HORIZONS Beef Edition
Invest in Your Herd’s Future
GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Special Ends Dec. 31, 2018
601AN01412 INAUGURATION Reg#: 18606539
Special $85 601SM00167 EAGLE Reg#: 3253742
Special $65 601HH00109 SENSATION Reg#: 43092364
Fall 2018 Vol. 22/No. 2 Published bi-annually for GENEX members and customers ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE Genex Cooperative, Inc. P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 firstname.lastname@example.org 888.333.1783 www.genex.coop
BOARD OF DIRECTORS John Ruedinger, President Van Dyne, WI, 920.922.9899 Bobby Robertson, 1st Vice President Tahlequah, OK, 918.822.0020 Harold House, 2nd Vice President Nokesville, VA, 571.722.3356
Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, NY, 585.344.0758 Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, WI, 715.289.3860 Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, AZ, 520.251.6455 Terry Frost Roundup, MT, 406.323.3415 Israel Handy St. Johnsville, NY, 518.568.5476 Lamar Gockley Mohnton, PA, 717.283.5586 Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, WI, 608.564.7359 Jody Schaap Woodstock, MN, 507.215.2257 Daniel Tetreault Champlain, NY, 518.298.8690 Bill Zimmerman Foley, MN, 320.355.2191
CONTENTS 04 The Next Chapter
11 New Acquisitions & New Photos
05 In the News
15 Which Option Works Best
Membership Redistricting Complete, Wallace Receives Industry Award
06 In the News
for your Operation? 16 The Internship of a Lifetime
The Tale of a Casting Call, The Future is Agriculture
18 Five Considerations for
08 Fall Specials
20 Selecting for Soundness
10 Is She Ready? Ideal Body
22 Here to Serve You
Condition Prior to Calving
Featuring Independent Contractors
HORIZONS STAFF Jenny L. Hanson, Editor Andy Graf, Graphic Designer
REPRINTS Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without permission from GENEX. Genex Cooperative, Inc. agents or employees, cannot and do not guarantee the conception rate, quality or productivity to be obtained in connection with the use of their products or recommended techniques. THEY MAKE NO WA R R A N T I E S O F A N Y K I N D W H AT S O E V E R E X P R E S S E D O R IMPLIED WHICH E X TENDS BE YOND THE DESCRIP TION OF THE PRODUC TS A ND HEREBY DISCL A IM A L L WA RR A NTIES OF MERCHANTABILIT Y AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICUL AR PURPOSE. In the unlikely event that any of the products shall be proven to be defective, damages resulting from their use shall be limited to their purchase price.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE GENEX is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers.
The Next Chapter By Huub te Plate, Chief Operating Officer, GENEX 2018 will be a unique year in the history of GENEX. As change for your farm or ranch is inevitable, so is change for your cooperative. Many changes are being made right now so your cooperative is ready for the next chapter. What is happening? There are five major events taking place that will define our direction and focus moving forward. 1. This past May, member-elected delegates of GENEX voted in favor of combining our parent company Cooperative Resources International (CRI) and Koepon Holdings B.V. into one single operating company. The final arrangements for this business combination are being worked on as this issue of Horizons is going to press. 2. CENTRAL LIVESTOCK was divested and will now operate as a standalone cooperative. This closes a nearly 20-year chapter of livestock marketing within GENEX and CRI. It was in 1999 that Central Livestock Association become a subsidiary of CRI. Then, in 2011, CENTRAL LIVESTOCK transitioned to a company of GENEX. Today, the CENTRAL LIVESTOCK operations continue with the same management and staff but independent from GENEX and CRI. 3. The CRI International Center of Biotechnology or ICB was divested as well. A few years ago, this facility was procured for research purposes, primarily in semen sorting, but your board and management have decided to invest resources elsewhere. Investment will be re-directed into our genetic lineup and semen production facilities. 4. The divestiture of the third CRI subsidiary, MOFA GLOBAL, will be finalized in September. This is another move meant to increase focus on our core business; for GENEX that means focusing on our bovine reproductive and genetic programs. This change will allow GENEX to put more capital investment in programs to benefit dairy and beef producers across the globe. 5. GENEX is now a global brand. This is a change from the past 25 years when producers outside the USA recognized us as CRI and viewed our core portfolio as cattle genetics along with AgSource services and MOFA GLOBAL products. Moving forward this cattle genetics cooperative will be recognized as GENEX around the world. Distributors in 70+ countries are enthused to start representing the GENEX brand. A lot of energy will go into promoting and upholding our cornerstones – Comprehensive, Resourceful, Relevant and Forward-Thinking. Change is inevitable, and it’s obvious change is taking place at a record pace. 2018 will go into the books as the year GENEX restructured and became part of a new organization (the business being formed through the combination of CRI and Koepon). While GENEX will continue to market cattle genetics and reproductive service, as part of this new organization we can realize significant savings. Over time, product development, animal housing, semen production and distribution will become more efficient. Scale is a major factor. As costs go up, we will need to ensure we can deliver the products and services you want for a price you can afford. The next chapter for GENEX is about to start. I trust this chapter will be successful and this co-op will grow like it has throughout the past 25 years. Instrumental in this continued success will be your board of directors, delegates, and fellow members and customers along with the staff who works for you daily and the many GENEX distributors located around the globe. We make a team that is second to none. Together we will make it happen.
Fall Input Meetings Membership Redistricting Complete Scheduled As a cooperative business, cattle producer members of GENEX are elected annually to serve as co-op delegates and alternates. These member-elected delegates and alternates are invited and expected to attend a fall meeting to provide input to GENEX leadership. The dates and locations for this year’s meetings are listed below. Additional information will be mailed.
11 8 9 10 7
Oct. 23 Oct. 24 Oct. 25 Oct. 30 Oct. 31 Nov. 5 Nov. 6 Nov. 7
Albany, New York Syracuse, New York Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Alexandria, Minnesota Rochester, Minnesota Neenah, Wisconsin Las Vegas, Nevada Kansas City, Missouri
Delegates and alternates are also invited to the GENEX annual meeting to be held Jan. 22-23, 2019, in Bloomington, Minnesota. Event information will be mailed at a later date.
Wallace Receives Industry Award
Every three years, a redistricting committee consisting of member-elected GENEX delegates reviews the cooperative’s membership projections and realigns the membership regions to ensure all 13 regions have a similar number of members. The redistricting committee met this past April. The total number of members for 2018 is 9,288; the average number members per region is 714. According to the bylaws, each region must be 33.67% lower or higher than the average number of members per region. Therefore, the members per region range from 479 to 949. After a thorough review, the committee made the following changes, which after presented to the board of directors will now serve the membership for the next three years: Regions without changes: 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 Regions with changes: Region 3 added the following Pennsylvania counties (previously in Region 4): Beaver, Washington, Greene, Alleghany, Fayette, Westmoreland, Somerset, Indiana and Cambria. Region 6 added the southern two rows of Iowa counties (previously in Region 7): Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringgold, Decatur, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren and Lee.
Holloway Named Manager of Montana Production Center Congratulations to Tammy Wallace (left), GENEX Territory Sales Manager, for receiving the Service to the Industry Award at the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Conference held Aug. 29-30 in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Tammy, who proudly serves members and customers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, was recognized for her contributions towards the increased use of A.I. and synchronization by beef producers.
In April, Jacob Holloway became the new manager of the GENEX Production Center in Billings, Montana. Jacob provides leadership for bull care, GENEX beef semen production and custom semen collection services. He is a graduate of North Dakota State University with experience in cattle management. “I’m excited for this opportunity to work with the best bulls in the heart of cattle country in this new capacity,” shares Jacob. “Together with the facility’s highly trained staff, we will continually strive to lead the way with science-based cattle genetics and innovative services you can trust.”
The Tale of a Casting Call At the 2017 National Angus Convention, GENEX put out a casting call. Breeders could submit their bull’s portfolio for a chance to win a lease contract. From over 50 aspiring entries, the GENEX Beef genetics team narrowed the cast of characters to five finalists hailing from North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee and two from South Dakota. After much deliberation, a selection was made! 1AN01436 JBS CROCKETT 622 was the winner! CROCKETT offers an outstanding combination of phenotype, pedigree and EPDs and is backed by a dam and grandam that have been productive members of the Brown herd in Tennessee for many years. Ask your GENEX rep about CROCKETT today!
1AN01436 CROCKETT Reg#: 18782700 Connealy Comrade 1385 x CTS Remedy 1T01
The Future is Agriculture As part of our commitment to the future of agriculture, GENEX awards scholarships to college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Recipients are actively involved on a member’s farm or ranch and exhibit a passion of leading the way for the agriculture industry. This year’s recipients include: Jessica Schmitt of Fort Atkinson, Iowa; Lantz Adams of Laton, California; Matthew Grossman of Pittsville, Wisconsin; Donovan Buss of York, Nebraska; Bridger Gordon of Whitewood, South Dakota; and Erica Helmer of Plymouth, Wisconsin. These recipients exemplify the drive, dedication and devotion that agriculture requires. Their response to what agriculture means to them is proof:
“To be successful in agriculture it takes hard work, passion, family and resilience.”
“Agriculture activities helped me get out of my comfort zone to become a leader who is always willing to step up.”
Jessica Schmitt 6
“Agriculture has helped me grow as a leader, taught me when to be a follower, and developed my organizational skills and good work ethic.”
These scholarship recipients are a promise to a bright future in agriculture. “Agriculture impacts all of us every day in several different ways, from the food we eat to the fuel we use for our vehicles to the clothes we wear. Agriculture has impacted and transformed me into the person I am today and who I will become tomorrow.”
“I have learned that hard work and dedication is necessary to make ends meet.”
“Through farm life, I have learned about being a good neighbor, working hard, and being honest and fair. I’m thankful for those values – they’ve contributed to my success in academics, in being elected to leadership roles and in motivating me to get involved in teaching and serving others. Agriculture and the values I’ve gained will always be a part of who I am.”
Photo by Michaela Mann.
XC-20 Signature The XC-20 Signature is engineered specifically for farm use by our precision manufacturing design. The XC-20 Signature includes our Bend Donâ€™t Break and Semen Safe technologies, enhancing the durability and efficiency of the tank. The liquid nitrogen safety deflector diverts liquid nitrogen away from the pump-out valve in case of liquid nitrogen overflow.
Chart/MVE Industries Inc.
407 7th St NW New Prague, Minnesota, USA 56071 Tel: 1-800-683-1387 MVE.Request@chartindustries.com For more information visit chartindustries.com or check us out on social media! ÂŠ 2018 Chart Industries. All Rights Reserved.
Ends Dec. 31, 2018
Reg#: 18000000 Regular $40
Special prices can be combined with Volume Special. Utilize with the John Deere Financial beef deferral program offering 180Â days with no interest and no payments.
Reg#: 43558667 Regular $25
Order Today! Contact your GENEX representative or shop online at profitshop.genex.coop. Reg#: 10343452 Regular $30
Is She Ready? Ideal Body Condition Prior to Calving Article provided by BioZyme Inc. Regardless of the time of year when calves hit the ground, you want to make sure you and your cows are prepared. Now is the time to provide quality nutrition to bred heifers and cows. Producers should be focused on ensuring their body condition can support a healthy pregnancy both in young females and mature cows. In the last trimester the fetus grows rapidly, causing additional nutrient requirements for the cow. Add in cold weather, and you are stacking up the reasons why your nutrition program needs to be up to par. Research shows that body condition scores (BCS) should be at 5 or higher at calving time for optimal reproductive performance. For cows that are calving in January or February and young cows (two- and three-year olds) a BCS of 5.5 is recommended. BCS is much easier to increase in the fall and prior to calving. Increasing BCS post-calving is challenging and expensive due to the nutrient demands of lactation. To ensure you understand the quality and value of your current feed sources, we always recommend testing your forages. No matter how many years of experience you have under your belt, it is very difficult to predict the feed value of hay, silage or other feedstuffs without testing. After results are collected, working with a nutritionist to ensure energy, protein and nutrients are at satisfactory levels will ensure your cow herd is effectively prepared for calving, lactation and quick breed back. Whether you are in an area that was blessed with an abundance of feed or you are faced with drought and lack of feed resources, maximizing feedstuffs to keep dollars in your pocket is important. Amaferm®, a natural feed additive included in all VitaFerm® products, acts as a prebiotic increasing forage digestibility maximizing the energy and protein in all classes of forages. Amaferm is research-proven to provide a 17% increase in forage utilization. This means you put less in front of your cows while still maintaining an ideal BCS. Complementing
this with the right minerals, trace minerals and vitamin package will set your cow herd up for increased production and faster breed back. Table 1. Effect of body condition score on cows in heat at beginning of breeding season.
Cows in Heat (%) BCS at Calving
60 days 46 61 91
Thin (1-4) Moderate (5-6) Fleshy (7-9)
90 days 66 92 100
Adapted from Whittier and Stevens, 1993, Missouri Cooperative Extension Service G2230.
Table 1 shows the BCS of cows and the percentages in heat at 60 and 90 days. It is clear that cows with a BCS of 5 or higher at calving will show a faster return to estrus at the beginning of breeding season. Additional research by Kunkle and coworkers (1994) concluded BCS also impacted calving intervals of beef cows. They indicated as cows moved from thin to moderate in condition score, pregnancy rates increased and the calving interval was shortened. Tighter calving intervals have shown to provide several economic benefits due to a more uniform calf crop and better use of labor. Table 2. Relationship of body condition score to beef cow performance.
Body Condition Score
Pregnancy rate, %
Calving interval, days
3 4 5 6
43 61 86 93
414 381 364 364
Planning is key to your herd’s BCS. By evaluating females now and working with a nutritionist, you can develop a plan that will generate performance that pays.
GENEX Welcomes Storlie as Area Sales Manager Matt Storlie, of New Plymouth, Idaho, joins GENEX as a Beef Area Sales Manager, where he leads the beef sales and service team covering Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Washington. Together, they provide cattle producers with sciencebased genetics and chute-side reproductive service. “I am excited to be a part of the GENEX Beef team and help cattle producers reach maximum profitability,” states Matt. “It’s great to be working alongside a team of professionals who assist in all facets of the operation, whether creating customized reproductive programs to meet individual producers’ immediate or long-term goals, providing complete chute-side service including heat detection, recommending sires or assisting with synchronization programs.” Matt graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and currently operates a commercial cow/calf operation with his wife and two children. He previously worked as a beef cattle nutritionist, ranch foreman, feedyard cattle assistant and herdsman. 10
Look Whoâ€™s New!
Featuring our new acquisitions and new bull photos
1AR00957 H2R PROFITBUILDER B403 Reg#: 1683223 LSF Takeover 9943W x Beckton Nebula P P707
1AR00962 LSF SRR ELITE 5356C Reg#: 1744885 Brown Premier X7876 x Basin EXT 7455
1AR00969 BROWN BLW INTREPID C5963 Reg#: 3527627 Brown Final Answer Z7235 x Beckton Nebula P P707
1AR00971 RED U2 MALBEC 195D Reg#: 3721545 RED U-2 Reckoning 149A x RED Minburn Copenhagen 3Y
1AR00972 WFL MERLIN 018A Reg#: 1628086 LJC Merlin T179 x Brown Commitment S7206
1AR00974 C-BAR BIG RIVER 119E Reg#: 3791207 PIE One Of A Kind 352 x C-BAR Contour 107X
1AN01427 G A R STARBUCK Reg#: 18644730 G A R Sure Fire x G A R New Design 5050
1AN01436 JBS CROCKETT 622 Reg#: 18782700 Connealy Comrade 1385 x CTS Remedy 1T01
1AN01439 POTTS BROS PENDULUM Reg#: 18723415 Plattemere Weigh Up K360 x Coleman Regis 904
1AN01443 SCHIEFELBEIN WARRANTY 797 Reg#: 18904555 Plattemere Weigh Up K360 x Connealy Black Granite
1AN01448 BOYD DYNAMIC 6118 Reg#: 18693344 Connealy Black Granite x EXAR Denver 2002B
1AN01452 WHITESTONE 18-MILLION Reg#: 18000000 Jindra Acclaim x Connealy Lack Granite
New acquisitions and new bull photos 12
1AN01453 HA VALUE ADDED 7578 Reg#: 18914728 HA Prime Cut 4493 x KG Solution 0018
1AN01454 PAINTROCK TRAPPER Reg#: 18270980 Paintrock Mountain Man x Isaacs Alliance 7161
1AN01455 SS ODYSSEY H71 Reg#: 18944850 S S Hoover Dam H27 x S S Miss Daybreak K07
1AN01381 YON SWAMP FOX C649 Reg#: 18176611 Yon Final Answer W494 x Yon Final Call W446
1AN01384 REISIG INTRIGUE 4407 Reg#: 18035241 Connealy Imprint 8317 x S A V Bismarck 5682
1AN01391 E&B CONFEDERATE 507 Reg#: 18215493 Connealy Confidence Plus x Summitcrest Complete 1P55
1AN01423 HA PRIME CUT 4493* Reg#: 17943466 Vermilion Sirloin x HA Program 5652 *Multiple code sire: 271AN03368 PRIME CUT
1AN01429 44 COMMON SENSE 6160 Reg#: 18425958 V A R Index 3282 x Werner War Party 2417
1AN01430 ELLINGSON ROUGHRIDER 4202 Reg#: 17933463 Connealy Earnan 076E x LT Curve Bender 4810 of EA
1AN01431 BUFORD REBOUND C837 Reg#: 18474339 S A V Renown 3439 x S A V Bismarck 5682
1AN01434 CONNEALY MAINSTAY Reg#: 18839231 Connealy Glory 4127 x Connealy Hemisphere 957L
1HP00854 BOYD 31Z BLUEPRINT 6153* Reg#: 43764491 R Leader 6964 x NJW 73S M326 Trust 100W *Available Nov. 1, 2018
Which Option Works Best for your Operation? By Suzanne Lois, Herd Care Line Advisor, GENEX
“Choosing an ear tag for identification purposes sure seems to have gotten complicated.” This is a common sentiment shared among producers, and with it comes frustration when choosing the best tags for an operation. So, what ear tags best meet your needs? Here are the options available from GENEX.
Calves being Sold after Weaning Z1 No-Snag-Tag® or Z1 Feedlot Tag One-piece hanging tags Easy to apply, great ear retention and cost effective Available in multiple colors Can be ordered blank, pre-numbered or customized with ranch name, management number, sires, brands, etc.
Cattle Retained as Replacements Z2 No-Tear-Tag™ or Temple Tag® Herdsman® Two-Piece Tags Two-piece hanging ear tags Option for back of ear includes a rivet or a second hanging tag Available in multiple colors and sizes (from maxi to mini) Can be ordered blank, pre-numbered or customized
Short-Term use in Feeder Cattle Temple Feeder Tags Not recommended as a permanent form of identification Can be ordered blank, pre-numbered or customized Applied with a knife
Temple Tag® Herdsman® Two-Piece Tags
APHIS-Approved for Interstate Travel To meet the USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) requirements for Animal Disease Traceability, all cattle moved from one state to another must have an approved form of identification. There are three options: 1) Brucellosis vaccination (Bangs) tags; 2) National Animal Eartagging System (Silver/Brite) tags; or 3) Animal Identification Number (840) tags. The first two options are only available from a licensed DVM or state/federal animal health official. However, GENEX offers two 840 tag options. Temple Tag® Herdsman® TE (tamper evident) Available in 11 colors Can be customized with management numbers and ranch name as long as 840 number meets size requirements A variety of tag combinations to choose from: matched pairs, sets of hanging tags and/or RFID tags Allflex® Tamperproof™ Tags Available in seven colors Customization is available, but limited A variety of tag combinations to choose from: matched pairs, sets of hanging tags and/or RFID tags
Temple Feeder Tags
Temple Tag® Herdsman® TE
Allflex® Tamperproof™ Tags
Note that RFID tags are not required by APHIS for interstate travel. Also, a premise ID (PIN) is required to order the Animal Identification Number 840 tags. Still confused? GENEX can help make ordering ear tags a breeze. If you have questions on what kind of ear tag will fit your needs, contact customer service at 888.333.1783 or Suzanne Lois at email@example.com or 262.210.0989. For more information on APHIS regulations, visit www.aphis.usda.gov.
Each tag brand has a specific ear tag applicator. Ear tag retention is dependent on using the correct tagger.
The Internship of a Lifetime By Anna Whitt, Intern, GENEX
Never would I have imagined the opportunity to travel out west for a summer, much less participate and become more educated on what I truly care about: breeding cattle and all the factors that go with it. However, being the GENEX Beef Intern gave me that opportunity and more. Coming from a smaller, 40-head black Angus herd in Spring Hill, Tennessee, I never realized how different things are out west! The fast pace, hard work, dedication and care for cattle that goes into artificial insemination (A.I.) breeding projects is more than I ever imagined. Additionally, knowing synchronization protocols and bull EPDs are major factors that create the desired genetics producers want in their herds. Throughout the internship, I was often asked, “What’s your favorite place you’ve been so far?” I can honestly say I didn’t have a favorite. I saw mountains, valleys, hills and
canyons. I was around all ages, sizes and breeds of cattle. One thing was certain, though: I met so many wonderful people along the way who share a love for cattle. My first week was spent in Missouri, and it is something I will never forget. GENEX employees Tammy Wallace and Ed Creason took me under their wings and taught me the ropes, all while remaining patient and supportive when I asked for help. Every time I think of Nebraska, I smile. While working with the GENEX team – Gail Rippe, Troy Carruthers, Matt Dolezal and Nic Schilling –
I learned breeding tricks and new jokes to share. I also gained friendships I know I’ll always have. Dorothy wasn’t kidding when she said there’s no place like home, and I found just that in Kansas with Dustin Wootten, Justin Hergenreder and Ron Hinrichsen. I also had the opportunity to ride with Shane Schaake on his liquid nitrogen routes. During this time, it made my heart happy when a producer would proudly show off their herd. In a way, I saw it as a “pat on the back” for GENEX because we helped them achieve the genetics they desired in their calves.
“Everyone cared not only about their quality of work but also the relationships with producers they built along the way.”
In May and June, intern Anna Whitt traveled over 6,000 miles and helped breed over 4,000 head while assisting with GENEX chute‑side service projects in eight states.
In Montana, I visited the GENEX Production Center in Billings. Manager Jacob Holloway and the lab crew gave me the opportunity to help collect, process and package some of the many straws of semen that get distributed to producers across the globe. I enjoyed seeing the work and precision that goes into each and every straw. I also enjoyed viewing some of the bulls used during the chute-side service breeding projects I assisted with. I ended the week with Sarah Thorson and her family in Glendive, Montana, where I helped with local breeding projects and even observed an embryo transfer.
As the saying goes, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This statement couldn’t be any more accurate for the GENEX teams I worked with during my internship. Everyone cared not only about their quality of work, but also the relationships with producers they built along the way. This internship was the experience of a lifetime. I was able to further my knowledge, skills and hands-on experiences in something I am truly passionate about. After helping breed over 4,000 head, traveling over 6,000 miles and visiting eight
states, I’d say GENEX has provided this ole homebody Tennessee girl with the perfect start to pursuing her dreams. And, I couldn’t be more thankful or blessed! A special thank you to my family and friends, my advisor and her husband, Brad and Emalee Buttrey, the University of Tennessee at Martin, the employees of the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center, and all those who supported me along the way.
Five Considerations for Preg-Check Season By Kevin Hill, DVM, Technical Services, Merck Animal Health
It is pregnancy-check season in many parts of the country – a time to identify and sell open cows and take steps to ensure pregnant cows deliver calves that are as healthy and strong as possible to help them thrive in the face of normal neonatal challenges. Here are five considerations for preg check to help ensure the last 90 days of pregnancy have a positive impact on your herd’s future.
Check pregnancy status. The cost of a pregnancy check is minimal when you consider the cost of feeding an open cow through the winter, especially when the price for cull cows is relatively high. Aside from determining pregnancy and estimating calving dates, this is a good opportunity to physically examine cows and check the condition of teeth and udders. Evaluate the body condition of cows and heifers and adjust nutritional requirements so the herd will be at a body condition score of 5 or 6 at calving.
Determine vaccination needs for the cow. If the cow herd was not vaccinated in the spring before breeding, now is the time to give the annual respiratory and reproductive vaccine boosters. A killed or modified-live vaccine (MLV), labeled as safe for pregnant cows, can be used. MLV vaccines should only be used if a cow has been vaccinated within the past 12 months with the same vaccine. Vaccines providing protection against Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD), Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), vibriosis and leptospirosis are essential.
Prepare for passive protection. Vaccinating cows prior to calving also will stimulate antibody production that will result in higher-quality colostrum, ultimately giving calves better protection when they’re born. For example, you can administer a scours vaccine six to seven weeks prior to calving to boost antibody levels in the cow’s colostrum so the newborn calf will have increased protection from scours.
Implement internal and external parasite control. The results of many studies have shown when parasites are effectively eliminated, the cow will eat more, milk better and produce a heavier calf. Because of the developing parasite resistance to ivermectin products, the most effective strategy to control internal parasites should include fenbendazole, the active ingredient in Safe-Guard®. Using Safe-Guard® along with an ivermectin pour‑on will achieve a near 100% internal parasite kill.1
Give special care to first-calf heifers. Making sure energy and protein requirements are met is critical in fetal development, especially for firstcalf heifers. Results from several studies from the University of Nebraska have shown lifetime performance effects from nutritional deficiencies in late gestation.2 It is often beneficial to separate heifers from older cows to provide nutrition specific to their needs. A healthy calf is your most valuable asset, and keeping the mama cow healthy is the best way to ensure a strong start to the next calving cycle. Incorporating these management practices into your fall preg check will allow you to make needed adjustments in vaccinations and nutrition, and maximize opportunities for income from culling. References available upon request. Consult your veterinarian for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of parasitism.
The NEW ESTROTECT™ Breeding Indicator featuring patent pending Breeding Bullseye™ technology makes it easier than ever to identify cows that are in heat, pinpoint timing for AI and Timed AI protocols, as well as confirm successful pregnancies.
According to third-party research, when the new ESTROTECT™ Breeding Bullseye™ is rubbed off by mounting activity, cows are up to three times more likely to conceive. Not only does ESTROTECT™ with the Breeding Bullseye™ indicate when a cow is in heat, it tells you exactly when the animal should be bred to achieve optimal results.
©2018 ESTROTECT. ESTROTECT and As Good As A Bull are trademarks of Rockway, Inc.
Selecting for Soundness Industry leaders share insight on the importance of soundness in beef cattle selection. By Kayla M. Wilkins
Historically, the cattle industry was almost entirely driven by phenotypic selection alone. Cattle producers weighed selection heavily on structural evaluation because it was the primary tool available. The progressive nature of the industry has resulted in a shift in the selection process over the last few decades. Today, genomic data are a major player when it comes to selecting seedstock and females for a productive herd. Although this progression has been a positive addition, Kansas State University Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Bob Weaber claims the progress has also created obstacles. “I suspect in some ways maybe that’s contributed a little bit of a challenge to us, in terms of now we have so many things to select for,” Weaber says. “We’ve only got so much selection pressure we can apply. Maybe we’ve diluted that a little much and avoided some selection for traits that have a functional connotation to them that maybe we should think about.”
From the Ground Up While using expected progeny differences (EPDs) for selection is a proven valuable tool available to producers, it is important to not neglect the value in visually evaluating potential seedstock for foundational soundness. “I think the set of the hock and the angle of the shoulder, fundamentally, are two things to understand and are very important to look at,” says Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association (AHA) Chief Operating Officer and Director of Breed Improvement. “Ultimately, they can affect the size of the foot, and the shape of the foot.” Starting from the front, Bedwell says, the angle from the top of the shoulder to the point of the shoulder and from the point of the shoulder to the elbow should ideally be sloped at 45 degrees – or fairly close. When the angle exceeds the 45-degree threshold, problems can occur.
“Those animals are too straight in their front end,” he notes. “They lose mobility, and what’s going to happen is the front toes are going to grind down because they’re not wearing down correctly.” For Bedwell, the rear structure is just as important as the front, particularly when selecting breeding stock. He says maintaining a 45-degree angle from the top of the hip bone to the point of the hock aids in creating longevity within a herd. A fundamental, but crucial, piece that Bedwell says is sometimes overlooked is heel depth. When evaluating yearling bulls to take home and put on cows, Bedwell highly advises producers to take heel depth into consideration – especially from a longevity standpoint. “If there’s not enough depth of heel and strength in the pastern, what happens to this foot? It starts to grow out,” he explains. “If we don’t have the right foundation, the right depth of heel here, we’re going to run into some serious problems.”
Figure 1. Evaluating structural conformation Strong Top
45º 45º Shoulder Angle
135º Hock Set
Keeping phenotypic evaluation in mind, Bedwell advises producers to use the best combination of resources for them from a genotypic and phenotypic standpoint. “We’ve got to do a better job of selecting those animals – of selecting breeding cattle that don’t have those problems,” he says. “I know some of it is environment, and some of it’s genetic. I’m excited being able to see some of these different EPDs come out.”
Looking Ahead As scientists continue conducting research to best develop selection tools for the producer, the phenotypic structure component has been receiving some attention. “The good news from a breeding genetics standpoint is we have a real opportunity to make some selection progress from these traits,” Weaber
says. “One of the obvious questions is why do we need genetic improvement tools for feet and leg traits?” On the forefront of reasons for this expansion of research are welfare and economics. On the economic side, there is a financial penalty associated with buying an unsound bull. “If you buy a $4,000 or $5,000 yearling bull and next year he isn’t breeding cows because he’s got bad front feet, that’s a big problem,” Weaber explains. “I think there’s some pretty clear data that lots of productivity and soundness are certainly good motivators to think about improving the structural capabilities of our seedstock.” Moving forward, a selection index incorporating feet and leg structure is not far away. In fact, there has already been dramatic progress in developing those tools, and there is the prospect for even more genetic improvement in this area.
Phenotypic selection for feet and leg conformation has merit and can be economically important, noting that animals that develop feet and leg issues may result in early involuntary culling and often exit the herd prior to reaching their break-even cost. Figure 1 depicts the proper slope and angles of the front and rear skeleton to ensure enhanced longevity.
For instance, the dairy industry has done a lot of work with feet and leg structure as it relates to extended longevity. Weaber says the progress in the dairy industry has translated to the beef industry. Australian Angus has been working toward determining the heritability of structural traits in recent years, and his team at Kansas State is expanding upon that idea. “We want to look at culling data in association with other production traits, as they relate to these feet and leg characteristics – also growth rates, dense data recording and post screening gains,” he notes. “How those are developed certainly has an impact on their long-term stability and performance in terms of feet and leg structure – ultimately breeding soundness. We plan to look at that as well and incorporate some genomics work when we can.” Originally published in the March 2017 Hereford World. Reprinted with permission.
Here to Serve You GENEX has a dedicated team of Independent Contractors who serve members and customers across the USA. These individuals work with purebred and commercial producers to provide trusted science-based beef genetics and innovative services through the industry’s best chuteside service featuring personalized genetic and reproductive programs. These Independent Contractors are well-seasoned and skilled at what they do because they have a passion for the industry and understand the day-to-day challenges ranchers face. However, these individuals are more than agriculture professionals; they are also active members of their local community. From supporting local
benefits to volunteering with 4-H and FFA groups and to working alongside interns eager to learn about the industry, GENEX Independent Contractors truly care about the communities they are a part of and the people who live there. GENEX Independent Contractors have a sincere desire to provide local beef producers with services such as heat detection, synchronization assistance, artificial insemination and sire recommendations. Here’s a glimpse at four of our 150 representatives. To find a GENEX representative near you, call customer service at 888.333.1783.
Joaquin Valdez La Jara, Colorado
For Jason, working in the cattle industry started at Fort Hays State in Kansas, where he took an A.I. course and began breeding cattle on the university’s farm. He knew working with cattle was his passion, so in 2004 he began serving GENEX members and customers in northeast Montana and northwest North Dakota. This venture was the perfect accompaniment to his portable grain cleaning business, as the seasons complement each other. For Jason, the best part of his jobs are the people he is fortunate enough to work with.
Joaquin serves cattle ranchers in western and south central Colorado, as well as northern New Mexico. “It’s a big area but gives me the opportunity to work with fellow ranchers in a very unique and challenging area as far as elevation is concerned, which is a huge factor in genetic selection in 95% of my territory,” says Joaquin.
Beef producers in Arkansas know they can trust Ricky’s genetic expertise. Ricky began providing chuteside service 10 years ago and offers a wide-array of reproductive services ranging from embryo transfers to estrous synchronization, A.I. and ultrasound services through a company he owns and operates with his wife and three sons.
Cattle ranchers in Mississippi and southeast Louisiana have depended on Terry for over a decade to help them reach their ranch goals. For Terry, seeing the improvement in customers’ herds makes his job fulfilling. “I like genetics and enjoy meeting with practical cattle ranchers,” says Terry.
Jason mixes his love for agriculture and his community with his free time, as a 4-H leader and sports coach. His son is just beginning to show hogs and cattle and is involved in sporting activities. His two younger daughters began sports this year and are excited to soon join their big brother showing livestock.
He got his start with A.I. as a freshman in college when he worked on a neighboring ranch. The genetic rewards, advances and A.I. work intrigued Joaquin, and he began working with GENEX in 2013. “It is a job that truly makes me feel like I am doing something good for a lot of people, from the ranching industry to the consumer,” he adds. Joaquin also tends his own herd of cattle, and he savors the chance to slow down and spend time with his wife and kids in the mountains they call home.
3 Ricky White
His affiliation with GENEX began about four years ago. “I enjoy working with cattle producers by helping them take their herd to the next level with the best genetics in the industry. GENEX has given me an outlet to fulfill a growing need for superior genetics in my customers’ herds,” says Ricky. In his free time, Ricky enjoys helping his sons with their herd of show cattle.
4 Terry Loftis
Prior to working with GENEX, Terry managed both commercial and purebred herds, where he gained A.I. experience and insight into the challenges ranchers face. This know-how has served him well. When he is not working with members and customers, he is probably with his own small herd of commercial cattle or enjoying Mississippi State sports.
Genex Cooperative, Inc. PO Box 469 Shawano, WI 54166
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID STEVENS POINT WI PERMIT NO. 272
GENEX chute-side service Turning frozen semen into solutions
888.333.1783 // www.genex.coop
Â© 2018 Genex Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.
Product of the U.S.A.
HORIZONS Beef Edition