Tag Archives: producer education

New Reproductive EPDs


By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement

Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) is releasing new reproductive Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs).

Beefmasters are known for being a maternal breed and these new EPD tools will help us to select for more maternal animals. The first new Beefmaster EPD is Age at First Calf and the second new EPD is Stayability. Age at First Calf (AFC) is for heifers and Stayability (STAY) is a lifetime measurement.

Age at First Calf is defined as the difference between a heifer’s birthdate and the birthdate of her first calf. When looking at this number, a lower number is more favorable indicating that a heifer is having her calf at a younger age. Contemporary groups for this are broken by utilizing yearling weight groups and the service type with a 120-day calving window. This helps to separate animals that are bred to calve at 24 months from those bred to […]

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Animal ID Prefix FAQ




Q: What is an Animal ID Prefix?

A: An Animal ID Prefix is a combination of letters and numbers that precede the name or ID number of an animal. For example: CRO 15/22 or CRO Big Red


Q: How short or long does the Animal ID Prefix need to be?

A: This prefix must be a minimum of two (2) characters and up to a maximum of eight (8) characters (including spaces). Your Animal ID Prefix can only be a combination of letters and/or numbers, symbols or punctuation are NOT allowed. Please remember that animal names are limited to 25? characters, including the Animal ID prefix.


Q: Why has the Animal ID Prefix been established?

A: To help recognize and maintain recognition of the original owner of an animal.


Q: I have been using an Animal ID Prefix for many years now, do I still need to submit the form?

A: Yes, every […]

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Q&A with Brian Fieser, Beef Field Nutritionist


Brian G. Fieser, Ph.D., Animal Nutrition – ADM Nutrition – Archer Daniels Midland Company

Brian specializes in seedstock production and cow calf operations. He has been with ADM since 2007 as a field nutritionist. Brian is a fifth-generation farmer and raises cattle on his family’s farming operation in south-central Kansas.

BS in Agriculture (Animal Science and Industry) from Kansas State.
MS (Ruminant Nutrition) from University of Kentucky
PhD (Animal Nutrition) from Oklahoma State


What are the advantages of working with a nutritionist?

Working with a nutritionist gives you an opportunity to work with a specialist: someone who does this job day in and day out. A nutritionist knows the right questions to ask to ensure your operation has what it needs to succeed. The industry is trending towards feedlots and large ranch operations to work with nutritionists.  These customers understand the value these experts will provide in improving performance and managing resources on their operation.

What is […]

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Purpose of an Index


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

In previous articles I have mentioned that the purpose of the seedstock industry is to continually advance and make animals that fit into the commercial industry and make them more profitable. I have also mentioned the tools that are available to producers to help them make informed breeding decisions that should lead to increased returns. A key component to informed decisions is that a producer should never select on just one criterion, in other words avoid single trait selection. When looking at Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) it can sometimes be difficult to avoid single trait selection because a producer may become too focused on one trait, such as birth weight. To help producers avoid this, many breeds including Beefmaster, have implemented one or more indices that weight EPDs appropriately for different production systems. The use of index selection has been […]

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Data Collection Tips #2


We recommend that our members and Beefmaster breeders do the following at weaning time…

Collect weaning weight on calves

– Calves should be between 140 and 270 days old when weaning weights are recorded

– Contemporary groups are formed by calves born within 60 days of each other


Collect mature cow weight and Body Condition Score on cows (this should be recorded with BBU when completing the calf’s registration)


Submit and record weaning weights with BBU using the online system or weaning worksheet

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Data Collection Tips #1


We recommend that our members and Beefmaster breeders do the following at calf’s birth…

Birth Weight:

Take the weight of the calf within 24 hours of birth
Use a consistent weighing method and have the same person weigh calves

Use a scale or tape, do not guess weights

Report all weights on calves to avoid biased data

Calving Ease:

Record calving ease at the same time Birth Weights are collected
Use the scale provided on the BBU Reference codes form

No difficulty/No assistance
Minor difficulty/Some assistance
Major difficulty/Calf puller used
Abnormal Presentation

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Performance Article Series: Purpose of Technology


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

In the past couple of decades technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in almost every industry. With new technology we have more access to more data faster than we ever have before. The cattle industry is no different and technology is rapidly increasing and helping producers to make even more informed decisions than they have ever been able to before. Many people think that the cattle industry is behind the times when it comes to technology, but this is far from the truth. First producers took and recorded weights on their cows and calves, then other measurement technologies came along such as, ultrasound carcass scanning and now even measurements of feed intake and efficiency. These measurements have all gone into the calculation of EPDs, and EPDs have advanced more with the advent of DNA testing. What is the purpose […]

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Organize that paper trail


By Gilda V. Bryant for Progressive Cattleman – original article

Today’s seedstock producers face the daunting task of organizing massive amounts of data from veterinary records, animal marketing reports, as well as collection and sales of semen and embryos.

While many purebred producers utilize spreadsheets and custom-designed computer software, this approach may not work for breeders with small herds.

Craig Bieber runs Bieber Red Angus Ranch near Leola, South Dakota. Lorenzo Lasater raises Isa Beefmaster cattle outside San Angelo, Texas. Jonathan Perry, general manager of Deer Valley Farm, raises Angus cattle near Fayetteville, Tennessee.

These producers share the filing systems that work for them, the various paperwork challenges they have faced and advice for other producers.

Q. How do you keep veterinary health records, sales and other information organized?

Bieber: We think electronically is the best way. We scan everything but keep and […]

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Performance Article Series: Purpose of the Seedstock Industry


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

Last month I wrote about breeding with a purpose, and I think that in order to breed with a purpose it is vital to understand the purpose of the Seedstock or Purebred industry. While it is nice to sell bulls for $20,000 and females for $10,000, the purpose of the Seedstock industry is not that, it is to produce cattle that will help the commercial producer become more profitable in what they do. Whether it is a small producer that just sells calves by the pound at the local auction barn or a large producer that sells pot loads of steers or even retains ownership of the cattle. Seedstock producers need to know their target audience and produce a product that will help the bottom line of their commercial customers.

A Seedstock producer needs to be in touch with the commercial […]

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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 […]

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BBU News Releases

Beefmaster Breeders United Hall of Fame Inductees Honored

POSTED on 3rd November 2021

Beefmaster Recognizes Breeder Excellence Awards

POSTED on 3rd November 2021

Beefmaster Celebrates 60 Years on Conventions!

POSTED on 3rd November 2021


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