June 10, 2020


Cattle producers to get help from international group of US, Canadian and Australian bodies



International Genetic Solutions is working to support key players across the breed spectrum by availing resources and technologies to support cattle producers.


The organisation - which comprises of more than 17 cattle associations and organisations from the United States, Canada and Australia - had "put together a massive collaborative effort with approaching 20 million head of cattle to provide the most scientifically-credible, the most cost-effective, the quickest, multi-breed, directly-comparable genetic evaluation" in the world, said Chip Kemp, IGS' head of commercial and industry operations.


IGS partners and leaders across the beef industry have met virtually this week during the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) virtual symposium.


"If you think about IGS, from a big-picture standpoint, it's the value of collaboration," said Tom Brink, CEO of Red Angus Association of America. "Beef breeds, historically, haven't always worked together so well, or so much, but IGS broke the mold on that. Being able to combine these data sets, more analytical power, better EPD predictions to use for all the breeds involved, IGS just really facilitates that in an unprecedented way."


The collective effort is intended to help individuals make more informed decisions - from feedstock to commercial producers.


"The collaboration that we have with IGS will do two things: not only will it help their members sell (feedstock) bulls and replacement heifers but it will also help their customers, commercial producers make an informed decision in their operations. And those two things together will contribute to accelerating genetic improvements," said Stewart Bauck, vice president of agrigenomics for Neogen Genomics. "It's going to have a significant, important and long-term beneficial impact on the beef industry.


"Getting everybody pulling the wagon together allows the IGS team and the leading scientists in the world, working in beef cattle genetics, to accelerate the process of genetic improvement," Bob Weaber of Kansas State University said. "Tools like the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator puts increased profit potential in the hands of cattlemen and women as they assign and assess the value of their stock."


"We're a lot stronger working together than we are individually," Brink said. "We're getting a lot better genetic predictions by doing what we're doing, working together, so that's really the power of IGS."


- Drovers