What Can Performance Data Do for You?

With added emphasis being place on today’s cattle producers to utilize performance data within their operations, many may be left wondering what the benefits will be. Sometimes as a small breeder it is easy to ask “what does my data really matter, if any, besides-I only want to register a few head this year.”

Performance should matter to all breeders; no matter how big or how small. Performance data relies on the submission of data from all breeders and cattle. When considering how EPD’s work, all data is averaged to give indicators of genetic performance. When only cattle to be registered have data submitted, it skews the accuracy of all EPD’s.  The concept is simple; we need all the data we can get for the most accurate EPD’s possible.

Some beneficial thoughts about submitting and utilizing performance data:

  • EPD’s are a common sense approach to competing with other breeds in a factual, easy to compare manner. When the ASA completes its transition to the Multi-Breed EPD system, breeders will receive EPD’s that compare to the largest genetic evaluation system in the industry.
  • Improved marketing opportunities will result for cattle with EPD data to back their genetics. Cattle that are proven with accurate EPD results will be more appealing to customers who want to keep performance in check.
  • The breed will experience long term improvement through better data records.  Performance records take the effort of all breeders submitting data for the good of the whole breed to be of great use.

The Shorthorn breed has a decision to make as the ASA transitions to the Multi-breed EPD evaluation system. Will the Shorthorn breed utilize performance data to its full potential? Please take time to consider the impact your herd’s data can play in the enhancement of the whole breed.

Changes to ASA Genetic Testing Procedures

The American Shorthorn Association is transitioning to utilizing GeneSeek for all genetic testing. As a result of the change, there are several new forms and processes members should be aware of.

  • Samples returned on cards from other labs will be charged a $2 re-carding fee by the lab.
  • All DNA samples (hair, semen, blood) must first be sent to the American Shorthorn Association with appropriate forms and fees. The association will make weekly shipments to the GeneSeek lab.
  • Forms available include the Genetic Testing Form to order any genetic testing desired and a parental testing form for verification of unknown parentage.

As always, if any questions arise, please contact Jake Alden at the American Shorthorn Association at (402) 393-7200.


Shorthorns on the Move

Hello Shorthorn World! My name is Megan Brehm, the Director of Communications and Marketing at the American Shorthorn Association. Since taking my position in February, I have been busy working to update promotional materials, social media, coordinating press releases, and more. The American Shorthorn Association and the beef industry are abuzz with energy and activity.

It is one of my goals to increase the presence of the American Shorthorn Association through social media and other agricultural publications. The more people see information about Shorthorns the better! I will continue to make regular blog posts to Shorthorn: Right Now. The blog will be an informal way to share happenings at the association, events within the beef industry, and the occasional post just for fun!

For my first post, I would like to take the opportunity to take time to share some information about myself. I grew up in Southeast Nebraska near Talmage on my family’s farm. Growing up on the farm I was extremely active with our cattle herd of mostly Shorthorn composite cows. Since my early days preparing my 4-H steers and heifers, I have continually built more and more of a passion for Shorthorns. I am thankful for those early experiences and how they have shaped me to this day.

Several Shorthorns grab a bite of new green grass on an early April day in Nebraska
Several Shorthorns grab a bite of new green grass on an early April day in Nebraska.

I live near Syracuse, Nebraska with my husband Randy and four year old daughter Lauren. Our farm consists of raising corn and soybean crops, hay, and cattle. Our cattle herd consists of Randy’s Polled Herefords and my Shorthorns. We’ve compromised on red and white cattle-they are just marked a bit differently. Lauren is our number one helper. She is anxiously awaiting her chance to enter the show ring. Mom of course hopes that it is with a Shorthorn at side.

My family: Megan, Randy, and Lauren
My family: Megan, Randy, and Lauren

I believe that it is an awesome time to be in the cattle industry. Shorthorns continue to experience increased demand as more cattlemen are realizing their value. Shorthorn cattle have many attributes that can add value to any producer’s program. As the ShorthornPlus program continues to gain momentum, it is my hope that commercial demand for Shorthorn cattle will increase exponentially in years to come. The American Shorthorn Association is driven to make this a reality. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!