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Genetic improvement for the beef herd: Focus of
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For beef producers, one of the best ways to improve profitability is to improve herd genetics. A new website called ( was developed by beef cattle scientists to help producers access one location for the latest beef cattle genetics and genomics information.
The website, showcased at the 2015 Beef Improvement Federation Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi, is part of the national eXtension program, an interactive program that delivers research-based information to the public from land-grant universities across the United States. The beef cattle scientists who developed the website’s resources represent six land-grant institutions.
One of the scientists was Bob Weaber, cow-calf specialist for K-State Research and Extension. He said a grant provided through eXtension supported the project.
“The focus is on genetics,” Weaber said. “We’ve put together a vast set of resources including short video clips, fact sheets, archived talks, webinars and other useful links all related to genetics of beef cattle and genetic improvement of beef cattle. We think it’s going to be a good resource for producers to interact with many extension educators.”
Weaber, who is also an associate professor of beef breeding and genetics at Kansas State University, said only includes selected researched and peer-reviewed information. Another goal of the website is to archive the information generated from current and future beef genetics integrated grants funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
All team members are a part of one or more of the three current grants: Integrated Program for Reducing Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex in Beef and Dairy Cattle, National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle, and Identification and Management of Alleles Impairing Heifer Fertility While Optimizing Genetic Gain in Beef Cattle.
In addition to Weaber, other team members include Darrh Bullock, University of Kentucky; Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California – Davis; Jared Decker, University of Missouri; Megan Rolf, Oklahoma State University; and Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska.