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PC-Limi-Pair-by-Gary-Gates.JPG Gary Gates

How can we accelerate our cow power?

How can we put our best cow genetics to work? Plus, there’s still time to enter Neogen’s “Cow Power” photo contest!

You’ve worked your entire life to build a cowherd you’re extremely proud of: Fertile, docile, good milkers and consistently weaning off heavy calves — that’s what it’s all about.

Yet, even in the best of herds, we can still identify the outliers — some good, some bad — and determining which genetics to proliferate and which to send to town can sometimes be a difficult task.

Yet, with genomic testing, a panel can help you quickly identify specific traits, and with this information, you can accelerate the cow power in your operation at a faster rate with greater accuracy.

Compared to conventional breeding and selection, DNA testing and making decisions based on genomic data can help improve consistency and efficiency, It can narrow down your focus for greater results in one trait or a multitude of traits, depending on your operation goals.

But is it worth the price? Or is it just information overload that will bog you down and overwhelm you?

Perhaps the best answer I’ve heard on this question is to start with the end goal in mind?

Who are you marketing to? What is your end game? Do you sell calves at weaning? Do you retain ownership? Are you selling registered stock? Are you selling meat into a consumer-driven program?

Once you know your end game, work backwards to determine what kinds of calves you need to be raising and which balance of traits will best help you get there in the quickest route possible.

That’s the beauty, in a nutshell, of gathering the genetic data on your cattle. And it’s certainly the fastest way to accelerate the best cow power you have in your operation.

That’s what we are celebrating in our newest photo contest, sponsored by Neogen. “Cow Power” is all about showing us your best females on your ranch, and so far, you guys have delivered some incredible images of your cows at work!

View the complete photo gallery by clicking here.

There’s still time to enter this contest. The contest deadline is 10 a.m. Feb. 5. From there, we’ll narrow down the entries to 15 finalists and will ask you to help us choose our champions. Voting will be open from Feb. 6-12, and we’ll announce the winners Feb. 17.

Four winners will take home $50 VISA gift cards; plus, two randomly selected voters will receive a set of my children’s books, “Levi’s Lost Calf” and “Can-Do Cowkids.”

TO ENTER: Simply email the BEEF team at beefphotos@farmprogress.com. Please include a photo, caption or title, your name and mailing address to be eligible to win. One entry per person, please.

Good luck to all who entered and keep checking back as we update the gallery as entries come in. Have a great day!

TAGS: Management
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