by IBBA Executive Vice President Tommy Perkins, PhD., PAS
I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several Brangus sales and educational events the past month, and if you haven’t noticed, I really enjoy visiting with Brangus breeders and meeting potential new breeders during my travels. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to put on these events and I applaud each of you for doing so. You become the face of the Brangus breed during your event, and you always represent us well.
Speaking of excellent events, I attended the Cow Country Congress meeting put on by the Santa Rosa Ranch. Gerald Sullivan, Kelley Sullivan, and Kent Smith did a great job with the speaker lineup and certainly out punted the coverage with the Brangus and Ultrablack cattle they had on display. You could drive a lot of miles and not find that many high-quality cattle in one location. Kent introduced the staff at Santa Rosa during his presentation, and he included me as a staff member of the ranch.
That was pretty profound if you think about it, because I really do work for all of you. If you are a member of the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), it is my job to help you be successful. This begins with having a staff in place who understands the importance of member service with a smile. I am glad to say we have a staff that takes this seriously, and I appreciate those that have noticed. Your kind phone calls, emails, and sticky-note messages are greatly appreciated by all the staff. With that said, I am thankful to work alongside such an enthusiastic and serving IBBA staff.
As a member of your staff, it is, also, my responsibility to provide guidance to the IBBA leadership. Again, I am honored to say that you have a very dedicated board of directors who put policy and programs in place to help make your operation successful. You may not always fully agree with them, but they seem to prove themselves correct more often than not.
Additionally, the IBBA committee structure, also, does a great job of working through policy and programming issues to vet them before being presented to the board. Sometimes it appears your work goes unnoticed or unappreciated, but that is just not the truth. The board seriously considers each of your recommendations.
On that note, I want to thank the show committee and board of directors for working together to implement an outstanding DNA parent verification rule to be followed at IBBA sanctioned shows beginning in 2018. Please review the new policy shown on page 14.
As most of you have seen, we run our National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) monthly to provide the most current expected progeny differences (EPDs) possible. The most common phone call that I receive involves changes in an animal’s EPDs. It is important to understand that the NCE utilizes all data received by members on animals for the best prediction possible. This level of information changes every month as new data, such as weaning weight, DNA SNPs, scrotal circumference, etc., is received on a given animal, its relatives or both. Therefore, a recently-purchased animal’s EPDs may quickly decline or increase value as data and/or models are updated.
This generally causes some angst if the values change more than you desire for traits like birthweight. It is important to remember the most current EPDs are the best prediction available with the facts known at the time of the analysis. Hopefully you will find that the newest EPDs, with higher accuracy levels, will keep you from “going off the road” in your breeding decisions.
This drives home the importance of collecting as much data as you can afford to report to the association. Collecting data on every animal in the contemporary group will have the most meaning and will impact the NCE most favorably. Monthly updates of EPDs are valuable as they only enhance the rate of genetic progress.
Do not hesitate to call us if you have any specific questions about the staff, EPDs or any other Brangus questions. For information about IBBA programs or other inquiries, please call (210) 696-8231 or visit www.GoBrangus.com. Stay connected to IBBA through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube or receive news updates by joining our email list.