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Progress Through Performance

Articles

PTP Contributes to Our Success-Part One (Four-part series) Contributers: Steve Reimer, Curt Rincker, Marty Ropp, and Jerry Lipsey

 Obviously, exhibiting SimGenetics is important to our membership. Shows provide opportunities for ASA members to meet potential customers, review cattle produced by others, get unbiased evaluations from notable judges, and enter into conversations of sire selection and production ideas. On the other hand, each year, hundreds of ASA members who hardly own a rope halter, let alone have the inclination or ability to ready cattle for either a national show or their county fair, sell huge numbers of bulls and heifers. How does our Association blend and service two significantly different businesses?         Read more

 


 

PTP Contributes to Our Success-Part Two (Four-part series) Contributers: Steve Reimer, Curt Rincker, Marty Ropp, and Jerry Lipsey

Evaluating and Emphasizing Muscle and Fat in Shows. This is an ongoing discussion of the possibilities of show ring selections impacting the beef industry popularity of SimGenetics. There is widespread consensus that selection for show winners decades ago had long lasting, near disastrous impacts on Simmental and Simbrah beef industry demand. Consequently, leaders of the American Simmental Association established PTP Shows in an effort to provide judges and audiences with information crucial to SimGenetic seedstock marketing success. Since the first PTP Shows of the early 1990s, comments by both spectators and exhibitors always include, “the judge spent all day with his head buried in the paper,” to “those judges paid no attention to the numbers.” We doubt if the controversy will ever end; however, there seems to be less debate in recent years that soundness, size, and composition (the conformation of exhibited cattle) are now days, more industry friendly. Part I focused on skeletal soundness.        Read more

 


 

PTP Contributes to Our Success-Part Three (Four-part series) Growth and Frame Contributers: Steve Reimer, Curt Rincker, Marty Ropp, and Jerry Lipsey

 

In two previous articles, we discussed PTP Show evaluations of skeletal soundness and body composition, specifically, fat and muscle. The purpose of these articles is to assess the potential of PTP Show judge selection of having an impact on SimGenetic genetic change. Obviously, judges’ selections at shows have had influence on both the reality and perception of breed types. Many decades ago, show ring winners were compact, fat, seemingly, slow growing cattle. By the time Simmental and other Continental breeds were available in the U.S., show winner selection had taken a 180-degree turn, and in the 1980s, purple ribbons adorned huge framed, lean cattle that offered birth weight, cow size and marbling challenges. Today, our PTP Show winners are typically 5 and 6 framed, more muscular and heavier conditioned (more external fat) than cattle exhibited 20 years ago. In Part I, we generally agreed that skeletal soundness is reasonably evaluated by visual assessment of conformation. However, attaching show ring soundness differences to reproduction or production traits is difficult because we do not database soundness scores like weaning weights or ultrasound data. Our common sense tells us that better soundness is related to better animal performance, but there is no doubt, animal performance (growth, stay and carcass) is better related to the EPDs than any normal visual signals we have.                Read more

 


 

PTP Contributes to Our Success-Part Four (Four-part series) Balance and Beauty Contributers: Steve Reimer, Curt Rincker, Marty Ropp, and Jerry Lipsey

 

We have discussed the challenges of judging, Selecting, buying or selling cattle with less than attractive soundness, muscling, leanness, and size. Most of our ideas and comments are not very controversial; however, this time, we suspect the topics of balance and beauty can put some cattle producers on edge. From a science standpoint relating to the entire beef industry, it’s not particularly difficult to define economically relevant traits (ERTs). These are traits that directly impact either values or costs to cow herds, feedyards or packers. ASA’s economic indexes use every EPD we have as either a direct ERT or an ERT indicator. Economic indexes are developed to work nearly perfectly; however, our world and our industry are not perfect. We know colors and shapes can impact cattle worth even though it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to relate these to reproduction, growth and meat production values. Of course, the EPDs and economic indexes we provide judges and audiences have no reference to color, shape, balance or beauty. However, producers who show cattle must display entries with significant symmetry and balance in order to get noticed, and hopefully, rewarded. But, there are several physical features associated with showing cattle that have very little impact on commercial cowherds, feedyards and packers, but for decades, beauty and balance (human values) have had significant effects on show ring successes. Without doubt, years of selection for these conformation conditions have influenced seedstock customer demand, and the importance of these often confuse beef producers.        Read more

 

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