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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

December 10, 2014

Improved Feed Efficiency, Profitability

The nation’s largest beef breed organization has released newly improved bioeconomic tools aimed at identifying animals with better performance and profit potential.

The American Angus Association on Friday, Dec. 5, released its national cattle evaluation (NCE) containing genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) and information like percentile tables and breed averages — along with updated economic assumptions used to calculate its suite of bioeconomic dollar-value indexes, or $Values.

The report contained important first-time enhancements to the feedlot value ($F) and beef value ($B) indexes, made possible by a growing amount of feed-intake data recorded by producers during the last 10 years.

“Since their introduction in 2004, these terminal dollar-value indexes for sire evaluation have revolutionized beef cattle selection in the United States, allowing producers to select for a desirable combination of performance and product traits simultaneously,” says Dan Moser, director of the Association’s performance programs and president of Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI). “This is an important next step in improving the ability of cattlemen to select for more efficient, better-performing genetics.”

When multi-trait $Values for $F, $B and grid value ($G) were introduced a decade ago, very little feed-intake information was being collected, Moser explains. Today, however, the Association’s database houses more than 13,000 individual animal feed-intake records, as well as dry-matter intake (DMI) and molecular breeding values for more than 100,000 animals.

“That increased data, along with a better industry-wide understanding, has led to advancements in how we evaluate cattle for feed efficiency,” says Tonya Amen, AGI director of genetic services. “The residual average daily gain (RADG) EPD, for example, has documented differences in genetic levels of feed intake and efficiency within the breed since 2010. Now, it’s logical to include feed-intake information in pertinent $Value calculations.”

For more information, please view the full release here.

2015 National Western Stock Show Nears

There’s no place like Denver in January.

Livestock enthusiasts travel to the base of the Rocky Mountains each year for the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) — a tradition that goes back more than a century. Angus events kick off Jan. 14, 2015, and continue through the weekend with shows, sales and other activities.

While at the NWSS, stop by the Listening Post in the Yards, where Association, AGI and Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) staff members will be available to visit with producers about Association programs and current issues facing the cattle industry.

The NWSS Angus headquarters hotel, the Marriott City Center, offers a shuttle that travels to the NWSS daily, each morning and evening, as space is available. To make reservations in the Angus block call the Marriott before the Dec. 21 deadline, at 303-297-1300 and ask for the American Angus Association’s $110 block rate.

ROV Angus shows

Angus activities begin with the Super-Point Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Bull Show at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, in the Stadium Arena. Dave Allan, Schulenburg, Texas, will evaluate ROV entries. The Angus Bull Sale Show follows at 12 p.m., and prospective buyers have the opportunity to preview the bulls before the sale begins..

The Junior Angus Heifer Show begins at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, in Stadium Arena. Jonathan Perry, Fayetteville, Tenn., will judge the junior show. The next day, ROV Angus Females enter the ring, judged by Allan. The NWSS Angus Pen and Carload Show takes place Saturday, Jan. 17. The show begins at 8 a.m. in the Livestock Center Auction Arena. Arlen Sawyer, Bassett, Neb.; Chad Ellingson, Saint Anthony, N.D., and Phil Trowbridge, Ghent, N.Y., will serve on the three-judge panel evaluating the group competitions.

Immediate show results will be available online and accessed through the Association’s smartphone application, Angus Mobile. A complete event schedule, showring videos, event photos and breaking news alerts are also available by downloading the app.

Angus events and sales
Following the bull show Jan. 14, the 2015 Angus Foundation Heifer Package will sell at 3:30 p.m. in the Beef Palace Auction Arena at the Stock Show Complex. Immediately after, approximately 4 p.m., the National Western Angus Bull Sale begins. Rick Machado of Arroyo Grande, Calif., will serve as auctioneer during the sale, which is managed by the Association.

Evening events wrap up with Angus Night on the Mountain at Spruce Mountain Ranch at 7 p.m. A fundraising event for the Angus Foundation, the night is free and open to the public. Spruce Mountain Ranch will provide bus transportation to and from the ranch. Buses will pick up attendees on a first-come, first-served basis at the NWSS following the Angus Bull Sale and Marriott from 5:30-6 p.m.

A complete schedule of NWSS Angus events can be found here.

Soy Checkoff Farmer-leader Appointed USFRA Chairperson

The United Soybean Board (USB) congratulates soy checkoff farmer-leader Nancy Kavazanjian on her election as chairperson of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).

Kavazanjian, a soybean farmer from Beaver Dam, Wis., is in her fourth year as a USB farmer-director.

“Nancy is a dedicated farmer-director and a great asset to our industry,” says USB Chairman Jim Call, a soybean farmer from Madison, Minn., “She’ll continue to be a leader in telling ag’s story.”

Previously, Kavazanjian served as vice chairperson of USFRA, which consists of more than 80 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture. The organization works to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised.

“Our goal at USFRA is to build trust in the way American farmers and ranchers produce food and this helps to maintain our freedom to operate,” Kavazanjian says. “This mission is at the heart of both USFRA’s and USB’s work.”

In addition to her leadership roles within the soy checkoff and USFRA, Kavazanjian is also a member of two state-level organizations: the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association and Wisconsin Women in Agriculture. She is also a contributor to her family’s farming operation, Hammer & Kavazanjian Farms, which grows soybeans, corn and wheat. The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

Soil Renaissance celebrates International Year of Soils

On World Soil Day, Dec. 5, the Soil Renaissance celebrated a year of progress in advancing soil and soil health and joined in the kickoff of the International Year of Soils.

The Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has designated 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS) to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of healthy soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

Launched on Dec. 5, 2013, the Soil Renaissance is a movement to make soil health the cornerstone of land use management decisions and bring attention to the critical role of healthy soils in vibrant natural resource systems. The Soil Renaissance is led by Farm Foundation, NFP and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

In its first year, farmers, ranchers, educators, researchers, suppliers, nongovernment organization (NGOs), foundations and government agencies have joined the Soil Renaissance with their expertise and support.

The Soil Renaissance has begun implementing a Strategic Plan that focuses on four foundational issues key to all aspects of soil health work: a standard for measuring soil health; economic tools to assess the value of soil health; identifying research needs; and education and outreach. Teams of experts from across the United States have formed working groups around these four areas, and are working to accomplish important goals.

During IYS, the Soil Renaissance will partner with the Soil Science Society of America to bring attention to the importance of soil and soil health.

The Soil Renaissance serves as a central hub through which interested parties can gain new information about measurement and economic tools, research gaps to be filled, and ways they can help. To stay current on all the latest developments, view the complete strategic plan or sign up for the Soil Renaissance newsletter, visit

For more information, please view the full release here.


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