The International Brangus® Breeders Association (IBBA) International Committee hosted guests from Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua for an International Brangus Seminar Nov. 26-28 at IBBA headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.

Guests stayed at the Hilton Palacio del Rio hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk. IBBA Executive Vice President Tommy Perkins, PhD., PAS, IBBA International Committee Chairman Buck Thomason, and IBBA International Committee Member Marcos Borges represented IBBA. Representatives from Texas Department of Agriculture’s international program, Jon Garza and Austin Van Hooser, were present.

Thomason welcomed the guests to the United States, and he discussed the importance of the visit for the international guests for the growth of Brangus genetics in the guests’ home countries, as well as throughout the world. Seminar attendees reported updates on cattle production in their respective countries, as well as the status of each association.

“This was an opportunity to bring countries that have very limited exposure to Brangus and to let them see how the IBBA and U.S. Brangus genetics can help improve the cattle in their countries,” Thomason said. “These countries will offer a lot of opportunity for the IBBA and its members going forward as we are able to help them establish the Brangus breed in each country. This is the third time we have had these type meetings and it is making a difference as we are seeing significant growth of the Brangus breed overseas.”

Perkins presented a summary of U.S. beef cattle production, Brangus association statistics, breeder demographics. and utilization of genomics to improve beef cattle. He, also, provided guidance to the attendees concerning opportunities IBBA can provide each country as they continue to form and/or improve Brangus associations in their countries.

Borges gave a presentation of the Federation of International Brangus Association (FIBRA) initiatives. He welcomed each of them to attend the 2018 World Brangus Congress (WBC) event, scheduled for February, in Houston, Texas. Each country will have a seat at the FIBRA meeting during WBC.

On day two, the group visited Doguet’s Diamond D Ranch in Poteet, Texas, and Tuna Rosa Ranch in Gonzales, Texas, to preview herd sires, donor dams, and show prospects. Guests toured Graham Land and Cattle, in Gonzales, Texas, where they saw Brangus and Red Brangus steers on feed.

“It was my privilege to introduce the use of genomic-enhanced EPDs to the group” stated Perkins, “Ranch visits are always a big hit with our international guests, so I appreciate the Brangus breeders opening up their ranches for this seminar.”

The purpose for bringing international guests to the seminar was to explain how IBBA can assist these countries in developing and bettering their own associations, to convey the importance the role of FIBRA, to discuss the upcoming World Brangus Congress event, and to portray the potential for use of genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences in an international cattle evaluation.