by IBBA Executive Vice President Tommy Perkins, PhD., PAS
What a difference a year makes as this time last year we were settling into a small rented office space awaiting the remodel of our new office. Twelve months later we are enjoying the very open, functional and spacious office building, compliments of the board of directors and entire membership. The staff and I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to work in a building we are proud to call home. We have welcomed many visitors in our new office in the past year and most of them comment on how convenient it is to get to and the fact they don’t have to fight the city traffic getting here.
The membership continues to embrace the use of genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs), and the board has responded with a monthly genetic evaluation. Therefore, you receive updated GE-EPDs twelve times per year instead of our traditional two times per year. If you haven’t already heard, we have recently released a new commercial Brangus-specific DNA product in partnership with Neogen (GeneSeek) called the Igenity Brangus Profiler. It allows commercial cattlemen to DNA test their replacement heifers and cull animals with more precision. The profiler produces a score between one and 10 for each EPD trait analyzed by the association, as well as three different selection indexes. The selection indexes include a maternal and terminal economic index along with a combination of the two called the Brangus Built index. Please share this information with your bull buyers so they can take advantage of the selection tool.
Look for information on other new International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) programs, as well as revamped older programs in this and future additions of the Brangus Journal. For example, Matt Murdoch will be spearheading a new Carcass Merit Program that will encourage retained ownership of culled animals through the feedlot and harvest phase. Additionally, Emilio Silvas and his team are nearing completion and launch of the next version of the IBBA registry software called Regstr.
I would like to compliment the fifteen or so Brangus breeders who attended the very informative Beef Improvement Federation Convention in June. The scientific, yet breeder-friendly, event places university and industry geneticists alongside seedstock producers and commercial cattlemen on the same platform. It is the perfect balance of classroom theory and real-world application impacting the many breeding management decisions we make daily. I am proud to say that Megehee Cattle Company was a finalist for the Commercial Producer of the Year award and Suhn Cattle Company was a finalist for the Seedstock Producer of the Year award at this year’s event in Athens, Georgia. Additionally, Kevin and Lydia Yon and Michelle Field Elmore were awarded 2017 Continuing Service Awards. Other IBBA members in attendance represented the states of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Not all breed associations can say that they were represented by that many member outstanding breeders.
Another impactful event I attended this summer was the Florida Cattlemen’s Convention held in Orlando. The state of Florida represents large numbers of Brangus cattle in both the purebred and commercial segments of the industry. The most elite cattlemen are seen at the very productive educational event. Also, congratulations to Lettelier Brangus, Rocking 3P Ranch, and Marvel Farms for winning Florida Cattleman and Livestock Journal Premier Awards at the convention.
Summer is winding down and the largest junior happening of the year has just ended. The National Junior Brangus Show (NJBS), in Texarkana, Arkansas, was a success, compliments of the outstanding volunteers, staff, parents, grandparents, breeders and others. Congratulations to the participants, scholarship winners, and attendees for making it a successful family event. A big thanks goes out to the many breeders and staff that participated in the productive International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) Brangus Futurity at the end the busy week in Texarkana.
Do not hesitate to call me if you have any specific questions about the office building, GE-EPDs, Igenity Brangus Profiler, or other IBBA events. For information about IBBA programs or other inquiries, please call (210) 696-8231 or visit GoBrangus.com. Stay connected to IBBA through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or receive news updates by joining our email list.