Thursday, November 29, 2012

Canadian Western Agribition Commercial Cattle Show

The commercial cattle show was dominated by both Red and Black Angus during the Canadian Western Agribition. The Saskatchewan Angus Association was in attendance to give awards for Angus influenced champions. The Angus-influenced cattle results for the November 2012 event in Regina, Saskatchewan were as follows:

Grand Champion Pen of Background Steers - Reed Andrew of Regina, SK
10 head at a weight of 6771 lbs.

Reserve Champion Pen of Background Steers - Reed Andrew of Regina, SK
20 head at 12179 lbs.

Grand Champion Pen of Feeder Steers - Blairswest Land and Cattle of Drake, SK
Pen of 5 at 3788 lbs.

Reserve Champion Pen of Feeder Steers - Lakeland College SMF of Vermilion, AB
Pen of 5 at 4722 lbs.

Reserve Champion Pen of Feeder Heifers - Sentes Farms of Raymore, SK
Pen of 10 at 6815 lbs.

Champion Pen of Open Replacements - Maple Lake Stock Farms of Hartney, MB
Pen of 5 at 4242 lbs.

Reserve Champion Pen of Open Replacements - Sentes Farms of Raymore, SK
Pen of 5 at 3118 lbs.

Grand Champion Pen of Bred Heifers - Murray Westman of Vermilion, AB
Pen of 10 at 11148 lbs.

Reserve Champion Pen of Bred Heifers - O'Hara Farms Ltd of Ceylon, SK
Pen of 5 at 5954 lbs.

Posted by Tina Zakowsky Feedback:

Parent Verification Policy

At the September 2012 Board meeting, the CAA Board of Directors moved to change the Parentage Verification Policy.  Essentially, this change, to become effective for bull calves born on or after January 1st, 2013, would require full parentage verification on any calf from which offspring will eventually be registered in the CAA Herdbook.  This enhances to current policy and practice to require verification to the dam in addition to the sire, which is already in place.

Based on input from the membership, the Board voted, on November 23rd, to postpone implementation of this policy until the membership is better informed and educated on this development.  Please read this communication carefully and let the Association know if you have any questions.  As a member of the Canadian Angus Association, your thoughts and opinions are very important to the CAA Board of Directors.  It is based on membership feedback that the Board has postponed the effective date of this policy.

Be sure to look at the questions and answers as well as statements and rebuttals for your consideration in hopes to address some of your own thoughts or those of folks with which you’ve discussed the new rule.  If you have further questions that need to be answered or statement that should be addressed, please do not hesitate to submit them, and a reply to all queries will be submitted in the same fashion as received.

The Board wants to communicate their continued commitment to the execution of this rule and acknowledge the requirement for additional time in creating awareness among our CAA membership prior to full implementation.  We will continue to provide full, proper and effective information about this rule, its rationale for being, and its benefit to the membership from now through the implementation date
Full implementation of this rule, based on the three-year running average of first-time sires from which offspring are registered, ultimately affects 1930 bulls born each year, or less than 1½% of our national registered cow herd annually, with a determined benefit to over 15% of the average annual registrations.  The Board believes this is a compelling and worthy return-on-investment.

Of the current registration statistics, just under half of the total annual registrations are bulls, so roughly 48% or approximately 27,048.  Of this value, 46%, or 12,559 are transferred.  Further, of this number, 1930 bulls are transferred annually from one member to another, or likely a breeder bull or the type of bull for which this rule was created to impact.  Of this value, a four-year running estimate include 20% that are already Parentage Verified while 80% are Sire Verified only, so 80% of the 1930 bulls will need to be verified to their dam and said dam requires a SNP analysis.  80% of 1930 bulls results in 1544 dams.

Currently, active registered cow herd numbers are just over 126,000.  With this new rule in effect, the impact of the rule is that 1544 dams of those 126,000 needs to be analyzed on an annual basis, which amounts to 1.2%.

We can verify this number by looking at the total number of bulls from which progeny are registered for the first time on an annual basis.  Looking at this metric we see that during the period of our running average, 1940 bulls have offspring registered from them for the first time each year.  Again, based on the rule the Board created, all of these bulls would need to be parentage verified to their dam and, again, 20% of these are already done leaving 1552 that need dam confirmation.  Coming at the situation from this different perspective, the numbers are almost equal, fully validating the metric.

So, with a full validation in place proving the number of bulls affected on an annual basis, please understand that we need to analyze the dams of slightly more than 1500 bulls which, rounded to the nearest whole number, is 1% of the national cow herd.  That is, in the end, the net impact of this new rule --  just over 1% of the national cow herd annually that will be subject to testing.

The CAA recognizes that communication from our office on what this new rule really means has not kept pace with the rate at which some of our membership has developed questions.  We have received significant questions in the office about this change, almost all of which are based on limited or incorrect information.  Suggestions and questions received are explained and answered below:

Please collect a hair sample (DNA) on each cow in your herd for future testing if/when the need arises.

The date of implementation for the revised policy, has been postponed until your CAA Board meets in February so it seems likely that 2013-born calves will not be affected.  Further, bulls born on or before December 31st, 2012 ARE NOT SUBJECT to this testing requirement because ‘historical’ updating is not required.  Since we understand you have limited idea as to which bulls will be subject to full parent verification, we suggest you collect a sample of hair from the tail of every one of your registered females, including as many as 50 full hair follicles, and clearly labeling (the CAA has envelopes available for you), or any other form of suitable sample of genetic material, and storing for safe-keeping in a dry space.  We suggest you collect this hair (or alternate genetic sample) from your cows to assist with the potential future need to register the offspring from your bull calves during processing, preg-testing, calving or especially prior to shipment.

Any of these time frames will allow you to satisfy the potential need of a bull calf born at your operation from which offspring may be registered sometime in the future.  Your CAA office fully understands the challenge of this new process but can assure you that the value to you as a sire seller and buyer is substantial.  The pedigree validation provided to everyone buying an Angus bull is important given the increased role in selection that each animal’s DNA plays and further enhances the validity of our National Cattle Evaluation.

In the event you do want to start testing your cow herd to fully validate the parentage of any or all future offspring, please know that the CAA has established a $12 per SNP Parentage Test rate from now until March 31st, 2013.  We have received Alberta government grant monies that allow for everyone, no matter what province, to capitalize on this rate.  Please contact the CAA office if you have any questions or want to set up tests.

Please note there is no need based on this new rule for you to parentage verify your existing cows just to submit their sample for a SNP genetic analysis so that data is on file for any further offspring that may be subject to testing in the future.  In the words of one of our CAA Directors, “This rule is about ‘looking ahead’ and not about ‘looking back’.” 

The CAA stands behind this objective:

That Sire.  That Cow.  This Bull  GUARANTEED!

With our messaging, we don’t focus on the SNP parentage test; we focus on the hair sample.  We don’t focus on the cost; we focus on storing the DNA at home.  We focus on a management practice that will create all-around benefit to the entire Association Herd Book and its audit-ability.

In the end, this rule change…

Affecting <1 annually="annually" cow="cow" herd="herd" national="national" of="of" span="span" the="the">

Affecting <1 annually="annually" cow="cow" herd="herd" national="national" of="of" span="span" the="the">

… will yield significant results…

Positively impacts >15% of annual registrations…

This is why your Board of Directors approved the rule.  If you have suggestions of further methods to effectively communicate this rule to our membership, or any more questions about the rule, please do not hesitate to contact your Canadian Angus Association.


Posted by Rob Smith Feedback: