Page 1

CDN PUB Agreement # 40012883

ZTM 85Z – Volt X Trademark

ZTM 136Z – Volt x 90J

ZTM 12Z - Independence x Yukon


ZTM 127Z – Chronicle x 90J

ZTM 45Z - Chronicle x Yukon


ZTM 6Z – Astro x Yukon

EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 6 2.9 62 89 38 69

EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 12 -0.2 62 93 40 71

EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 4 4.0 70 92 23 58

– Astro x 90J EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 6 1.2 64 96 29 61

EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 6 3.5 64 97 30 62

– Whistler x Special Agent EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 7 2.5 53 72 26 53

EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 7 1.5 74 100 32 69

EPD’s CE BW WW YW Mik TM 8 -1.5 53 88 34 61

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 3

Fladeland Zac Brown 17Z ET

Fladeland HURRICANE 143Z

Astro x Bouncer (Full flush brother to the 2012 PGA high selling bull)

Silent Stan x Pentagon

Fladeland ZORO 47Z FLAD Axel x Bouncer 2012 Canadian Western Agribition Reserve Senior bull calf. Homo Polled

Fladeland SPARKS FLY 29Z


Astro x Precision ( 2012 Canadian Western Senior Heifer calf champion)

co- owned with Royal Western Gelbvieh 2012 Canadian Western Agribition Reserve Jr. Bull

Selling Bulls at... Fladeland TUCO 110Z DVE Tex x FLAD 89W ( 2011 Canadian Western Agribition Champion Female)

Page 4 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

April 6, 2013 in Moose Jaw, SK Check out the catalouge at

" Thanks" to all 2012 buyers & bidders!


In this issue...

President’s Report CGA Office Memo Rancher Rob Gelbvieh Association of AB/BC News Man/Sask Gelbvieh Assoc. News Show Results Sale Results Coming Events Advertiser Index

Feature articles...

• Royal Western Gelbvieh • Breed Improvement in Small Herds • Researchers Mapping the Genome of the Country's Most Influential Bulls • Glynn Waterton - Hall of Honor Recipient • Ultrasound Carcass Information • EPDs 2.0 • Bridging the Gap • Care and Treatment of Newborn Calves • 25 Things I Want My Ranch Kids to Know • Cattle Overwintering • New Research Advances of Lameness in Feedlot Cattle • Just Because You Have a Genetic Test

7 8 12 16 20 53 56 64 65

14 21 22 24 26 28 30 38 41 44 46 50

Advertising Deadlines/Publication Dates Summer - May 1 / June 1 - Golden Pages Fall - September 1 / October 1 - Commercial Issue Spring - January 1 / February 1 - Herd Sire Issue

The official publication of the CANADIAN

Twin Bridge Farms were the winner of the “artistic” section of the photo contest with this cover photo.


5160 Skyline Way N.E., Calgary, Alberta T2E 6V1 Phone: (403) 250-8640 Fax: (403) 291-5624 Email:

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 5

Provincial Association Representatives to the CGA Board of Directors Gelbvieh Association of Alberta/BC


President - Romacordelia Cox P.O. Box 11, Tatla Lake, BC V0L 1V0 Phone: 250-476-1221 Fax: 250-476-1280 Email:

Man-Sask Gelbvieh Association


Darrell Hickman RR# 2, Vermillion, AB T9X 1Y7

Phone: 780-581-4510 Fax: 780-853-4776 Vice President

Representative -Darcy Hrebeniuk Box 379 Hudson Bay, SK S0E 0Y0 Phone: 306-865-2929 Fax: 306-865-2860 Email:

Romacordelia Cox Fax: 250-476-1280 Past President

Scott Severtson

President -Lee Wargau Box 25 Narcisse, Manitoba, R0C 2H0 Phone/Fax: 204-278-3255

Eastern Canadian Gelbvieh Association

P.O. Box 53, Tatla Lake, BC V0L 1V0

Phone: 250-476-1221

Secretary -Joyce Dawson Box 1616 Vanderhoof, BC V0J 3A0 Phone: 250-567-5430 or 250-570-9179 Email:

Representative -Jason Hurst 234439 Concession 2 WGR RR2, Durham. ON N0G 1R0 Phone: 519-504-6944

Secretary -Laurie Hurst 234439 Concession 2 WGR RR2, Durham. ON N0G 1R0 Phone: 519-369-1763

RR# 2, Innisfail, AB T4G 1T7

Phone/Fax: 403-224-3756

Kert Ness Box 8, Site 7, RR#1, Airdrie, AB T4B 2A3

Phone: 403-860-4634 Fax: 403-948-9236

Darcy Hrebeniuk Box 379, Hudson Bay, SK S0E 0Y0

Phone: 306-865-2929 Fax: 306-865-2860

Jason Hurst 234439 Concession 2 WGR RR2, Durham. ON N0G 1R0

Phone: 519-807-8776

Don’t Miss Out!

Keep in touch by reading the official Gelbvieh Magazine. The Gelbvieh Guide magazine is mailed FREE OF CHARGE for two years to purchasers of registered Gelbvieh cattle when the registration certificate is transferred into the purchaser's name. Ask the seller of the animal for a registration certificate when you purchase a Gelbvieh animal. Note, according to the Animal Pedigree Act (Chapter 13, Section 64(j), no person shall sell a purebred animal without providing to the buyer, within six (6) months after the sale, the animal's duly transferred certificate of registration. If you are not a CGA member and wish to continue to receive the GELBVIEH GUIDE or know of someone who should be on our mailing list, please clip out and send in this coupon and remit $20.00 Canadian and send to the Canadian Gelbvieh Association office.. For out of country subscribers, please fill out the Subscription Form, remit $50.00 Canadian, and send to the Canadian Gelbvieh Association office. Name:

Blair Bentz Box 430 Punnichy, SK S0A 3C0

Phone/Fax: 306-8352748

Address: City:

Prov/State Postal Code

Vern Pancoast Box 37 Redcliff, AB T0J 2P0 Phone: 403-548-6678 Fax: 403-548-6955 Page 6 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

Mail to:


Canadian Gelbvieh Association 5160 Skyline Way NE T2E 6V1 Ph: (403) 250-8640 Fax: (403) 291-5624

q $21.00 Enclosed for Canadian subscription fee. q $50.00 Enclosed for foreign subscription fee.


Darrell Hickman


s I write this, I have just returned from the National Western in Denver. It was great to visit with old friends, and to meet new and intriguing people who I learned a great deal from. One thing is for certain, Gelbvieh is alive and well! It was great to see our breed have the same resounding success south of the border, as we have experienced this past year. Having the opportunity to get out of my box and attend a breed function really makes me appreciate where we live, the great cattle we have the ability to own, and most importantly the phenomenal breeders we are blessed to have as members of the Canadian Gelbvieh Association. I would like to congratulate each of you as breeders who helped in planning, executing, attending and supporting our breed activities throughout the past year. You have made our 40th Anniversary year a time to remember. Without our great people, our association and breed would not prosper. Moving forward, we have a tremendous amount of opportunity to change and grow. I challenge each of you to get out of your box, support your juniors, attend breed functions you have never been to and promote your breed in ways you have never attempted. More than ever, we need to challenge ourselves to move ahead and focus on the strengths and promotion of our breed to ensure we have another great 40 years. I also encourage you to volunteer to sit on a committee of interest with your national board. Your feedback, leadership and engagement are welcomed! Please feel free to phone or email me or the CGA office to have your name put on the committee list. You have a board that is committed to serving the membership, and your input is vital. More importantly, your engagement in the breed functions is imperative. Currently, there are several attempts being made to further develop and improve existing functions. The Canadian Gelbvieh Bull Futurity (formally the People’s Choice Bull Futurity) will be resurrected, changed, and added into a weekend of activities resembling nothing like we have seen in our breed thus far. A commercial replacement female sale with this event will also provide us with a presence to the industry that should have long lasting effects. I commend all of you who are currently and those of you who will become involved to insure this weekend is a success! Some of our juniors are planning to attend the Junior National in Minnesota this July. This is new and certainly exciting for all of us! Everyone is invited, and as plans are being made if you have any interest please phone myself or Cynthia Wirgau to be included! Our Canadian junior show is also being planned, so continue to watch for updates regarding location and date and plan to support and be in attendance. We owe it to the young people who are the future of our breed to positively demonstrate, support and encourage involvement to ensure they remain viable and continue the legacy we are all building. Field days across our Nation are happening this summer, get out and support the breeders who are happy to host you and show the commercial cattlemen in attendance we are the Continental Breed of Choice! Gelbvieh bull sales will start shortly, and I wish each of you resounding success with those ventures. I plan to attend as many as possible and hope each of you will do the same. Calving season is upon us, and we will see the fruits of our genetic planning. I hope it brings you a sense of renewed enthusiasm and continued commitment to the breed. And not to be forgotten, make a resolution this year to celebrate! Celebrate the success of each Gelbvieh breeder, as it is the smaller successes each of us have that leads to the larger success of our breed!

Darrell Hickman

Back: l-r: Darcy Hrebeniuk, Kert Ness, Blair Bentz, Vern Pancoast, Darrell Hickman - President. Front: l-r: Wendy Belcher - Secretary/Manager, Scott Severtson - Past President, Ramacordelia Cox - Vice President. Missing, Jason Hurst.

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 7


Wendy Belcher



appy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe & enjoyable holiday season with family and friends. These and other social gatherings such as cattle sales, shows and field days are an excellent opportunity to learn new things and expand a person’s knowledge base. Whether it is discussing winter feeding scenarios with a brother-in-law over turkey dinner, business succession plans with a sister over a glass of wine, or bull selection criteria with a fellow cattle producer at a bull sale, these are opportunities which cannot be experienced if you are not present. Even in this world of electronic media, the successful people are the ones who are out in the real world making personal, face to face, contact with people.

Spring 2013 Gelbvieh Bull Sales – if you are planning to have your bulls parentage verified for your bull sales, please allow 6 weeks for processing. Please send your DNA samples to the CGA office. The CGA encourages members to collect and submit carcass ultrasound data for inclusion in genetic evaluation and EPD calculations. Please contact the CGA office at least a week before the technician is due for your Ultrasound barn sheets for your sale bulls and replacement heifers. Show pride in your product - If a person is willing to purchase livestock from you, be proud and sign the back of the registration certificate and submit the transfer application to the CGA office ASAP as one step in quality customer service. Let your customers know you care, after they have had the animal on their farm for a few weeks, give them a call to make sure everything is going all right. Canadian Cattle Genome Project “Up & Coming Gelbvieh Sires” - The Canadian Cattle Genome Project ( has asked the CGA to identify 40 young sires that would have the potential to influence the breed in the coming years and that perhaps have generated some interest amongst breeders. If you think you have such an animal, please let the CGA office know ASAP. Changes to the AGA/CGA National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) – The move to the American Simmental Association (ASA) for the Gelbvieh National Cattle Evaluation was recommended by the AGA Productivity Committee and approved by the AGA Board of Directors in October 2012. Some of the benefits of the move include: • Higher accuracy WW EPDs due to the addition of historical and future weaning weight records to the NCE analysis by including early weaned data, past, present and future. • Increased EPD accuracies for Percentage Gelbvieh and Balancer animals since the joint analysis with the ASA will include a larger database of Angus (Red & Black) animals. • Higher accuracy values for all traits with the inclusion of genomic data to create genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE-EPDs). • Standardized carcass EPDs with other beef breeds as carcass data will now be age adjusted instead of fat adjusted. • Higher accuracy marbling EPDs as bull IMF scan data will be included in the calculation of marbling EPDs. Do the EPDs on your best performing calves really reflect their superior performance? To ensure the performance of these star performers is reflected in their EPDs you need to record the data on every calf in the group, the best, the average and the poor performers. Page 8 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

Part of the EPD calculation is based on an animal’s ratio within a group. For example, if you have 100 bull calves at weaning and only record the weaning weights on the top 40 bulls retained for your sale, the performance of those bulls will not look as superior without the bottom end of the calf crop. It is like grading a class on the curve system. If the average test score for the class is 70 for 100 students, the student with 82 would get a B grade (ratio). If the teacher decided to throw out all score less than 70 and curve the remaining scores, the new average might now be 85. In this case the student with the 82 would now receive a D grade (ratio) since the score is now below the new average. This would have a significant impact on the student’s GPA, potentially lowering it and making their performance as measured by their GPA less favorable. The same thing happens with EPDs when only a portion of the calf crop is reported.

Online Animal Registry System Entering Breeding Information The AGA/CGA is working to develop a maternal index as part of the suite of EPDs. Breeding information, including AI dates and natural exposure dates, are very important for this process. Breeding information can be entered with the online animal registry system prior to entering calving data. From the online page choose the My Herd, then My Transfers. Select the female you want to add the breeding information for by either selecting the line and click on the transfer button. Look to the bottom of the page for Breeding. Complete the sire registration, select either AI or Natural Service from the drop down box and enter the dates then click on Add Breeding button. The new data will appear in the blue box. If the female has more than one breeding date, repeat the steps until all data has been entered.

2013 CGA Memberships – CGA Memberships are now due, $125.00 plus tax which includes membership to your provincial Gelbvieh Association. By definition, an association is a group of people with common interests that organize to accomplish together what they cannot do as individuals. The Canadian Gelbvieh Association exists to enhance the success of breeders and commercial users of Gelbvieh. The fees paid by members allows for that to happen. The value of the association brings informational services, marketing and member communication programs for both members and commercial users of Gelbvieh genetics. The Canadian Gelbvieh Association is dedicated to its mission of "Registering, promoting and improving Gelbvieh cattle.” Did you sell Gelbvieh genetics outside of Canada in 2012? If you did, you can help us! The Canadian Beef Breeds Council suffered a drastic cut in funding for international endeavors. It appears that the export statistics get lost in the system and are often undervalued using average cattle prices. Fund holders are not able to justify the support due to lack of results. As breed associations, we know that our respective members achieve international sales on an ongoing basis and unless an animal is transferred, we have no record of the transaction. We are interested in compiling sales information in order to paint a more accurate picture of purebred genetic sales outside of Canada. If you sold embryos, semen or animals outside of Canada in 2012, we would greatly appreciate that you share this information with the CGA. All information will be kept confidential and will be compiled in a generic way. Your help is crucial in accessing future funding.

The 2013 International Year Code is “A” - All 2013 born calves must have a A in the tattoo.

The online registry system is active - Click the “Register an Animal” link on the CGA Website,, to view your herd, print reports, and register animals. Contact the CGA office to obtain your login and password.

Why Gelbvieh? ...

A good bottom line starts with a great cow herd!

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 9

(Reprinted from the January 2013 Gelbvieh World magazine.)


he American Gelbvieh Association has been on the road towards the development of genomic-enhanced EPDs. The road started with the Genomic Pioneers

project initiated in the fall of 2011. (The Canadian Gelbvieh Association has contributed to this by sharing with the AGA the 50K SNP panels generated on Gelbvieh sires generated through

Canadian Gelbvieh Association DNA Testing Options Please send DNA Samples to the Canadian Gelbvieh Association Office, 5160 Skyline Way NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 6V1

Test Requested


Gelbvieh 50K SNP genotype – Delta Genomics, University of Alberta (includes parentage verification &/or parentage panel)

$35.00 (till March 31, 2013) $45.00 (Apr. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013) $85.00 regular price

Gelbvieh SNP Parentage Verification &/or SNP Parentage Panel Only – Delta Genomics, University of Alberta


Whole Herd Program Gelbvieh SNP Parentage Verification &/or SNP Parentage Panel Only – Delta Genomics, University of Alberta


Igenity Profile – With SNP Parentage from Delta Genomics, University of Alberta


* Igenity Profile – With parentage verification from GeneServe Laboratory Saskatchewan Research Council


Add - Horned/Polled to Igenity Profile


Add – Coat Colour to Igenity Profile


Research Only – Delta Genomics, University of Alberta (Sample placed on file with no parentage verification or parentage panel run)

No Charge

GeneServe Laboratory - Saskatchewan Research Council (Microsatellite Parentage Verification only from GeneServe on animals where parentage cannot be verified by SNP DNA technology – SNP Parentage Panel generated by Delta Genomics, University of Alberta)


* GeneServe Laboratory - Saskatchewan Research Council (Microsatellite Parentage Verification and a SNP Parentage Panel generated)


* DNA Samples submitted directly to GeneServe Laboratory, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Page 10 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

the Genome Canada Project.) This project has since yielded more than 600 DNA samples and greater than $64,000 in income for the American Gelbvieh Foundation – all of which was generously donated by AGA members. Add to that about 250 AI bulls that had been typed on the 50K chip from previous research and additional samples submitted this fall by members and the AGA has just more than 900 animals with 50K genotypes. These 900 animals (and hopefully 300 Canadian animals) are all part of the training population. This training population is used to develop the Gelbvieh/Balancer® specific panel for creating molecular breeding values (MBVs) on other Gelbvieh and Balancer® animals. The MBVs are then incorporated into the AGA/CGA’s national cattle evaluation to calculate genomicenhanced EPDs. The plan, and one of the goals of the AGA’s impacting the Beef Business long-range strategic plan, is to provide genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE EPDs) by the summer of 2013. The AGA has been conducting this research with the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC). The NBCEC is an independent unbiased research collaboration of four land grant universities: Colorado State University, Cornell University, University of Georgia and Iowa State University. The AGA has been working closely with Dr. Dorian Garrick from Iowa State University and his team to complete this research. Dr. Garrick reported his initial findings to the AGA Board of Directors in April. His findings were very favorable. Using the 50K genotypes and the existing AGA EPDs, it was determined that MBVs could be calculated and had enough predictive power to be included in the AGA/CGAs national cattle evaluation, and ultimately the development of GE EPDs. At that time, Dr. Garrick did recommend that the AGA/CGA continue collecting 50K genotypes to include in the training population. The more animals with the 50K genotypes in the training panel, the higher the percentage of genetic variance that can be predicted through MBVs. Essentially, reaching 1,200 plus animals with 50K genotypes in the training population increases the predictive power and validity of the GE EPDs. Members are encouraged to continue testing animals on the Gelbvieh 50K. DNA samples on any animal not currently in

Reaching 1,200 plus animals with 50K genotypes in the training population increases the predictive power and validity of GE EPSs. the training population will be accepted. Target animals for the 50K are: herd sires used in 2011 and 2012 breeding seasons; currently used AI sires that have not yet been genotyped; donor dams; matriarch cows with daughters and granddaughters in current seedstock herds. A current list of AGA tested animals can be found at by clicking on the Genomic Pioneers link under the Genetics and Research page under the Education Centre tab (For a list of the CGA animals with 50K genotypes go to However, the AGA and CGA’s goals are to get an additional 300 animals each genotyped on the 50K panel to be included in this training population so all samples will be accepted. To help the AGA reach 1,200+ 50K genotypes, the AGA along with its DNA testing partner GeneSeek® are offering a sale on the Gelbvieh 50K test. This sale price for Gelbvieh 50K is $75 per sample. Act quickly as this sale is only offered through February 28, 2013. Samples submitted for the Gelbvieh 50K since November 15, 2012 will be credited to receive the $75 discounted price. Please note - The Canadian Gelbvieh Association has been able to negotiate a special price for Gelbvieh 50K genotypes through the Canadian Cattle Genome Project and the AIP Genome Project of $35 per sample (regular price is $85) until March 31, 2013. Please submit samples ASAP to the CGA office, or in the case of animals with DNA in the DNA Bank, let the CGA office know ASAP which matriarch, donor dams, and sires you would like to have the Gelbvieh 50K genotype run on. These 50K genotypes are important in order to have Canadian genetics as part of the training population to insure that the MBV calculations will not be skewed too heavily toward the US genetic pool. For further information or questions, please call the AGA office at 303-465-2333 or the CGA office at 403-250-8640. Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 11

By Wendy Belcher

Rancher Rob and his cronies are fictitious characters created by the author but the scenarios are real.


ancher Rob might be up to his proverbial neck in calves and momma cows, but he still has to worry about sire selection for future generations. Sire selection is an important opportunity to enhance the profitability of the beef production operation and Rancher Rob knows that as a seed stock producer there are many reasons he must take extra care in his choices. Number one being that sire selection represents the greatest opportunity for genetic change. To effectively select sires, Rancher Rob must not only be well versed in the use of Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) and understand breed differences, but he must also accurately and objectively assess their current genetics, resources, and management. In addition, Rancher Rob attempts to understand the recent advances in DNA technology and the decision support tools which add complexity to his selections, but which will ultimately enhance selection accuracy. As a seed stock producer, Rancher Rob must stay up to date on advances in beef cattle genetics in order to profit from enhanced revenue and reduced production costs as he matches genetics to his production situation. In addition, as a seed stock producer, Rancher Rob realizes that his decisions for genetic improvement filter down throughout the rest of the industry, ultimately to the feeder, the packer and then to the consumer. Just as no man is an island, neither is any aspect of the beef genetic supply chain, and all seed stock suppliers need to be providing the genetics that meet the beef industry demands. Whether selecting a natural service sire or a sire to be used for AI, the amount of information and variables can be a daunting task. Rancher Rob can find bulls that will increase or decrease nearly any economically important trait. Unlike actual measurements, EPDs consider the heritability of a trait to accurately predict the genetic differences between animals. AI Sires have higher EPD accuracies than natural service sires as their EPDs are calculated from thousands of Page 12 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

progeny measured in many herds and environments. Younger sires have lower EPD accuracies, but this is changing as the industry moves to genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE-EPDs). Another factor that plays heavy on Rancher Rob’s mind is that genetic change is a permanent change. Of all his management decisions, genetic change differs from others in that the effects are not temporary. Feeding a supplement to meet nutritional requirements is beneficial as long as the feeding continues, and health protocols, while important, must be maintained year after year. However, once a genetic change occurs, that change will remain until additional new genetics enter the herd. Whether selecting for growth, carcass traits, or maternal performance, those traits once established in the herd, are automatically passed on to the next generation.

Sire selection has a long-term impact. Regardless of whether a selected sire has a favourable or unfavourable effect on the herd Sire selection has a long-term impact. Regardless of whether a selected sire has a favourable or unfavourable effect on the herd, if his daughters enter Rancher Rob’s cowherd, his effects will remain for a considerable period of time. While each generation dilutes his contribution, his granddaughters and great-granddaughters may remain in the herd a quarter-century after he last sired a calf. For this reason, Rancher Rob views sire selection, not as a short term expense, but as a long-term investment into the efficiency and adaptability of his beef production enterprise. For his own bull sale, Rancher Rob provides the same information and data that he himself uses to make his buying decisions. Ultrasound scores, DNA profiles, adjusted weights, frame scores and scrotal circumferences. Not only

GREAT HERD SIRES JUST DON'T HAPPEN! Great herd sires come from a program with the future of the beef industry in mind. does this information help his customers to make informed decisions, but it allows Rancher Rob to identify the animals which stand out in his program. This information also allows Rancher Rob to identify sire groups and female lines that are consistently producing the type of genetics which move his program forward in the direction he desires. Throughout the year, Rancher Rob keeps in touch with his customers and industry counterparts. Discussions with his clients lets Rancher Rob know what their needs are so he can make any needed changes to his breeding plan to assist them. By attending as many sales as possible, Rancher Rob is able to discuss and learn from other producers and their customers, what is important and of value in the industry and in their operations as well. Knowledge is valuable, and while much can be learned from the internet and print media, real life producer experience is a valuable source best tapped in person. The only dumb question is the question NOT asked.

A cute shot of some curious cows as the Nicholas kids and friends have fun playing in the snow over Christmas.

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 13

By Barbara Duckworth


y day Rodney Hollman is a journeyman ironworker but at night he is a journeyman cattleman. He and his wife Tanya have built up Royal Western Gelbvieh at Innisfail, Alberta, from scratch and are making an impact at sales and shows. At the 2012 Western Canadian Agribition Gelbvieh sale, they topped the auction when they sold a $30,000 half interest in a bull named RWG Yikes 1512 to Prairie Hills Gelbvieh in North Dakota. This was the first time they had entered a consignment sale in numerous years. Normally all their bulls are sold by private treaty to commercial and seedstock producers. They both work off the farm, where Rodney is a welder at his family’s business and Tanya is a nurse at the Innisfail hospital. With three small children age six and under, they need trouble free cattle and for them, Gelbvieh was the answer. His father had commercial Gelbvieh x Angus females as recipients for Angus embryos. Rodney liked the cattle that were produced from this cross and adopted Gelbvieh as a purebred producer. “A lot of our Gelbvieh cross females were weaning bigger, better calves than a lot of the purebred Angus cattle so that was a starting point,” he said. The Gelbvieh breed has had a slow growth incline rather than the fast acceptance of Limousin or Simmental when the breeds were imported to Canada over 40 years ago. These days it seems they are living in a sea of Angus in central Alberta. “As a breed I think we are in the driver’s seat. The big breeds cannot grow forever and their market prices will settle,” he commented. He added, “I see Gelbvieh taking over more market share from those breeds moving forward. Gelbvieh as a breed falls very middle of the road as far as commercial acceptance goes, and work well in both terminal and maternal breeding situations. We do offer a little more lean meat yield and a little more continental flare than an Angus or Hereford bull but we are not as excessive as a Belgian Blue or a Blond d’ Aquitaine or a really heavy muscled Limousin bull,” he said. Rodney bought his first purebred female in 1998. “Back then Page 14 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

it was about winning a few banners and ribbons,” he said. The Hollman’s decided to become serious producers in 2004. Rodney and Tanya traveled thousands of kilometers inspecting and selecting from operations across the continent. “There is no limit to where we will go to find what we are looking for, whether it is North Carolina or Texas or just down the road. We have herd bulls from a wide variety of places. It is just a matter of finding what you need,” he said. Some new females are introduced as part of a breeding strategy but they prefer to retain their own heifers to build their cow families. “We are willing to sell the bulls almost all the time, but not the females. The genetics our females carry, we use to progress our program forward to the next generation,” he said. The cows are Royal Western’s factory and even when times get tough selling off cows is the last resort. “Everyone in the world of business builds a factory or a foundation to what makes your livelihood and you don’t sell it until you are ready to call it quits. In the farming community, they are probably the only set of people who are willing to sell that factory,” he said. “That’s what makes our living. We can cash in on her today but then we give up her next generation of sons and daughters and that is more valuable,” he states. In the beginning Rodney used artificial insemination but there was not a wide variety of Gelbvieh bulls available. “A lot of the better cattle in the North American Gelbvieh herd are not available for sale via an A.I. tank so it forces you to go and buy bulls. We got more consistent calf crops,” he said. Many of their bulls are owned in partnerships. Their calves arrive in May and June and their partners tend to calve earlier so the bulls work for a longer season to accommodate everyone’s calving periods. The bulls work with a different set of females in a new environment and the calves can be assessed to see if the bull works well in a broader spectrum. Their bulls are sold across Canada and into the United States. In recent years more American interest has appeared because breeders are looking for diversity. There was considerable in-

terest in breeding an Angus-Gelbvieh hybrid called Balancer, but more producers are looking to return to purebreds. There could be a risk in exporting so many of the top cattle to the U.S. Rod added, “All it would take is two years and at every bull sale the top two young herd sire prospects end up south of the border, and you’ve depleted two years of breeding seedstock genetics.” However, Canada still has wide genetic diversity among the approximately 4,000 Gelbvieh animals registered annually. It is not common for one popular bull to be syndicated as has often happened in the U.S. As a bull seller, they have adopted genomics working with Ignenity to identify carcass profiles and determine whether the cattle are homozygous polled or homozygous black. It is not the only selection tool they use, but it does help determine which are likely to perform and offer valuable carcass traits. While their bull business has turned into a year round enterprise, they still run the ranch like a commercial outfit. They left a quarter section of grass without any cattle on it last summer for winter grazing that should last until March this spring. However, the snow arrived in late October and an ice layer covered it. More snow arrived and the young cattle were unable to dig through it, so they were forced to feed them hay. The environment sometimes dictates and alters their feeding program. About 30 bulls are sorted in pens and get weighed every month with the expectation of them gaining three pounds per day on a pen average. Feed and grain is tested and they work

with two feed representatives for advice and then combine their recommendations to meet their needs. Like other producers facing high feed costs they did some homework and added barley sprouts last fall. It was more cost effective and has a much higher protein value. It is a fine granular product dried to three percent moisture and is then blended to create a balanced ration. At one point Rodney and Tanya thought it would be good to go large and ranch full time but they were concerned if the herd was too big they would not enjoy the cattle or make strategic breeding plans. Instead they decided to keep numbers in moderation and focus on quality while maintaining the ability to make a strategic but realistic breeding program. Rodney added, “There are multiple programs that are a testament that you can accomplish whatever you want to and you don’t need to have 500 or 600 cows to do it!

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 15

Association News

By Cordy Cox, President, GAA/BC


hope everyone had a great holiday season with friends and family. The fall show season has come to a close and many of us are gearing up for calving or already in the thick of it. With new calves come new genetic opportunities, possible high sellers or even your next show champions. Calving time is always an exciting time to me; seeing how new matings work out and observing some of the future matriarchs and sires of ones program is very exciting and rewarding. I would like to thank the GAA/BC board of directors for putting their faith and trust in me as your president again for 2013. 2013 will be the final year of my last term on the board and I look forward to serving you all once again and continuing to promote and grow the Gelbvieh breed. The GAA/BC was pleased to be a sponsor for the banquet at the 40th Anniversary at Agribition. It was a very successful event filled with great cattle and great people. Thanks to the Man-Sask members and the CGA staff who orchestrated such a great celebration. We were also proud to host the Wish List Sale in conjunction with the the heifer pen show, bull jackpot, GAA/BC annual general meeting and banquet. The sale was once again very successful with cattle selling into many provinces as well as Kansas. The jackpot bull show nearly doubled in size, which in turn has led to an exciting new opportunity to once again hold a bull futurity. The board is pleased to announce that the Canadian People's Choice Bull Futurity will be held in conjunction with the Wish List Event in Ponoka at the end of November, boasting a $15,000 prize to the exhibitor of the winning bull. Many changes have been made and the futurity has been completely revamped. To name a few changes: a longer period of time to allow the bull to be collected, different membership structures, the ability for the new owner to sell the futurity winner as Lot 1 in the Wish List Sale, the ability to win 2013 Wish List sale's credits in the draw down, as well as online voting and videos of the bulls for those members who are unable to attend. For more information please do not hesitate to contact Rodney Hollman, Darrell Hickman, or myself. Once again we will also be having a heifer pen show but stay tuned for other announcements as things progress throughout the spring. Page 16 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

Gelbvieh Association Board of Directors: L-R; Aaron Birch - Vice President, Joe Ness, Roger Sayer, Cody Congdon, Cordy Cox - President. Missing: Joyce Dawson - Secretary, Merv Tuplin -Treasurer, Darren Dunford. In 2013 Farmfair will host the National Gelbvieh Show and the Wish List Event will host the 2013 National Gelbvieh Sale. We are hoping to see new and old exhibitors alike at the National Show. For more information on participating in the show please contact Scott Severtson or Darren Dunford. We are very fortunate to have a host for the 2013 GAA/BC Field Day. Rodney and Tanya Hollman of Royal Western Gelbvieh in Innisfail, Alberta have graciously agreed to hold the field day on August 10. Stay tuned for more details. Bull sale season is just around the corner and I would like to wish all of the sellers a prosperous sale and all of the buyers good luck with their new purchases. The GAA/BC would also like to thank all of its members in both provinces to promote Gelbvieh in any way, shape or form from bull sales to running the booth, shows, cook offs and farm tours, etc. I wish everyone a successful calving and bull sale season and I hope to see you all somewhere down the road soon.


$15,000.00 Prize Money to the Exhibitor of the Canadian People’s Choice Champion Bull!!! November 29 & 30, 2013 • Ponoka, Alberta, Canada In conjunction with the Wish List Sale, the GAA/BC Annual Meeting and Banquet • Bull Nomination deadline: November 1, 2013 • Bull Substitution deadline: November 25, 2013 • Calendar Year bull calves and bulls born after April 1, 2012 that are 88% Gelbvieh or higher are eligible

Two Tier Membership Program Tier #1 – Membership - $400.00 - Provides members with 1 voting card with the chance to win possession of the Canadian People’s Choice Gelbvieh Futurity winning bull, and all draw down prizes including Wish List sale credits for the 2013 sale.

Tier # 2 – Membership - $600.00 - Provides members with 1 bull entry, 10 units of semen from the Champion Bull, 1 voting card with the chance to win possession of the Canadian People’s Choice Gelbvieh Futurity winning bull, and all draw down prizes including Wish List sale credits for the 2013 sale. -Members of this tier may purchase additional semen at a prorated price of $25/unit.

Additional Bull Entries: $200.00 Online viewing and voting will be available for those that are unable to attend the event in person. For further information contact:


Rodney Hollman Ph: 403-588-8620

Darrell Hickman Ph: 780-581-4510

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Association News


he Man/Sask Gelbvieh Association held their annual

meeting at the Moose Jaw exhibiton grounds on Dec 8, 2012. Lee Wirgau remains as President, Cynthia Wirgau as Sec/Treasurer, Del Fladeland was elected Vice President. New board member is Ian Thackeray. Returning board members are Vern Davidson, Wayne Selin, James Jasper, Trevor Burks. Thank you to Darcy Hrebeniuk for his past 6 years on the board. A banquet and fun auction was held at the Temple Gardens, and well attended. 40th Anniversary celebrations at Agribition were enjoyed by all. All 40 belt buckles have been sold. Thank you to everyone that purchased one. The donation heifer was donated by JSJ Gelbvieh and won by Twin Bridge Farms, Lomond, Alberta. Special thanks to all sponsors, exhibitors and spectators that make our events so enjoyable.

The Man-Sask Gelbvieh Association sponsored the 13th Annual Sweetheart Gelbvieh Classic at the 2012 Show at Canadian Western Agribition. A total of 38 memberships were sold with 7 calves and 2 bred females competing for top honours. Members were to choose their top two heifer calves and top two bred females prior to the female show at Agribition and each member received a membership chair. Upon completion of the female show, the top 4 animals were announced and would be re-judged the following day prior to the sale. The winning entry would become the lead-off animal in the Agribition Sale.

Canadian Junior Gelbvieh Association The Canadian Junior members enjoyed a pizza party meeting following the Junior Beef Extreme at Agribition. Champion Jr. Gelbvieh was exhibited by Emma Nicholas and Reserve honors went to Riley Wirgau. All juniors that exhibited picked a prize donated by Fir River Livestock and the Canadian Jr. Gelbvieh Association. The new CJGA executive are Dylan Thackeray – President, Gail Birch – Vice President, Emma Nicholas – Secretary, Jesse Grose – Treasurer.

This years Sweetheart was exhibited by Eyot Valley Ranch, with EV Kari-On 8Z. She sold to Twisted T Gelbvieh and Maple Grove Gelbvieh for $7750. Eyot Valley Ranch received the jackpot of $7876.62. Lee Wirgau was the lucky member who won the sale proceeds and used them to purchase a heifer in the sale. The three runner-up females were exhibited by Thackeray Gelbvieh, Bluff Island Stock Farm and Lonesome Dove Ranch. Congratulations to the Eyot Valley Ranch and the Man-Sask Gelbvieh Assoc. for another successful Sweetheart Classic. Page 20 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

Man-Sask Gelbvieh Association Board of Directors: Back: l-r: Trevor Burks, James Jasper, Vernon Davidson, Wayne Selin, Ian Thackeray. Front: l-r: Del Fladeland, Cynthia Wargau, Lee Wargau

Breed Improvement in Small Herds By: Sean McGrath


ften there are misconceptions that smaller herds cannot participate in breed improvement programs effectively and that the selection tools available have limited value. Unfortunately I suspect that many folks follow through on this notion and do not submit data to the CGA for inclusion in genetic evaluation. In an attempt to clarify things, let’s start at the ending and work back into this small cowherd. Many folks with smaller herds consider EPDs as the genetic selection or marketing tool that they are not able to participate in. EPDs are calculated using pedigree and performance data submitted to the association and use comparisons of cattle that are managed in the same way to describe differences like bigger/smaller, faster/slower growing, leaner/fatter, etc. Because the EPD are based on comparisons it is true that you need at least 2 cows to have calves of the same sex. In this regard even a cow herd of 4 or 5 cows can have at least 1 good contemporary group worth of data (2 or more calves of the same sex born within a 90 day time frame). In the past computer power limited us to only looking at pedigree through one side (the sire) and these types of herds often had their data removed since they often used a single sire (can’t compare sires). Nowadays the evaluation looks at the full pedigree (animal model) and thus even single sire groups are included. The data that is stored in the association database is resent every evaluation, so even the data that was edited out in the distant past due to computing limitations is now sent each run and included. Some traits, particularly those that are scored subjectively do have issues with inclusion when we look at smaller herds, although this issue is not limited to these herds. One of the key reasons is variation, or more importantly lack of variation. To further explain, EPD are calculated by making comparisons of phenotypes within a contemporary group. The differences in performance between animals in the same environment are step 1 in the formation of an EPD. We could talk about these differences as being the “information” that is contained in the data. So what if all the data is the same? A good example here would be a herd where all the animals have their calving ease scored as unassisted. When you compare the animals raised in the same environment, which one is easier calving? The answer is that based on the data we don’t know, as they are all the same. This type of data contains no information that can be

(and larger ones too) used for the genetic evaluation and thus it cannot be used. The environment (good stockmanship / time and attention paid to the animals) may not allow the genetic differences to be expressed. We cannot compare this easy calving herd with a hard calving herd as the management effects may be completely and totally different. Fortunately, if there is variation in birth weights it can be used to provide an indication of calving ease. Another concern, and this is very real is the cost of data collection. For example, a $2000 scale may not seem that expensive in the context of 200 cows, but becomes a bit daunting spread over 10 or 20. There are many rural municipalities/counties/etc. that have scales available for rent. I even know of some herds of over 300 cows that rent the county scale, rather than have their own. As well, many of the newer platform scales are fairly portable and could be cost shared by a group of neighbours. There may even be potential to haul calves to a neighbours or a local auction to weigh them. Ultrasound is another area where neighbours working together can pool cattle and make ultrasound collection more affordable/attainable. Contrary to conventional wisdom about operational size and EPD, one of the key advantages of the participation in the performance program is that EPD can place cattle from a smaller herd on a playing field based on their genetic merit within the breed. When you look at a bull calf as the best half of a group of 2, it does not tell you very much, but by submitting that group through the performance system, combining it with pedigree ties and the data of other breeders, it becomes possible to say this bull calf fits into a specific portion of the population for a trait. This greatly assists in assessing the many good cattle that are being raised in small herds in the larger context of the Gelbvieh breed as a whole. Not all records will make it into/through the genetic evaluation. This is true for both large and small herds. It is also true that data in larger groups often contains more information as we can make more comparisons, however complete and accurate data from small herds is very useful and important in genetic evaluation, particularly when the goal to improve the cattle in the entire breed is taken into context. When combined with pedigree and visual assessment, EPD can help us to sort cattle based on their strengths and weaknesses, and small herds have a tremendous amount to contribute to that effort.

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 21

By Alexis Kienlen


heck your tanks for bull semen, because you might have the sample the Canadian Cattle Genome Project is trying to find. Researchers want to sequence the genoMary De Pauw types of influential beef bulls and are looking for semen vials, semen straws, blood, tail hair and tissue to obtain DNA samples. "For each of the breeds we're working with, we have a pedigree looking at the key historic animals that have been involved in creating the population that we have in Canada," said Mary De Pauw, project manager for the Canadian Cattle Genome Project. Scientists from several institutions, including the University of Guelph and University of Alberta, will be sequencing the DNA of 25 key historic bulls as well as five younger bulls that have had influence on the Canadian cattle population. Over 1,000 animals of each breed will be genotyped to help researchers determine how each animal is different or specialized within its species. "We're trying to test the genotype and the phenotype so that eventually people will be able to test a really young animal and see its genetic value for their breeding programs," said De Pauw. The researchers have already received a large number of samples and have begun genotyping and sequencing them. However, they are finding it difficult to find samples from some key historic animals and are asking cattle owners who think they may have such a sample to contact them. Anyone who donates a sample of a key historical animal for sequencing will receive a tax receipt from the University of Alberta The three-year, $8.2-million project is part of an international effort with Australia, Ireland, Scotland and the U.S. "There's a great advantage in having these international collaborations because we're able to share our data with them, and they share data with us," said De Pauw. "The more genotyping information you can get, the stronger and more accurate your prediction tools will become."

By genotyping influential beef bulls, researchers hope to create a low-cost tool that predicts key animal traits Page 22 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

"The more genotyping information you can get, the stronger and more accurate your prediction tools will become." Once all the samples have been collected, researchers will be looking to create a low-cost tool that producers can use to measure and predict key animal traits. The Canadian Cattle Genome Project is also working with a number of breed organizations including Charolais, Limousin, Hereford, Gelbvieh, Angus and Simmental. The researchers are also working with Beefbooster, and the Canadian Dairy Network. Cattle from University of Guelph and the University of Alberta's Kinsella ranch research cattle herd are also included in the project. Anyone who thinks they may have a sample from one of the historic animals can contact Mary De Pauw at or 780-248-1901 or project lead Steve Miller at

Reprinted with permission from the Alberta Farm Express and Alexis Kienlen.


y first contact with Gelbvieh was when I saw Ted & Enid Jansen’s sign, Pair-A-Dice Farms, and was curious about a breed I didn’t know. I was so impressed by how docile they were as well as their conformation that I resolved to sometime have some Gelbvieh cattle. As a result of that visit, I bred some of my commercial cows AI to some Gelbvieh bulls and sent their bull calves to a bull test station to see how they performed compared to the other breeds. The results indicated that they could compare favorably with other beef breeds. Also at that time I purchased some Gelbvieh heifers from Gelbvieh breeders in Manitoba and felt I had achieved my goal. We used AI with some of the old imported bulls like Flag, Luke, Hercules and Kaiser. Later we AI’d to Polled Summit. We also tried some ET at this time with limited results. Following the ET experience, we purchased some heifers in Iowa from Raymond Marcus, who was the first owner of Polled Summit. We also bought a Polled Summit son to use as our herd sire. As Gelbvieh started to expand and there got to be more Gelbvieh breeders around, we along with some other Gelbvieh enthusiasts, formed the Eastern Canadian Gelbvieh Association. In 1997 we purchased Sir Arnold at Ed Kalianoff ‘s sale in South Dakota. He proved to be an excellent choice. There aren’t many bulls in the Gelbvieh breed even today with as balanced EPDs as he had. Most of our cow herd today has some Sir Arnold in their background. We purchased a son of EGL Pabst at the Douma/Savage dis-

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persal sale and he has been a great herd sire too. Our herd got up to a 75 head of cows, but we have since gone back to 50 to 55 purebred cows and 10 purebred heifers. 25 of those cows are bred to Red Angus to produce F1 bred heifers. If we were younger we would increase this section of our enterprise as there is a real demand for those Gelbvieh cross females. We synchronize our purebred heifers as well as a few of our best cows and breed them AI with very good results. We also test our bulls at a BIO supervised bull test station. This gives us an indication of how our breeding program is working compared to other breed’s bulls. In the 2011-12 bull test, one of our bulls was at the top of the pen of 32 similar age bulls, a testament to our commitment and continued dedication to raise the best Gelbvieh we can in a similar manner and conditions as a commercial breeder would. A few years ago we decided not to continue raising hogs and sold one of our farms to our son. Pat and I wanted to take life a bit easier. At present we grow hay, some soybeans or wheat, as well as barley for straw and feed. We feel the Gelbvieh breed has many attributes that are needed in the beef industry today and Gelbvieh will always be our breed of choice.

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 25


he Canadian Gelbvieh Association encourages members to collect and submit carcass ultrasound data for inclusion in genetic evaluation and EPD calculations. For ultrasound data to be included, the following guidelines must be met: 1. Ultrasound data must be processed through a centralized ultrasound processing lab accredited by the Ultrasound Guidelines Council (UGC). 2. All animals must be on file (registered or computed) with the CGA prior to submitting ultrasound data to the CGA. 3. Data must be submitted to the CGA on barnsheets. 4. Ultrasound Data Required: a. Percent IMF - intramuscular fat (0.00 %) b. Ribeye area (00.0 sq. inches) c. Rib fat thickness (0.00 inches) d. Rump fat (0.00 inches) 5. In addition to actual ultrasound data, CGA requires the following information: a. CGA registration number of each animal b. Date scanned c. Actual weight on the date scanned d. Technician name (must be certified) e. Ultrasound equipment used

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6. Make sure cattle are within the proper age range. Ultrasound carcass data must be collected between 320 and 440 days of age (same date range as yearling data). Collecting data on bulls at or close to an average contemporary group age of 12 months is ideal. Heifers tend to show more variation if they are slightly older, 13 – 14 months of age. 7. CGA recommends that ALL animals are weighed and scanned for a given contemporary group. 8. Animals should be in good flesh at the time of scanning. Bulls should be scanned prior to being taken off of gain test. Heifers should be scanned following a growing or developing program. Scanning at these times allows animals to express maximum genetic differences for marbling and fat thickness; 9. Use a squeeze chute with side panel doors that will properly restrain cattle and provide access to the region of scanning. 10. Make sure that the scanning area is dry and out of direct or bright sunlight; 11. Provide a safe, grounded, 110-volt outlet with a clean signal for electrical supply. 12. Make sure cattle are clipped and clean in the scanning region, with no more than ½ inch of hair in the scanning area.

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 27


s American and Canadian Gelbvieh Association membership may be aware, the January 2013 AGA & CGA Sire Summaries and national cattle evaluation process to calculate EPDs will be conducted with a new service provider, the American Simmental Association. The primary benefits of this move include higher accuracy weaning weight EPDs; increased EPD accuracy for Balancer® and percentage Gelbvieh animals; standardization of the carcass EPDs with other breeds; and higher accuracy marling EPDs, and eventually, higher accuracy values for all traits through the inclusion of genomic data. During the development of the AGA long-range strategic plan, the need to compare carcass EPDs on Gelbvieh and Balancer animals with other breeds become increasingly evident. Currently, AGA/CGA carcass EPDs – carcass weight,

ribeye area and marbling – are adjusted to a fat endpoint rather than an age-adjusted endpoint. The shift to the constant fat-adjusted endpoint was made in 2007. The reason for this shift was a constant fat-adjusted endpoint more closely matches the industry practice of finishing animals to an endpoint of approximately .40 inch of back fat thickness. However, the shift to a fat-adjusted endpoint meant Gelbvieh and Balancer animals could not be compared with animals of other breeds for carcass EPDs. Being able to compare animals across breeds requires an EPD Across-Breed Adjustment Factor produced on an annual basis from the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC). Currently, the research information is not available to create an acrossbreed adjustment factor for the AGA/CGA carcass EPDs. Standardizing the AGA/CGA carcass EPDs to the age-ad-

Finding an Ultrasound Technician

There are three major labs that process the ultrasound images acquired in the field by Ultrasound Guidelines Council (UGC) certified technicians. The AGA & CGA accepts images from each of these labs. A listing of certified technicians and contact information can be found on each of these sites or by visiting • International Livestock Image Analysis (ILIA) • The National CUP Lab • Ultrainsights

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justed endpoint, the way most other breeds calculate carcass EPDs, will allow for the across-breed adjustment factor and across-breed comparison. The new carcass EPDs will continue to have EPDs for carcass weight (CW), ribeye area (REA), and marbling (MB), as well as dollar indexes for carcass value (CV) and feedlot merit (FM). However, the days to finish (DtF) EPD will become a backfat (FT) EPD. The other benefit of switching EPD service providers is access to new models for EPD calculations. The model the American Simmental Association uses to create carcass EPDs accurately accounts for the different types of data that can be included in calculating carcass EPDs. These different types of data are: bull ultrasound scores; heifer ultrasound scores; steer harvest data; heifer harvest data; and eventually molecular breeding values from genomic information. The new EPDs, released in January, will have the benefit of bull ultrasound data included in marbling EPDs. This is a shift from how marbling EPDs were previously calculated. Sires will now benefit from the thousands of IMF ultrasound scores currently in the database for both bulls and females. Animals will continue to benefit from ultrasound data for fat thickness and ribeye area in carcass EPD calculation.

Collecting carcass ultrasound data on bulls and females continues to be a valuable tool for seedstock breeders. For bulls, it adds value to the seedstock you provide your customers and helps them make more informed bull buying decisions. On heifers, it helps the seedstock breeder make replacement heifer decisions. Breeders may not specifically cull females or cut bulls based solely on IMF or REA data. However, it will be helpful when making decisions on animals that are borderline for making it into the keeper pen. Gelbvieh and Balancer breeders are encouraged to use a CUP (Certified Ultrasound Processing) Lab ultrasound technician. The AGA/CGA partners with CUP to process the ultrasound data for inclusion in EPD calculations. To find a CUP technician near year, visit This column was compiled by Susan Willmon, AGA director of breed improvement. Susan can be reached at the AGA office at 303-465-2333, or via email: Susan -

Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 29

Heifer group at Summit Gelbvieh


or quite sometime I knew I was going to be travelling to Australia to finish up my masters in Perth. With my passion for cattle and wanting to expand my herd and relationships with other cattle breeders in Australia, I sent out numerous messages to all the Gelbvieh breeders in Western Australia. One of the farms I was able to visit was John and Kim Pugh of Summit Gelbvieh Studs. Their farm, located just outside Mt Barker in the southwestern tip of Australia, is one of the two farms that they currently operate. They are the largest Gelbvieh stud in Australia who raise over 400 purebreds, operate a commercial herd of 4,000 head between the two operations, and have an annual bull sale where they market over 50 bulls mostly to commercial buyers. The operation is owned and operated by John, Kim, and their four daughters: Alexandra, Clare, Harriet, and Georgia. The Pugh’s have used Gelbvieh genetics since 1994 as their high-end performance European breed and Murray Greys as their low input British breed. They have used numerous breeds throughout the history of their operation but feel that the Gelbvieh cattle add a larger degree of performance, have a high yielding carcass merit, and are an excellent breed to create composite animals that have proven to be effective in

the Australian market. With a few days of intense discussions and exchanging ideas with John, it allowed me to critically evaluate my herd by reflecting and putting together a sound philosophy of where I want to direct my breeding program. By visiting with the Pugh family I was able to refine my philosophy through exploration, information, knowledge and wisdom. Each of these steps is critical in the development of a philosophy and can lead to success in the future. I have chosen to highlight each of these and how the Pugh family has done an excellent job at creating a breeding program that is based on sound principles. Exploration: By taking influences from a large variety of sources and exploring different options it is possible to find out what will work best for your program. John Pugh is an excellent source of information as he has developed purebred seed stock based on what has worked on over 4,000 commercial cattle. If the genetics don’t work on his commercial herd there is no sense using them on his purebred seed stock. It really doesn’t make sense to use genetics that don’t focus on what you are trying to achieve and where you are trying to market your seed stock. Information: As our passion rises so does our inclination to gain more knowledge that will allow us to develop our own philosophy, however, without a proper plan people with either become complacent or they try the “blow it up and try again” method. Everyone in the Pugh family has a great deal of passion and are continually finding, collecting and evaluating information about all aspects of running the operation in a systematic manner that allows for appropriate evaluations. Systematic evaluations are often overlooked and are a very important step in deciding if the direction you are heading will lead to success in the future.

18 month-old Summit Gelbvieh bulls. Average 770kg lw, 120 EMA Page 30 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

Knowledge: With increasing knowledge we begin a process of synthesis whereby we eventually develop knowledge, a level of expertise, and our opinions become our own. At this stage the direction of our seed stock program does not change year to year; details do, and our methods remain constant. As you examine and walk through the herd at Summit Gelbvieh it becomes clear that their program is based around a concrete

level of knowledge, expertise and opinions and although you can try and persuade John, he sticks to his guns and knows where he wants to take his program. He is open to ideas and listening to others but the philosophy he has developed has become instinct. Wisdom: As we develop and synthesize our information, we continue to learn from areas outside our particular expertise where we begin to develop links from external sources that allow us to think laterally and develop true wisdom. Through my discussions with John it was clear that other life experiences have given him the knowledge to have a great degree of wisdom into how to properly run and operate a large cattle operation. Regardless if it is fixing a header in preparation for harvesting or picking the next genetics, I can promise you that his choices will be based on his well thought out instinctive philosophy. Based on my experience and time that I spent with the Pugh family I am confident that the Australian and Canadian Gelbvieh breeders can bridge the gap and increase the genetic potential and progress the breed moving forward. Had I not sent out an email, made a few phone calls, and risked people not wanting to visit with me I would have not had this great experience that I can promise you will change my program for the better. As I discussed with John, you cannot isolate yourself in silos, you need to call, meet and visit other farms as this will truly help in the development of your philosophy and seed stock programs. I try to visit a few different farms every year and I challenge you to do the

same. If we as breeders are going to try and bridge the gap between other countries we need to bridge the gap between breeders in our own country. Don’t be afraid of refusal, be excited at the potential to meet someone that may shape your philosophy or at the very least gives you someone that you are able to acquire an idea or perspective that makes you or your program better. Information about Author: Jeremiah Barnert MSc. currently owns and operates a herd of Gelbvieh cattle in Okotoks, AB and information on his program can be found on his website at or by calling him at (403) 617-3985.

John and Kim Pugh Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 31

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Gelbvieh guide • Spring 2013 • Page 33

Celebrating 40 Years of Gelbvieh in Canada!!

Page 34 • Spring 2013 • Gelbvieh guide

Gelbvieh Guide Spring 2013 - pages 1-34  

The official publication of the Canadian Gelbvieh Association

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