Beefmaster Educational Endowment Foundation (B.E.E.F) is hard at work laying the groundwork to prove the maternal excellence of Beefmasters in today’s rapidly changing, technology driven beef industry. Educating the beef industry about the cow efficiency advantages of Beefmaster cattle is a key responsibility for B.E.E.F. Beefmaster Breeders United’s (BBU) Sire Evaluation Program is the first step in collecting valuable genomic and feed efficiency data that will be used to position Beefmasters as the maternal breed of choice. Here are some key points to the Sire Evaluation Program.
- 300 commercial cows in three separate test herds
- The University of Arkansas at Monticello, Monticello, AR
- Flying B Ranches, La Pryor, TX
- McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA
- All cows A.I. bred to Beefmaster sires from programs with the largest genetic footprint in BBU
- All progeny will be genotyped to increase the validity and accuracy all data points collected
- All progeny to be developed on Growsafe Systems LLC technology to compute individual feed intake and residual feed intake (RFI), feed efficiency measures
- Steer progeny will be finished at Next Gen Feedyard(s) in Kansas and full complete individual carcass data to be collected and used to build a current carcass database for EPD development
- Heifer progeny will return to herd of origin and be put into production for lifetime (or as long as possible) breeding and production data, breeding, calving, birth weight and weaning weight at a minimum will be submitted to BBU
- Heifer data will be used to compute efficiency measures on Beefmaster genetics and included in $M and other new relevant EPDs
- Heifer data and the test herds will be used to develop new genomic selection tools, such as Beefmaster commercial replacement heifer chip
- All data will be used to improve BBU’s performance, genomic and carcass databases
Long term these Beefmaster sired heifers will form a nucleus of genetics that BBU will use to collect invaluable fertility, efficiency, performance, carcass and genomic data. The Sire Evaluation Program is underway with the first calves from the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) already at PX Feeders in Evant, Texas undergoing Growsafe development. UAM used three Beefmaster A.I., sires and cleaned up with Angus bulls. The UAM cattle will finish Growsafe in late July 2017 and be bred in December 2017. BBU anticipates having Growsafe efficiency data back on these cattle and to be presented at convention in October 2017.
The Flying B Ranches calf crop was born beginning in February 2017 featuring Beefmaster sired progeny from four A.I., sires and four Flying B Beefmaster bulls. These calves will begin Growsafe development in October 2017.