Making progress in the cattle business can be a slow process. Unlike poultry or hogs, it takes years rather than months to see breeding decisions come to fruition. From the time a cow is bred to the time her daughter becomes a productive member of the herd or her son goes on to breed cows or fatten up in a feedlot, there’s a great deal of patience involved.
Yet, anyway we can speed up the process for making progress through better breeding decisions is always a plus. For us, that means relying on genomic-enhanced EPDs and carcass data to make decisions, utilizing artificial insemination and embryo transfers to get the best genetics in production possible and relying on long-standing performance records to understand the potential of each animal and how it might help us be profitable in the upcoming years.
These technologies can help take out some of the trial and error of breeding cattle. We don’t just have to “guess” which animals will be the most productive; we can use the accurate information in front of us to make educated decisions.
By ignoring these tools, we could be leaving money on the table, so it behooves producers — both seedstock and commercial — to use as many of the industry tools as we can when choosing the genetics that become the cornerstone of our breeding programs.
This month, we teamed up with Boehringer Ingelheim and Synchsure (cloprostenol sodium) by Merial + Cystorelin (gonadorelin) by Merial to host a photo contest called, “Genetics in action,” and we asked our readers to submit the best images of their cattle genetics at work.
With 200+ photos, we had the difficult job of narrowing down the entries to 15 finalists. Congratulations to Emilee Holt, Scott Stebner, John Maddux, Sandi Wilkie, Jaclyn Wilson, Niki Stephenson, Kristin Mizner, Bonnie Dredla, Cindi DelCurto, Jayde Farbo, Stacey Ferguson, Morgan Cook, Hannah Gaebel, Kyle Klassen and Kyley Clevenger.
Now we need your help in selecting our champions! Four of our finalists will receive a $50 VISA gift card, plus we have limited edition BEEF hats to give away to three randomly selected voters!
Voting is open until noon CST on Sept. 5, and you can vote daily, so stop back every day to help your favorite photographer rise to the top!
Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.