Performance Article Series: Breeding with Purpose


By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

It’s the front end of 2019 and by now most people have either stuck with their New Year’s Resolution or it was abandoned by the second week in January. I didn’t make a resolution this year, instead I was encouraged to come up with a word for the year. I decided that the word I would use is “purpose”. Purpose is a word that makes you stop and think about why you are doing what you are doing. Whenever I do something, I ask myself why and find the reason for that activity, granted some activities have the sole purpose of just allowing me to relax. I think that purpose is something you need to have when breeding cattle, from a broad sense, all the way down to making breeding decisions. I feel that my purpose for this breed is to promote the breed, as well as work with producers to improve their cattle, and thus the breed as a whole. So, what is your purpose?

Overall the purpose of the seedstock industry is for the elite animals to return to the seedstock industry and the majority of bulls to enter the commercial industry and offer the commercial cattleman a product that will push them forward. With that I believe that our purpose as a breed should be to grow our commercial market. Right now we have a very small share that is growing slowly, but I believe that by breeding with a purpose we can grow this share much faster. Another purpose you may have in your operation is breeding for replacement females, both registered and commercial. Again, the purpose of this type of operation should be to offer the highest quality product to the customer. The Beefmaster breed is known for its maternal characteristics and when making decisions this should be a key factor as to why a certain decision is made. The purpose of the seedstock industry is to advance itself, as well as advance the commercial industry.

With this in mind, I think that someone can now see the purpose in keeping records, using EPDs and studying structure and composition of an animal. These are tools that I have discussed in previous articles and I hope that they can be applied with purpose. Keeping records is extremely important because “we can’t improve what we don’t measure”. Records allow a producer to have a benchmark of where their herd is for any trait that they measure. These records help a producer focus on improving different areas of production that are important to them. If a producer wants cattle that get bred and calve on time, it is important to have accurate breeding and calving records. Weight traits are also valuable to the producer and should be recorded, so that there is a benchmark. One of the greatest strengths of the Beefmaster breed is its maternal ability and I believe that we should keep more reproductive records to prove this to the cattle industry.

Another purpose of keeping records is to allow for the calculation of EPDs. EPDs are a tool that allows producers to compared genetics across the breed that are raised in different environments. The purpose of using EPDs is to improve certain economically valuable traits in an animal’s offspring. It is very important that when using EPDs a producer does not select on one single trait. If single trait selection is used, many times there will be adverse effects on other traits. Use EPDs wisely and use them for what they were calculated for. EPDs are a valuable tool for the seedstock producer, as well as the commercial producer. Large commercial operations have EPD criteria on the bulls they purchase so that those bulls fulfill their purpose in their operation. When buying Beefmaster bulls, many commercial producers are looking at EPDs that point towards a bull that will produce high quality replacement females.

One more thing to look at is the functionality of an animal. Is the animal structurally correct? Does it have enough muscle? The purpose of these animals is for breeding, so they must be structurally correct to do that. Bulls need to look like bulls, while heifers and cows need to look feminine. If a producer sees a structural flaw or lack of muscle in an animal, they can purposely breed to correct that flaw. It is important not to forget structure when breeding animals with a purpose, since the purpose of the animal relies on structure. Beefmaster breeders have been good at selecting for animals that are sound and have good conformation. This means that these cattle can and will work in a variety of climates, from the swamps to the high deserts.

This year I challenge you to breed cattle with a purpose, ask yourself why you are breeding cattle. Is it to produce the best and most elite bulls and females? Is it to produce commercial bulls? Is your purpose of cattle breeding to make the best E6 females for the commercial producer? Remember that the purpose of the seedstock industry is to produce genetics that advance both the seedstock industry, as well as the commercial industry. Also remember that the different selection tools have a purpose and it is important to use all of them for the purpose they were intended. You wouldn’t build a house with just a saw, you need more than one tool. Everything has a purpose and ties into the big picture, so make sure that you don’t overlook something you think might be insignificant.

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Buy a JBBA Ad and get a lot of Bang for Your Buck!


Proving to be a success in its inaugural year, JBBA is continuing its stock show exhibitor outreach promotion. We will be including a JBBA brochure along with breeder/company ads and promotional items in a JBBA bag that will be passed out at major stock shows beginning in January at the Fort Worth Stock Show. Each exhibitor that exits the showring will be given a JBBA goodie bag. These bags will touch many hands including parents, Ag teachers, 4-H leaders, etc., which all equates to potential Beefmaster buyers. JBBA’s outreach promotion is a great marketing opportunity for Beefmaster breeders and any agriculture-driven entity. The advertising exposure is endless. Promotional items may be included with the purchase of any ad size. Items may include koozies, notepads, pens/pencils, key chains, cups, business cards, etc. (limit of two per ad). If you are interested in including promotional items only, a standalone marketing opportunity is available. See rates and deadlines below.

•    Deadline for ads that NEED To Be Designed: Dec. 14, 2018.
- BBU design ads for a fee of $400 for a Full-Page Design or $250 for a ½ Page Design.
•    Deadline for camera ready print ads: Dec. 31, 2018


•    ½ page (full color): $175
•    Full page (full color): $350
-Promotional items may be included with the purchase of any ad size.
•    Promotional items (without the purchase of an ad): $100
- Due to the BBU office by Jan. 11, 2018

For more information visit with one of the JBBA directors, JBBA Adult committee members or contact Bonnie at or 210-732-3132.

Download Order Form Here

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Live Oak BBA Bull Development Program 2019-2020


The 2019-2020 Live Oak BBA Bull Development Program to be conducted at:


2050 Brown Ranch Lane

Beeville, Texas  78102

Mission: Provide a bull development program for LOBBA members.

Will include the following:

  • grow and condition yearling Beemaster bulls on a silage based ration
  • record average daily rate of gain (100-120 days test)
  • obtain weight per day of age
  • collect scan data and scrotal measurement
  • collect yearling weights
  • maintain growing period through summer months
  • conditioning and preparation for LOBBA Bull Sale 2020 acquire rate of gain during conditioning period


Bull eligibility: Ages September 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018

(Fall group: 9-1-17 through 12-31-2017;  Spring group: 1-1-18 through 5-31-18)



  • Current LOBBA membership
  • Entry nomination fee of $10.00 per bull to LOBBA


When arriving at LANDAIR (Brown Ranch):

  • Copy of BBU registration certificate
  • Legible permanent ID (brand or tattoo) , tag in left ear with ID and date of birth
  • Suggested health vaccination and protocol (see LANDAIR contract)
  • All bulls will be given a booster vaccine on arrival (Pyramid 5) at consignors expense – approximately $3.00


Arrival Time

Begin receiving bulls on weekend of LOBBA Bull Sale (1-10-19) until February 1, 2019.


Additional Information

  • Feed test to start first week of February 2019.  Bulls will be tested in a (100-120) window for daily gain.
  • First evaluation of bulls at conclusion of gain test.
  • Scan data, yearling weights and scrotal measurements will be done at appropriate times for Fall and Spring groups.
  • Bulls will be maintained at a growing rate of gain through the summer.
  • A second evaluation of the bulls will occur prior to the finishing, conditioning segment of the program.
  • Conditioning phase will be September through January.  Gain will be recorded.
  • Bulls will be tagged, clipped and tested at the end of December or the first week of January.
  • Hauling, fitting, testing will be done at consignors’ expense at a group rate.


Looking forward to your involvement in this program.  This is an established, reputable, ranch family.  They have considerable experience in bull development.

For information & nomination contact:

Melvin Scherer, Jr.

  • 361-877-2577

Anthony Mihalski

  • 210-415-0888

Bull delivery at LANDAIR (Brown Ranch): Austin Brown III

  • 361-597-0373
  • 361-358-6161
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New Fees Start January 1, 2019


By Collin Osbourn, Executive Vice President

As we get set to wrap up 2018 the Beefmaster office kicks into high gear. Between the last few sales and events of the year, the registrations and transfers and then the 2019 member renewals and dam inventories it has the staff working at a gallop. One thing is for sure though, we have a great crew that can handle the fast pace and get your work done!

In the past year BBU has made an investment in new technologies and programs that have allowed us to better service our members, give members better access to the registry system and improved turn around times for processing work. We have added to our field staff to better serve membership out in the field and added a JBBA program director to better facilitate our junior members and help grow their programs and events. With these investments come additional costs and the board of directors made the decision to implement price adjustments to more accurately reflect the value members get and to help pave the way for continued improvements.

Below are the pricing adjustments that have been approved through the board of directors:


All 2019 membership renewals and new memberships will be charged at following rates

Lifetime Membership – $3,000.00

Annual and Associate Memberships – $125/year

First time annual and associate members will receive a discounted cost of $60.00

Junior Membership – Will remain at $60.00/year

We will no longer offer a discounted new or first time junior membership rate


Beginning January 1, 2019 we will implement an Office Entry Rate that will be charged on a per registration work order request for registrations, in addition to the registration costs. This Office Entry Rate will be $5.00 for the first animal entry and $2.00 for each additional entry processed in the BBU office. Registrations entered online by the member will not incur the in-office fee. Registrations will be charged at the following rates

Purebred and Advancer Certificates 0- 9 months = $30.00

Purebred and Advancer Certificates 10-14 months = $35.00

Purebred and Advancer Certificates 15-18 months = $45.00

Purebred and Advancer Certificates 19 months + = $60.00


All 2019 inventory fees will be charged at the following rates

Whole Herd Reporting (WHR) = $20.00 per active dam

A free transfer is still included up to 30 months

Inventory Based Reporting (IBR) = $18.00 per active dam

A reduced transfer of $15.00 is still included up to 30 months

Animal Name Change:

The requirements to change an animal’s name has not changed and must be followed, but beginning January 1, 2019 we will implement the following animal name change charges

If an animal has no recorded progeny = $20.00

If an animal has recorded progeny = $100.00

These changes allow the association to continue to grow and add more technologies to better serve members. We encourage all members to review their herds and to look at the program that best fits their goals. We are always glad to help members select the right registration program to meet their needs, while being the most cost-effective option. If you have any questions, please give us to a call to discuss the programs and what we can do to help you!

We hope that all our members, families and friends can have some time to enjoy with their families during the Christmas season. We will be taking a few days for our staff to have some days away from the office to enjoy family and celebrate Christmas and the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The BBU office will be closed Dec. 24, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019 for Christmas and New Year. Staff will return to the office on January 2, 2019 to start the New Year.

I hope that each of you will have a blessed and Merry Christmas!


Below are the pricing adjustments that have been approved through the board of directors, these new rates and fees start January 1, 2019.

Membership Fees

Fee Description Online Entry Rate Office Entry Rate
Lifetime Membership $3,000 $3,000
First Time Active & Associate $60 $60
Active & Associate Dues $125 $125
Active & Associate Jan. Renewal $125 $125
Active & Associate Feb. Renewal $135 $135
Active & Associate March Renewal $145 $145
Active & Associate Reinstatement $250 $250
Junior Dues $60 $60
Junior Jan. Renewal $60 $60
Junior Feb. Renewal $70 $70
Junior March Renewal $80 $80
Junior Reinstatement $120 $120

Registration Fees

*Office Entry Rate is charged on a per work order request basis and is the Online Entry Rate + $5 for the first animal entry, then for each additional animal entry it is Online Entry Rate + $2

Fee Description Online Entry Rate Office Entry Rate*
Purebred Certificate 0-9 months $30 $35 first entry & $32 for each additional
Purebred Certificate 10-14 months $35 $40 first entry & $37 for each additional
Purebred Certificate 15-18 months $45 $50 first entry & $47 for each additional
Purebred Certificate 19 months + $60 $65 first entry & $62 for each additional
Advancer Certificate 0-9 months $30
Advancer Certificate 10-14 months $35
Advancer Certificate 15-18 months $45
Advancer Certificate 19 months + $60
WHR inventory (per active dam) $20 $20
IBR inventory (per active dam) $18 $18
Animal Name Change $20 (NO registered progeny) OR $100 (registered progeny)

* WHR inventory and IBR inventory fees mentioned above are the charges to the dam enrolled on the WHR or IBR inventory for the respective year. For WHR and IBR programs the first calf registration per dam enrolled is FREE, when registration is completed online. WHR and IBR calf registrations entered by office staff will incur the Office Entry Rate of $5 for the first animal entry, then for each additional animal entry it is $2.

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2018 Beef on Forage Beefmaster Bull Sale Report


Brenham, TX 10-20-18

156 lots for $1,106,000 to avg. $7,090


Top Selling bulls:

Lot 2 from Frenzel sold to John Gillespie, TX $29,000

Lot 3 from Lairmore sold to Blau Ranch, TX $25,000

Lot 17 from Miller sold to Trueheart, TX $25,000

Lot 1 from Miller sold to Chris Hearn, TX $22,500

Lot 5 from Vaughn sold to Lyssy Beefmasters, TX $22,000

Lot 6 from Eubank sold to Wallen/Holden, MO $20,500

Lot 8 from Lairmore sold to Ervin Allen, TX $20,000

Lot 7 Brown sold to Whiskey River, KS $16,000

Lot 11 Wallen sold to Larry Herd, TX $13,000

Lot 54 Blau sold to Frenzel Beefmasters, TX $12,500

Lot 13 Lairmore sold to Vaughn Farms, MO $12,000

Lot 22 FMC sold to Hood Hidden Hollow, OK $12,000

Lot 29 Brown sold to Whiskey River, KS $12,000

Lot 12 Frenzel sold to Gary Long, FL $11,000

Lot 14 Frenzel sold to MMM/Ronnie Felts, TX $11,000

Lot 20 Frenzel sold to Schneider and Sons,TX $11,000

Lot 15 Miller sold to Cory Hines, TX $10,000

Lot 16 Lairmore sold to Vinson/Cherry Glenn, CA $10,000

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President’s Council Sale Report 2018




OCTOBER 29, 2018

  • 1 Bull $3,500
  • 2 Pairs $17,500 Avg $8,750
  • 8 Bred $35,500 Avg $4,438
  • 6 Open $34,050 Avg $5,675
  • 2 Picks $15,000 Avg $7,500
  • 1 Semen lot $19,300
  • 2 Embryo lots $15,200 Avg $7,600
  • 22 Lots $140,050 Avg $6,366

Top Lots

  • 9- Pair, calf sire BF’s Gold Strike, consigned by Bailey Farms, Pinson, TN:  Sold to Windy Hills, Poplarville, MS for $11,000.
  • 10- Open, sire, Sugar Britches, consigned by Bailey Farms, Pinson, TN:  Sold to Roger and Beverly Austin, Marshville, NC for $9,500.
  • 3- Bred to Sugar Britches, consigned by Painted Springs Beefmasters, Thompson Station, TN:  Sold to C & M Beefmasters, Kershaw, SC for $8,000.
  • 13- Open, sire McAlester, consigned by Swinging B Ranch, Axtell, TX:  Sold to Brody Mason, Brownstown, IL for $8,000.
  • 22- Open, sire, El Guapo, consigned by Golden Meadows Ranch, Cotulla, TX:  Sold to Jim and Pam Colvin, Seguin, TX for $8,000.

Other Lots

  • 5B- Sugar britches semen, consigned by Painted Springs Beefmasters, Thompson Station, TN: 25 units sold for $11,300 to average $452 per unit.
  • 5A-  Captain Sugar semen, consigned by Painted Springs Beefmasters, Thompson Station, TN:  10 units sold to J-T Farm, Henderson, TN for $8,000.

Volume Buyer; C & M Beefmasters, Kershaw, SC


Auctioneer- Gerald Bowie, West Point, GA

Co- Sale Manager- Anthony Mihalski, San Antonio, TX

Co- Sale Manager- Bruce Robbins, San Antonio, TX

Sale Manager- Mike Green, 3G Sales and Service, Franklin, GA

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Beefmaster breed to be introduced at EuroTier 2018


BOERNE, Texas – The Beefmaster breed, a unique American beef breed, will be introduced to cattlemen attending EuroTier 2018. Beefmaster breeders will be available to discuss the benefits that Beefmasters can provide to improve beef quality and efficiency among Bos indicus or Bos taurus cattle. The breed is coming to the attention of European Union (EU) dairy operators for improving revenue of beef production from dairy herd operations as well.

Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) will be represented at EuroTier 2018 by Doyle and Dorothy Sanders of DBL D BAR Ranch in New Ulm, Texas, USA. They will be joining the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE) Team at the U.S. Livestock Pavilion led by Enrique Gandara of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture at EuroTier in Hanover, Germany from November 12-16, 2018. This is billed as the largest cattle show in the world with exhibitors and participants from across the globe. Beefmasters are the only known U.S. beef breed to be represented at this show.

Beefmaster breeders are now in Italy, Poland, UK/ N. Ireland and expanding into Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service in Berlin has assisted with contacts in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic. Interested beef breeders from Africa, Asia, Russia, and Kazakhstan have also expressed interest in learning more about this unique American breed of cattle. Beefmasters are increasingly being used for crossbreeding with other Bos indicus or Bos taurus bulls to improve fertility, weight gain, conformation, milk ability, disposition, and hardiness. Those economic traits are supplemented with scientific research proving Beefmasters are the leading beef breed for feed efficiency and retained hybrid vigor (heterosis).

For more information about Beefmaster Breeders United please contact the BBU office at 210-732-3132 or visit Stay connected to BBU through Facebook, view our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and receive our news updates through joining our mailing list.




Beefmaster Breeders United (, located in Boerne, Texas, is a not-for-profit breed registration organization that provides programs and services for its members. Beefmaster, Beefmaster Advancer and E6 cattle are selected on the “Six Essentials” of disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, milk production and hardiness.

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Beefmaster Honor Outstanding Cattlemen at Convention


BOERNE, Texas – The 58th Annual Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Convention “Beefmasters Gone Country” was hosted in Franklin, Tenn., at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Hotel and Conference Center from October 24 – 27, 2018. The official kick-off of the 2018 convention was highlighted with award winning speeches from the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association members Saige Tassin, Braeden Lee and Weston Brooks, followed by featured speaker and radio personality Shawn Parr.

During the convention, BBU held their general membership meeting and BBU members elected new Board directors and officers. Robert “Bob” Siddons of Lakeway, Texas, was elected president and J.C. Thompson of Bedias, Texas, was elected vice-president. The following individuals were elected to the BBU Board of Directors with a three year term: Trey Scherer of Brenham, Texas, James Skelton of Springdale, Ark., Brian Melloan of Rockfield, Ky., and Tony Psencik of San Antonio, Texas.

Convention attendees enjoyed seminars and fellowship with other cattlemen and women. The educational seminars were sponsored by the Beefmaster Educational Endowment Foundation (BEEF). The educational seminars featured BBU staff members Jeralyn Novak and Donna Henderson demonstrating the new online registration system. Maddy Ruble of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) educated attendees on how NCBA is working on beef issues and how producers can protect the reputation of the beef industry. Dr. Justin Rhinehart from the University of Tennessee spoke about reproductive efficiency and how Beefmaster breeders can help their customers produce more pounds of beef product. The Noble Research Institute’s Dr. Robert Wells discussed EPDs and how the utilization of EPDs and DNA can improve a cattleman’s herd. Wendy Sneed from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture educated Beefmaster breeders on how they can build repeat customers through seedstock marketing programs. The convention also featured a panel discussion with Beefmaster sale managers Anthony Mihalski, Derek Frenzel, Dave Loftin, Bruce Robbins and Mike Green. The panel answered questions from the audience on various seedstock marketing topics, such as sale preparation and advertising.

The evening activities provided members the opportunity to meet and greet with other members during a reception hosted by Beefmaster breeder Kix Brooks at his Arrington Vineyards. Kix Brooks also hosted a skeet shoot “Boot Shoot Boogie” at the Nashville Gun Club. On Friday night the convention committee raised funds and BEEF through selling exclusive items during the auction. The night ended with members dancing the night away to the tunes of Danny Ray and the Curious Longhorns sponsored by Painted Springs Beefmasters.

On Saturday, the annual awards luncheon honored the Beefmaster breed membership award winners. The late Andy Boudreau and his wife Kim of Richmond, Texas were announced as the member of the year. Swinging B Ranch owned by Loran “Mackie” and Norma Jean Bounds of Axtell, Texas was announced as performance breeder of the year and the environmental member of the year was awarded to San Pedro Ranch of Carrizo Springs, Texas. Breeder of the year was awarded to Collier Farms owned by Mike and Rhonda Collier of Brenham, Texas. Beefmaster Cattlewoman of the year was awarded to Kathy Skinner of Katy, Texas. Last, but not least, Gerry Holmes of Falkville, Ala., was presented the Legends Award. The Legends Award is awarded to members who have been raising Beefmaster cattle for 50 years or more. The convention concluded with the annual President’s Council Sale and a great performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

On behalf of the BBU staff, officers, board members and the convention committee, thank you to all our generous sponsors, trade show partners and auction participants. Join BBU at their 59th Annual Convention held in San Antonio, Texas from October 24 – 26, 2019.

View Award Winner Photos >

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Ozark and Heart of America Fall Round Up Sale Report


October 13, 2018 – Sycamore Springs Ranch – Locust Grove, OK


  • 56 different buyers from 8 different states purchased 135 lots sold that averaged $1,983/lot.


  • 28 pairs averaged $2,444/lot, 39 bred heifers averaged $2,073/lot, 38 open heifers averaged $1,591/lot, 15 bred cows averaged $1,793/lot, and 16 bulls averaged $1,946/lot.


  • 135 lots totaled $276,825
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Performance Article Series: Part 7 Using EPDs


By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

As discussed in the previous article EPDs are Expected Progeny Differences, and the calculation of EPDs was discussed. In order to effectively use EPDs as a tool you must understand how to use them correctly, you wouldn’t use a screw driver instead of a hammer to put in a nail. EPDs are to be used as a tool to compare animals to each other or to compare against an average. EPDs are an estimate, based on pedigree and performance, of how an animal’s progeny should perform on average when compared to the progeny of another animal or against a breed average. They offer a quick and efficient way to compare how an animal’s progeny should perform because of genetics. They are not the only tool that you need to use in cattle evaluation, but they are very useful. You wouldn’t build a house just using one tool, but many different tools are required to build a sturdy functional house.

EPDs can help improve traits that are measured and of economic relevance to a producer. They can be used as a tool in selecting both bulls and females for production. When deciding between two or more animals the way to compare is to simply take the difference between the two in order to find the expected average difference between the animals’ progeny for the trait that is being selected for. With this in mind it is important to make sure that you do put all of your emphasis on a single trait and fall into single trait selecting. Single trait selection can lead to issues in the future because most of the traits that are measured have a genetic correlation to other traits. If you select on the single trait of low birth weight, then many times you will bring the other growth traits down, that is not to say that there are not animals that have low birth weight and have large weaning and yearling weights.

When looking at EPDs the top line is the EPD and the line below that is the accuracy value. Accuracy values range from 0.0 to 1.0 with an accuracy of 1.0 never being attained. Accuracies will increase as more records are reported on an animal, and if an animal has genomic data. Even with lower accuracies EPDs are still the best genetic tool that is available, they are better than actual weights, adjusted weights and ratios. It is like using a hand saw vs a power saw to cut a board, both methods are better than using a tool that isn’t built for the job.

Now that you know how to use EPDs here is a simple example using two bulls, Bull A and Bull B, and in your visual appraisal both of these bulls are sound functional animals that you can use. In your operation you are trying to increase your weight traits and your carcass traits and this bull will be bred to mature cows. When you are selecting the bull you will be looking at Weaning Weight, Yearling Weight, REA, and MARB. If you focused just on one you would be single trait selecting and could lead to issues down the road. Looking at the Weaning weight of the bulls Bull A has a WW EPD of 42.0 and Bull B has a WW EPD of 50.0, with this information we expect Bull B’s calves to be 8 pounds heavier on average at weaning. The next trait is Yearling Weight and Bull A has a YW EPD of 65.0 and Bull B’s YW EPD is 82.0, so we would expect Bull B’s calves to be 17 pounds heavier on average at yearling weight. Looking at REA next Bull A has a REA EPD of 1.02 and Bull B has a REA EPD of 1.12, meaning that Bull B’s calves should have .10 in2 more REA on average than Bull A’s calves. Now for the final trait in this selection, MARB Bull A has an IMF EPD of 0.25 and Bull B has an MARB EPD of 0.05, meaning that Bull A’s calves should average 0.20 percent more IMF than Bull B’s calves. In this scenario looking at all of the traits used it would be my choice to use Bull B.

In order to properly use EPDs you need to determine the needs of your operation and what traits need improving, while making sure that you do not single trait select. It is also important to remember that cow EPDs matter, as well as bull EPDs. EPDs are the best genetic tool that we have for selection and should be used as a tool with the purpose of genetic improvement as the goal. They are one of several tools that are used in selecting cattle, if selecting cattle is compared to building a house, it is very difficult to build a house with just one tool, the same can be said about making breeding decisions in cattle. The next article in this series will be a guest article about how genomics factor into EPDs and GE-EPDs, by John Genho, and the next will be about using indexes by Dr. Matt Spangler.

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