, Neb.
Our experience using Limousin bulls on heifers and mature cows has been positive. We have had few problems. We select deep-bodied, heavy-muscled bulls with low birth weight and high growth. Tom Christensen, Bauer Farms, Van Meter, Iowa
I like Limousin genetics for the leanness, feed conversion and moderate size they bring to a crossbreeding system now that we have more depth of body and capacity in them. Those are the areas where Limousin and LimFlex® genetics give us a big boost. The hybrids fit our harsh environment well. Like most of the herds in the United States, we became too straightbred in our program. John Raftopoulos, Diamond Peak Cattle Co., Craig, Colo.
We do not use implants in the finishing phase. That might cost us a little in our percentage of Yield Grades 1 and 2, but we feel we are making up the difference with the increased percentage of Choice cattle. We also feel the inherent feed efficiency and performance of our Limousin genetics compensate for anything that might have been lost without implants. Genetically, we are on the right track to take full advantage of many of today’s grids that pay premiums for superior carcass traits. Todd Frank, Frank Farms, Kirk, Colo.
Case-ready and value-added products have us looking for genetics that have high muscle, low fat, and ribeyes that are not too big or too small. Limousin genetics allow us to hit those targets. Butch Jochim, Diamond V Ranch, Selfridge, N.D.
Old myths of Limousin compared to genetics of today can be frustrating. Today’s Limousin cattle have changed considerably. They have more milk, more rib, and they work well for us. Through the years, we have paid particular attention to our selection process, monitoring bloodlines and studying performance, pedigree and available genetic evaluation material. Nick Klintworth, Klintworth Cattle, Moorefield, Neb.
Balanced-trait cattle that produce reasonably high quality and yield grades, without many outliers, such as heavies and dark cutters, are the easiest pathway to consistent grid premiums. It is not that difficult to do. Just match up the right genetics with a healthy dose of both marbling and muscling. … Our recommendation for a good-feeding, good-grading, good-yielding animal is a combination of 25 percent to 50 percent Continental (for example, Limousin) and 50 percent to 75 percent Angus genetics. Those cattle bring the balance needed to succeed both in the feedyard and on the grid. Tom Brink, JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding
Limousin–Angus crossbred genetics allow me to feed cattle that will gain, have enough pay weight and a high dressing percentage, quality grade and feed conversion, while keeping them natural without implants. Fred Whacker, Cross Four Ranch, Miles City, Mont.
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
Limousin and Lim-Flex® cattle are showing great promise in the world of residual feed-intake (RFI) testing. Rarely do we run across a breed test with any numbers in which Limousin bulls do not have the lowest or one of the lowest average RFI scores relating to feed efficiency. Kent Abele, Green Springs Bull Test, Nevada, Mo.
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1 Breed Offers 2 Brand Options continued from page 1 mary role in those partnerships is supply-chain development. That mainly includes identifying suppliers of Limousin-influenced calves and assisting with their procurement and associated documentation for genetic and process verifications. Ultimately, the breed’s success (or failure) in helping those brands grow the pool of available supply largely falls on the shoulders of commercial Limousin producers like you, and it directly relies on your insisting upon proper ownership transfers of registered Limousin and Lim-Flex® bulls. Registration transfers make NALF more efficient in locating your calves when they genetically qualify for the bids and price premiums those companies are offering. The NALF partnerships with LLB and Strauss Brands offer the potential to circumvent most of the demands on time, capital, and human and entrepreneurial resources required for Because of variation a breed association to in the ideal calves for reap many of the benLaura’s Lean Beef as efits of national brand compared to Strauss identity in the marketBrands, place. What is more, the two programs with growth in demand from other are as synergistic as entities for “natural” they are competitive. and “mainstream” cattle that can be used to produce nutritious, healthy, tender, affordable beef products efficiently, the sky is the limit if you truly commit yourself to working with your seedstock suppliers to produce, manage and market your Limousin-influenced calves.
Synergies Because of variation in the ideal calves for LLB as compared to Strauss Brands, the two programs are as synergistic as they are competitive. The LLB target consists of three-quarters (75 percent) or more Limousin breed composition, with emphasis on muscularity and leanness to hit generous grid premiums for Select and leaner carcasses in the Yield Grade (YG) 1 range. Strauss Brands prefers a more intermediate proportion of Limousin breed composition – about one-half (50 percent) – with an equitable blend of muscularity and fleshiness to optimize retail-product yield, lean color, rib feathering and flank streaking (indicators of veal palatability). The tandem of programs represents marketing opportunities for the calves of registered and transcontinued on page 8 LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
Sittin’ Down With Scott Coakley The North American Limousin Foundation’s (NALF’s) Frank Padilla sat down with Scott Coakley, vice president of cattle procurement at Laura’s Lean Beef Co. (LLB), to visit about America’s most successful, natural, lean-beef company, which markets fresh meat in more than 5,800 grocery stores nationwide. FP: You have had a lot of experience at procuring cattle for natural programs. Share your personal history. SC: I grew up in northeastern Colorado in a large corporation called Ceres. Ceres ran 10,000 mother cows and had three feedyards with a 15,000-head capacity. I started working for my father at Coleman Natural Meats in 1990. My responsibilities were to gather inventory and paperwork and to line up the kill each week. When my father retired in 2007, I was Scott Coakley able to move up the ladder to his position as vice president of cattle procurement. Coleman Natural Meats sold to Meyer Natural Angus (MNA) in June 2008. In October 2008, I started working for LLB as vice president of fed cattle and recently moved to vice president of cattle procurement. I currently have nine cattle buyers who cover all of the United States and three Canadian provinces. The natural claims have stayed constant, but the cattle genetics have spun around completely. I love a challenge and look forward to working with everyone in the Limousin breed. FP: Tell us about the LLB business model. How long has LLB been in business? How is it different than most? SC: The business model is to produce lean, heavily muscled cattle to fill a niche for consumers who want low-fat, low-cholesterol protein that also is antibiotic- and hormone-free. LLB has been in business for more than 24 years and is as strong and profitable as ever. We are working on some new things – like identifying cattle that have the F94L tenderness gene. LLB is expanding on that idea to guarantee the consumer will have a great eating experience. There also is a program that will use Lim-Flex® cattle, recognizing that those animals probably are the most versatile in today’s industry. LLB and MNA are identifying and contracting Lim-Flex cattle and are developing a program that will sort them to fit the appropriate program. The heavily muscled cattle will go to LLB, and the Lim-Flex animals that tend to grade Choice or Prime will go to MNA. There will be some cattle that cannot be identified visually so they will be DNA-tested for marbling and sent to the program that best suits them. Bob Meyer (owner of MNA and LLB), a longtime Red Angus breeder, and John Tobe (CEO and former co-owner of LLB), a longtime Limousin breeder, are working together to develop more red Lim-Flex animals. The offspring of that combined venture will supply both programs. continued on page 8
1 Breed Offers 2 Brand Options continued from page 7 ferred Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls that range in age and weight from 5 months and 400 pounds to 22 months and finished weights of 1,200 or more pounds. Limousin genetics are vital to the success of those branded programs. The combination of production efficiency, retail-product yield, tenderness and healthfulness is unmatched by any other breed. Because those programs (not to mention the various “mainstream” markets) prefer slightly different amounts of Limousin breed composition and your herd is not exactly like your neighbor’s herd, genetically speaking, you should work with your seedstock suppliers to utilize properly the diversified product offering that spans the range of fullbloods, purebreds and Lim-Flex hybrids.
Good for All Ownership transfers of registered Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls open the doors of opportunity for you to become part of a supply chain and reap the full benefits of using Limousin genetics. There is no better way to add value to your calves than by adding value to the products they will produce for the end consumer. It is up to you to work proactively with your seedstock suppliers and NALF to put the power of those branded programs to work for you. NALF intends to dedicate staff and informational resources to help LLB and Strauss Brands assertively increase the number of cattle and producers to supply their programs. Frank Padilla, NALF’s director of member and commercial relations, is leading that effort and is the primary contact for additional information. Let him know about your available feeder cattle and cull bulls for sale. With two branded opportunities and an increasingly friendly mainstream market, you now have substantial prospects to grow demand for your Limousin-influenced calves. About the author: Kent Andersen, Ph.D., was the executive vice president for NALF. He resigned July 1 to become an associate director for Pfizer Animal Genetics.
Sittin’ Down With Scott Coakley continued from page 7 FP: What has been the growth for LLB over the past several years? SC: Over the last three to five years, LLB has grown more than 30 percent. The growth has come from all sides of the business – cattle, production and sales. I think some of the most exciting growth has come from our alliances with Weight Watchers, Good House Keeping and Healthy Heart. I hope, with the new alliance with NALF, LLB can increase its supply of Limousin and Lim-Flex cattle. That will help meet the needs of our growing demand. FP: Do you see the market continuing to grow for LLB products? What are the biggest obstacles in growing the market more? SC: Even in these difficult economic times, LLB has seen an increase in market share by increased sales and retail growth. By using the Internet (specifically, Twitter and Facebook), LLB has been able to keep its loyal consumers informed about new products and discount coupons. I see the biggest challenge to growth is finding the more heavily muscled cattle that the program requires. If we can find the cattle, the demand is there for us to continue to grow the brand. FP: How does the LLB program create value-added marketing opportunities for commercial cattle producers? SC: It does that by paying premiums for finished cattle and mature bulls. We calculate feeder cattle into our partner feedyards with a breakeven spreadsheet. It is our policy to have 50 percent of the cattle priced at a fixed contract and the other 50 percent at a premium to the market for the week of harvest. That gives the producers risk protection and an advantage if the market moves up during the feeding stage. The natural premiums to the market usually range from 10 to 12 cents greater than the five-state average. At harvest, carcasses receive bonuses or discounts over the 10 to 12 cents, according to the grid. The leaner and more muscular cattle receive bigger bonuses. Our average finisher bonus is 4 cents. Cowcalf producers are eligible for bonuses even if they do not retain ownership to harvest. The bonus will be 35 percent of the finisher bonus, unless the producers use F94L-verified bulls; in that case, the bonus will increase to 50 percent. LLB purchases mature, Continental bulls on a weekly basis for a premium. LLB pays for trucking to harvest. FP: What criteria must cattle meet to enter the program? SC: Producers must raise the cattle without growth hormones or antibiotics from birth. Cattle must be vaccinated and weaned 30 to 45 days. They must be in truckload-lots, and we can use a combination of several producers to make loads. Finally, the cattle must be a minimum of 75 percent Continental bloodlines. FP: What advice would you give to producers who want to have the greatest success (in terms of financial reward) for their cattle in your program? SC: Stay focused on a long-range plan, and keep a connection to the end user so you can adjust your production to fit a specific market. We are here to help producers be more profitable and sustainable. There are free resources available from NALF and LLB, and producers need to utilize the expertise of those two organizations.
BREEDER SPOTLIGHT NORTH CENTRAL REGION BREEDERS
Want to advertise in the BREEDER SPOTLIGHT section? It’s easy! Call Frank Padilla at 303-220-1693 for all the details.
Straight Limousin 2173 Morgan Ave. * Logan, Iowa 51546 712-648-2180 * 712-592-1350 (Jay’s cell)
Austin, Leah, Bailee & Pitch Hager 4651 2nd Ave. NE Karlsruhe, ND 58744 (701) 525-6363 ■ (701) 626-2345 mobile
Jay & Lori Straight * Jordan & Jackson Jamie, Scott & Brayton Myer Jenelle & Adam Klein
www.straightlimousin.com Production Sale Last Friday In March
Your visit to the ranch is always welcome!
Leonard Wulf & Sons
LC IH M O U S HI N RA NCH A R L E S U N T F A M I L Y
47694 320th St. * Morris, MN 56267 Farm (320) 392-5802 * Fax (320) 392-5504 Jerry Wulf (320) 392-5988 Jim Wulf (320) 392-5966 10 miles south of Morris on Hwy 59
PRIVATE TREATY SALES • Bulls • Females • Semen
10329 Highway 136 · Oxford, NE 68967 Dan Hunt · cell 308-991-3373 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.huntlimousin.com
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION BREEDERS
Lonely Valley Limousin
Your Homozygous Headquarters
PUREBRED AND ANGUS COMPOSITE BREEDING FOR 20 YEARS
Hiram and Darenda ◆ 806/375-2346 Bret, Hayley, McKinley & Boone ◆ 806/375-2345 Box 110, Allison, Texas 79003 email@example.com ◆ www.begertranch.com
Annual Bull Sale last Monday of February Stan, Mike, Mark, Dean and Chad Settje Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org Chad (402) 285-9013 • Dean (402) 783-2105 560th Ave. • Creston, NE 68631
Charles Linhart: (641) 340-1306 David Linhart: (641) 446-6906
A large number of breeding-age bulls available. Trophy hunts available (deer, quail & turkey).
C a t t l e Yo u C a n Tr u s t . . . P e o p l e Yo u C a n Tr u s t
Jimmy Ridings ~ Owner 1912 CR 4120 ~ Meridian, TX 76665
Linhart Limousin When in the market for
top-quality genetics, give us a call.
Phone: (254) 597-0044 www.colonialoaksranch.com
27195 175th St. Leon, IA 50144 www.linhartlimousin.com
21314 OSR Madisonville, TX 77864 Mobile (281) 808-3473 Home (903) 344-2331 www.counsilfamilylimousins.com
Jim & Priscilla Schott 27601 108th St. McLaughlin, SD 57642 email@example.com
BQA II Certified Herd Certified Brucellosis and TB Free Your call or visit is welcome
6 0 5 - 8 2 3 - 4 9 74
“Breedin’ the Bob Mitchell Family • 48715 Hilldale Road • Wauzeka, WI 53826 Bob – 608-875-5049 • Bob (mobile) – 608-553-0971 • Matt – 608-553-1251 Bart – 608-553-8070 • Scott – 608-553-8069 • www.springcreekscattleco.com
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
Davis Limousin Ranch
Brad, Norma & Blair Davis 12500 Hwy. 279 • Brownwood, TX 76801 325/784-5071 • 325/784-7674 fax 325/647-7681 cell • firstname.lastname@example.org
De Ma r Fa rm s “Unparalleled black Limousin genetics”
10510 CR 1100 • Wolfforth, TX 79382 Leonard & Betty Keeton 806-866-9440 LLKT@door.net
Lyle & Shana Keeton fax: 806-866-9441 806-866-9049 BULLS • CLUB CALVES • HEIFERS
LAWRENCE FAMILY LIMOUSIN
Joe & Margaret Hoot
630 VZ CR 4124 Canton, Texas 75103 (903) 829-8082 DeMarHome@aol.com
Bruce, Paula & Lee Roy Lawrence Johnny, Amber & Tucker Parkinson PO Box 299 ■ Anton, TX 79313 e-mail: email@example.com
AI and ET bulls for the commercial market
Ranch Manager (903) 292-9080
Your call or visit is always welcome.
Limousin cattle raised with the commercial industry in mind.
2202 N 11TH STREET YUKON, OKLAHOMA BOB FUNK, OWNER 800-664-3977 405-350-0058 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Bull Sale 3rd Weekend in January ~ 125 Bulls Available 308 West Mill Plainville, KS 67663
Roger Comeau: (785) 434-4686
Mike Smith: (785) 885-4882
RANCH RAISED BULLS & HEIFERS FOR SALE
Fuhrmann Black Limousin BULLS AVAILABLE FOR SALE PRIVATELY AT THE RANCH
Roy Lee Fuhrmann 2335 FM 1200 • Gainesville, TX 76240 Roybull@earthlink.net Ranch – (940) 665-6985 Mobile – (940) 727-2452
JIM HCR 74, Box 146 Fort Davis, TX 79734-5005 (915) 426-3435 • fax (915) 426-3126
DYER “Se Hablo Spanglish” email@example.com
RIVERDALE RANCH Red & Black Limousin Registered & Commercial 3830 Huckleberry Road • West, MS 39192 Limousin & Lim-Flex Seedstock P.O. Box 1531 Camdenton, MO 65020
Jim Jolley, Manager
Owners: Daryl & Wally Cunningham
Committed to Excellence RED AND BLACK LIMOUSIN CATTLE
WIES LIMOUSIN RANCH WELLSVILLE, MO 63384
BOB & EUVONNE WIES
Gene & Virginia Raymond Arne & Stacy Hanson (785) 448-3708 (785) 448-6142 “THE BRAND OF BREEDER RESPECT AND COMMERCIAL APPEAL”
Visit For Quality Limousin Genetics You Can Count On
9700 Slaughterville Rd. Lexington, Oklahoma 73051
405/527-7648 firstname.lastname@example.org Edna Manning 405/306-1316 cell
Judy Bugher 405/306-1315
J.W. Snyder 405/306-5202
“What’s New” at www.NALF.org to find a list of this fall’s special Limousin-influenced feeder-calf sales.
WESTERN REGION BREEDERS Coleman Limousin Ranch, Inc. 53717 Gallagher Road Charlo, MT 59824 Larry & Anita Coleman (406) 644-2300 Trent & Melissa Coleman (406) 644-2707
Give us a call for more information about our private-treaty offerings of Limousin and Lim-Flex® genetics.
Conveniently located 60 miles northeast of Denver, CO.
Kevin & Julie Ochsner and family 30300 WCR 388 • Kersey, CO 80644 • H: 970-351-6008 • M: 970-396-5525 email@example.com
Annual Production Sale, Second Monday in April
45400 Road 21 Elizabeth, CO 80107
A.I. sired bulls and females available privately
Dave Berry 6845 SE King Road Port Orchard, WA 98367
(360) 769-0639 · (360) 871-3642 evenings Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joey Freund (303) 841-7901
(303) 840-1850 home (303) 341-9310 office
Pat Kelley (303) 840-1848
Q UALITY I N VOLUME
P.O. Box 30435 Billings, MT 59107
Limousin • Red & Black Angus Red & Black Angus Composites Select Seed Stock Producer
Gordon & Earline Schuppe Annual Bull Sale 1st Saturday in March Email: email@example.com
Joe Freund, Sr.
Raising Bulls For The Commercial Cattleman
25653 C.R. 63 Iliff, CO 80736-9625
R UNNING C REEK R ANCH
(970) 522-8195 (970) 580-8195
406/373-6016 (ranch) 406/373-6048 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors always welcome
Brad & Janet Waddle 440 Road 161 Pine Bluffs, WY 82082
BULLS AND FEMALES AVAILABLE AT THE RANCH
Call us about the bulls & females we have available privately.
EASTERN REGION BREEDERS Larry Smith 347 Davidson Road West Harrison, Indiana 47060 Evening: (812) 637-2303 Day: (513) 367-0218 www.loganhills.com
30849 CR 56 • Iliff, CO 80736 • email@example.com Les & Elaine Lewis • 970-362-4321 • Les Cell 970-630-1283 Mat & Wendy Lewis • 970-521-0545 • Mat Cell 970-580-8209
Limousin & Lim-Flex Bulls and Females for Sale Privately!
“Ranch Tested, Customer Approved”
Manager (812) 637-5554 Cell: (513) 616-8499
We Cater To Commercial Cattlemen
inerich Land and Cattle Co.
P.O. Box 190 • Platteville, Colorado 80651 Gary Magness, owner • Wendell Geeslin, manager (970) 785-0434 (home) • (970) 785-6170 (office) (303) 659-3822 (fax) • firstname.lastname@example.org
OWNER OFFICE: (859) 328-7118 FAX: (859) 328-7120 HOME: (859) 328-4104
2003 Barnes Mill Road
REGISTERED LIMOUSIN “Breeding Prime Cattle” email@example.com
Lance Sennett 491 E. 12000 S. Draper, Utah 84020 Bob Millerberg * (801) 566-4665 home * (801) 561-9911 office * (801) 673-9911 cell firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Millerberg * (801) 254-6610 home * (801) 303-6017 office * (801) 301-2953 cell
LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
RR 1 Box 82 • Waynetown, IN 47990 (765) 234-8506 Cell (765) 366-4894 email@example.com
Clark Sennett (765) 234-2621
Limousin Helps Integrate DNA Technology By Lauren Hyde In April, the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) Board of Directors voted to participate in a combined research effort. The other partners include the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC), the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), six major U.S. beef breed associations (Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Gelbvieh and Simmental), four universities (Kansas State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Nebraska) and one genomics company (Igenity). The Weight Trait Project (WTP) will study issues associated with integrating DNA technology into beef cattle breeding programs using early growth traits as a model. The WTP’s goal is to develop a genetic evaluation system to compute birth, weaning and yearling weight expected progeny differences (EPDs) using both genetic markers and traditional phenotypes and pedigrees with reduced risk (that is, improved accuracy) associated with selection. In the project, USMARC researchers will develop DNAmarker panels for birth, weaning and yearling weights for the seven breeds used in Cycle 7 of the USMARC Germplasm Evaluation (GPE) Program. Seedstock producers selected by their respective breed associations will submit DNA samples and birth, weaning and yearling data to Igenity. Igenity will process the DNA samples and use the results to estimate molecular breeding values (MBVs). Quantitative geneticists at USMARC and the University of Nebraska will combine the MBVs with producers’ pedigree and performance data to compute marker-assisted (MA) EPDs. Representatives from breed associations and Igenity
will work with the researchers to create an informationexchange system, refine the technology and mathematical models to develop MA-EPDs, and participate in producer-outreach programs. Participating Limousin breeders are Hunt Limousin Ranch, Oxford, Neb.; Running Creek Ranch, Elizabeth, Colo.; and Symens Brothers, Amherst, S.D. Those breeders, along with 18 producers from the six other breeds, all are located in the Northern Plains to minimize the effects of genotype-byenvironment interaction on the study. The 21 breeders will be collecting about 18,000 DNA samples on 2008 fall-born and 2009 spring-born calves and their dams. USMARC researchers will develop a DNA-test panel based on phenotypic data of GPE calves and apply it to DNA samples of male calves collected by the producers. That procedure will test the efficacy of DNA results across breeds and management systems. In addition, researchers will compare MBVs obtained from the DNA samples to the calves’ actual phenotypic performances and EPDs for birth, weaning and yearling weights and study different methods of incorporating DNA information into EPD calculations. A united industry is making the project possible with funding from the seven participating breed associations, Igenity and NBCEC. It is being conducted in collaboration with the Comparing Selection Tools for Beef Productivity Project led by Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D., an animal genomics and biotechnology Extension specialist at the University of California, Davis.
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Cattle Industry Anticipates Genome-Assisted Selection By Kent Andersen Historically, the primary function of breed associations’ performance programs has been to process pedigree and performance data and to provide expected progeny differences (EPDs). Breed associations typically compute EPDs twice per year on a multiple-trait, population basis. Timely inclusion of all available information from a variety of sources into EPDs and associated accuracy values has helped to simplify and empower selection by quantifying genetic merit into one most informative number (an EPD) for each trait.
Improved Accuracy The emergence of DNA-marker panels and associated molecular breeding values (MBVs) ushers in a new era for beef cattle production. Integration of that new information into the existing framework of breed associations’ performance programs and genetic evaluations should make producers’ adoption relatively seamless. Such integration, however, necessitates greater collaboration among breed associations, genomics companies, the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) and genetic-evaluation providers. (See the figure.) The integration of evolving genomics information likely is paramount to its most appropriate and profitable use. Beyond seedstock, genomics companies will extend application of molecular-based technologies to commercial cow-calf, feedyard and end-product customers. The prospect of a dozen or more traits evaluated separately by both traditional EPDs and by MBVs from one or more service providers would create potentially overwhelming ambiguity and confusion in selection and marketing. If MBVs for important economically relevant traits (ERTs) – not evaluated by EPDs – were not included in economic selection indexes and decision support, the industry would not realize their true value to selection. For traits evaluated by EPDs, appropriate incorporation of MBV information would eliminate ambiguity, enhance accuracy and reduce the possible change (or error) associated with the prediction. If companies establish the extent to which their specific genomics information enhances accuracies across traits, it is relatively straightforward for producers to decide if the investment in testing is worth the corresponding reduction in possible change. As a benchmark – assuming the integration of MBV information into the EPD increases accuracy for nonparents from 0.20 to 0.60 – the associated possible change drops by about one-half for most traits. For example, a weaning weight EPD with accuracy in the 0.2 range has a possible change of about ±12 pounds, which is reduced to just ±6 pounds with accuracy at the 0.6 level. Incorporating MBV information into the EPD also eliminates the confusion caused by having some genetic preLIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
dictions expressed as breeding values and others as progeny differences. (A progeny difference is half of a breeding value.) If nonparent bulls have MBV-enhanced EPDs with accuracies greater than 0.5 for most traits, producers could eliminate roughly half of the risk associated with nonparent sire selection. EPDs that are more accurate for nonparent sires would help to ensure their best use (as heifer bulls or specialized terminal sires, for example). Replacement females and cows with MBV-enhanced EPDs might be expected to have higher accuracies than what a lifetime of natural calves evaluated in competitive contemporary groups might achieve. Theoretically, that should result in a lifetime of better mating decisions if oriented toward defined selection objectives.
New Traits Genomics technology has begun to enable genetic evaluation of traits not traditionally quantified by EPDs. Typically, those characteristics are difficult, expensive or time-consuming to measure, but they are important ERTs. continued on page 15
Genetic-evaluation service providers: international, multibreed, genome-enhanced
National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) and associated entities (USMARC, universities, etc.): research, development, evaluation, software, validation, decision support, producer information
Beef breed associations’ performance programs: pedigree, performance, EPDs, selection indexes, decision tools
Seedstock producers: members of beef breed associations
Genomics companies: discovery, assembly, validation, information, delivery of diagnostics and consultancy services
Commercial cow-calf producers
Feeders, beef programs
Multibreed Evaluation Generates New EPDs By Brad Parker Expected progeny differences (EPDs) from the fall 2009 international Limousin genetic evaluation now are available through various features of the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) Web site (www.nalf.org). Pedigree and performance records for more than 2 million Limousin-based cattle in the United States and Canada underpin the latest sire summary, which includes more than 1,800 bulls. That is the third semiannual analysis for which Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) has calculated the Limousin breed’s EPDs and accuracies for birth, weaning and yearling weights; milking ability; and scrotal circumference. “Working with AGI offers some distinct advantages, especially for breeders and commercial users of Lim-Flex® genetics,” said Lauren Hyde, Ph.D., director of performance programs for NALF. “The improved hereditary ties to Angus seedstock make genetic predictions for Lim-Flex animals the most timely and reliable of any for Angus-influenced hybrid seedstock.” During its 40-year history in North America, upgrading of Limousin breed composition chiefly has occurred from Angus-based animals, Hyde added; therefore, more accurate accounting for past and present-day Angus genetics also enhances predictions for purebred and fullblood Limousin animals. “No other multibreed genetic evaluation in the world more thoroughly incorporates performance information from two populations of animals as does AGI’s work for NALF,” she said. In addition to EPDs for 13 economically relevant traits (direct calving ease, birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milking ability, maternal calving ease, scrotal circum-
Mainstream-Market Sire-Selection Guidelines Select Limousin and Lim-Flex® sires with • above-average weaning and yearling weight expected progeny differences (EPDs); • Mainstream Terminal Index ($MTI) values of +$45 or greater; • above-average EPDs for marbling and acceptable ribeye area; • genetics for carcass merit that complement your specific cows; • double-digit (>10) EPDs for docility; and • acceptable calving ease and birth weight EPDs, with special attention given if used on replacement heifers.
Muscle-Market Sire-Selection Guidelines Select Limousin and Lim-Flex sires with • above-average EPDs for weaning and yearling growth; • above-average EPDs for ribeye area and observed muscularity; • double-digit EPDs for docility; and • acceptable calving ease and birth weight EPDs, with special attention given if used on replacement heifers.
Sire-Selection Guidelines for Producing Replacement Females Select Limousin and Lim-Flex sires with • above-average EPDs for calving ease (both direct and maternal), birth weight, scrotal circumference, stayability and docility; and • milk EPDs, frame sizes and body types matched to your feed resources.
continued on page 15
Table. Fall 2009 Limousin Sire Summary Percentile Breakdowns, 2007- to 2009-Born Calves UPPER %
Multibreed Evaluation Generates New EPDs continued from page 14 ference, stayability, docility, carcass weight, ribeye area, yield grade and marbling score), NALF’s evaluation includes its 4year-old Mainstream Terminal Index ($MTI), which simplifies mating decisions by ranking animals for expected net economic merit through simultaneous consideration of many traits. $MTI combines information about calf survival, weaning and yearling weights, average daily gain (ADG) in the feedyard, feed intake, dressing percentage, yield grade, and marbling. Generally, $MTI values of +43 and greater rank animals in the top half of the breed for mainstream-market growth and carcass merit. (See the table on page 14.) “The EPDs and index predict genetic rankings among animals, and they are the most accurate predictors of genetic merit,” Hyde explained. “Our genetic evaluation provides Limousin breeders and their commercial customers with helpful selection tools for genetic improvement.” Tools on the NALF Web site that interface with the genetic evaluation include the Sire Selector, pedigree and EPD lookup, and the Limousin Exchange’s Bull Listing Service and Females for Sale components. The site’s “Genetic Evaluation” section includes the latest EPD statistics, percentiles and trends; sire-summary qualifications; general-sire listing; proven and young trait leaders; and downloadable sire summary. The fall edition also includes the breed’s list of Focus Dams, which are females with proven reproductive performance and producing ability.
Cattle Industry Anticipates Genome-Assisted Selection
Will you be selling Limousin-influenced calves this fall? If so, look no further than the Limousin Exchange Feeder Calf Classifieds on the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) Web site to help market them. Now, more than ever, it is especially important to get your calves listed in the classifieds because various buyers (including Strauss Brands and Laura’s Lean Beef) use them to source calves for their marketing programs. As part of the Limousin breed’s continued commitment to the commercial sector, NALF provides the Web-based calflisting service so sellers can post their Limousin-influenced calves for sale in an easy-to-use, free, classified advertisement with worldwide exposure. The desired method of sale does not matter. Whether you consign them to an auction market or video auction or trade them directly, the Limousin Exchange helps ensure every bidder possible competes for your calves. Potential buyers browse the site using the selective search engine to see the cattle available for sale and sort them by state or gender. NALF staff members promote the listings through e-mail messages, faxes and direct-mail communication with order buyers, feedyards and individuals interested in feeding Limousin-influenced calves. To list your Limousin or Limousin-influenced calves, visit www.nalf.org on the Web and click the “Limousin Exchange: Feeder Calf Classifieds” link. Or contact Frank Padilla in the NALF office.
continued from page 13 The following traits are in one or another phase of genomics research, validation and commercial testing: feed utilization, animal health, healthfulness and palatability of beef products, adaptability or tolerance to environmental stress, and cow fertility and productivity. Industry adaptation to an evolving suite of MBVs for additional traits represents a formidable challenge. First, we need a clear understanding of the efficacy of each new MBV in specific populations. Second, assuming the MBV possesses significant predictive power, ascertaining its relative economic importance as compared to other traits is necessary for appropriate weighting in selection. Next, threshold levels for some of those new MBVs exist – beyond which economic returns diminish; producers should factor that into multipletrait selection. As a result, incorporation of MBVs for those traits into existing and new economic selection indexes and decisionsupport tools likely offers the best prospect for easiest and most appropriate use of available selection information. LIMOUSIN’S COMMERCIAL CONNECTION
Limousin Exchange Helps Market Feeder Calves
Over time, more sophisticated selection tools should drive notably greater genetic improvement. That should reduce costs for producers (including feed, labor and heifer development) and add revenue from a higher proportion of animals that they can market readily at premium prices. Breed-association commercial marketing programs could help commercial bull buyers more fully exploit the economic benefits of seedstock with more accurate and comprehensive evaluations. Breakthroughs in genomics technology and the emergence of MBVs for a variety of traits offer the potential to enhance the accuracy of existing EPDs and enable selection for important traits not currently evaluated. Depending upon the extent to which industry segments effectively collaborate, adaptation to genomics technology could be relatively seamless. Most appropriate and profitable adoption likely hinges on the establishment of symbiotic relationships focused on delivering tangible value to commercial cow-calf producers. Editor’s note: Kent Andersen, Ph.D., was the executive vice president for NALF. He resigned July 1 to become an associate director for Pfizer Animal Genetics. This article is an adaptation of the presentation he made at the 2009 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) annual meeting and research symposium.
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