Monday, February 10, 2014

Return of a Familiar Face

I have only been working in Angus Central for a few days, yet I am already underway on some very exciting projects. For the next 7 months, I will be working alongside Director of Breed Development Kajal Devani as the Canadian Angus Association’s Research and Special Projects Intern. 

One of our major projects for the summer is the development of genomically enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) for a few very economically important traits: teat and udder conformation, as well as feet and leg structure. To develop EPDs for these traits, we will be sampling around 1,500 cows to compare their teat, udder, feet and leg structure with their genetic make-up. I will be visiting producer farms to score the cattle for these traits, and collecting hair samples so that we can run the HD50K marker panel on those animals. Essentially from this information, we will be able to correlate each cows genetic make-up with their conformation for these traits, to come up with GE-EPDs.

Currently we are in the process of applying for grant funding and selecting cattle to be used for the project. We will be using animals from several seedstock producers in the area, as well as animals from the University of Alberta’s Kinsella Research Station. We are very excited to get underway with data collection for this project.

Another item that we are working on is the development of a Canadian Angus Performance Program newsletter that will be sent to producers each quarter. Within this we will be writing some useful articles about topics surrounding the performance program. In the first newsletter, we will be including information about how our members can get funding through Verified Beef Production (VBP) to put in a livestock scale on their farm. We will be breaking this information down into the respective provinces, since there is different funding available in each province, and therefore a different application process. We want all of our members to be on our Performance Program, so we want to keep you informed of opportunities where you can receive funding to do so. Stay tuned for our first newsletter to come out in early March.

I look forward to an exciting summer, and as always if you have any questions do not hesitate to call me at any time.

Posted by Matt Bates