ASA

Written by: Erika Kenner       |      

Every rancher and farmer loves the idea of handing down the operation to the next generation, until it actually happens! Sometimes it can be hard for the older generation to let go of the reins and let the younger generation take over. Many times it’s a work in progress and helps when both generations can work together awhile during the process. Most of the time, the next generation wants to take the operation in another direction and this can be scary for the ones turning it over. This is the case for the 2016 Promoter of the Year! Each time another generation has come to the Keller Broken Heart Ranch, they have changed the direction a little bit.

Dwight & his father, Eugene Keller, started their seedstock operation in 1982 south of Mandan, ND. Eugene only had dairy on the place until Dwight came back to the farm. Dwight wanted to be in the beef business, so after obtaining a loan, he purchased 30 beef cows and his dad did the same. They started with Simmental bulls on Hereford and Angus cows, and have grown and developed over the years to an offering of 100 bulls and 80 open heifers selling annually, with 2017 being their 20 th annual production sale.

Dwight had been in livestock judging growing up and then as a coach in graduate school and had formed a good impression of Simmental cattle from what he had seen while judging. He was looking for a breed that would offer both maternal and terminal qualities and he felt the Simmental did it better than any other continental breed.

They started incorporating artificial insemination in the program in 1984, but they also pay top dollar for cleanup bulls and go wherever the genetics happen to be.  They always put their money into bulls and didn’t buy any females. They figured that would give them more money to spend on the bulls they needed.  Dwight says he could not have done all that he has without the support and help from his wife, Dr. Susan Keller. Dr. Keller is the current ND State Veterinarian and has been the Keller’s personal veterinarian all along. In addition, she also helped Dwight since the beginning with all the record keeping and mailing lists.

Now the next generation is starting to take the reins. Luke and Jake Keller are on the ranch and have tried to incorporate their ideas. Luke worked for American Simmental Association for a few years and when he came home, he had some new things he wanted to try. Luke always likes to think out of the box and is willing to try something different. He especially has been excited about implementing the new technology available, especially DNA. Dwight and Susan have pulled back the reins occasionally, but for the most part, they have let the boys have some rein.

Luke made many contacts working for ASA and had the opportunity to see many feedlots firsthand. This prompted him to suggest marketing their calves through a feedlot directly instead of a local sale barn. They have been able to get their data back on their calves so they know first hand how their genetics work. This has prompted them to select genetics differently. They still focus on performance and maternal, but they also pay close attention to calving ease and carcass traits.  Embryo transfer was also implemented this year, which is where having a veterinarian in the family comes in handy! Susan has done all the implanting herself so they are able to do everything on the farm.

In 2016, the Keller’s were a stop on the ND Stockman’s All Breeds Cattle Tour. Luke was elected chairman of the All Breeds Cattle Tour committee and worked hard to promote the tour and his own operation.  Dwight was a member of the NDSA Board of Directors for 2 terms in the past. When he was on the board, they had to deal with several tough issues and Dwight said it wasn’t always easy, but he took the responsibility seriously. Luke was also a member of the ND Simmental Board of Directors for 2 terms and was always willing to help with every project and would go above and beyond what was expected to assist the members.

Luke has also started his own consulting business and works hard to know his customers needs to help them buy the cattle that will work the best for them.  Jake stays home on the ranch and is perfectly content with focusing on the day-to-day operations. Their sister Tessa is still in college, but when she is home, she is also very involved in everything going on at the ranch. She is working on an Agriculture Communication degree and may be able to assist with their advertising in the future!

Handing over the reins and working together in a family operation sometimes has challenges, but in the end is very rewarding. The North Dakota Simmental Association is proud of the accomplishments of the Keller’s through the years and appreciates the promotion they do for the Simmental breed. It is great to see it will continue for years to come.

The North Dakota Simmental Association presented the 2016 Promoter of the Year award to the Keller Broken Heart Ranch and Luke Keller on Friday, December 9, at the ND Simmental Association banquet in Bismarck.

 

 

 

 

 

By Drs. Jackie Atkins, Lauren Hyde, and Wade Shafer

It’s here! The Spring 2017 evaluation includes a multi-breed Stay EPD using the much anticipated new genetic evaluation software, dubbed BOLT (Biometric Open Language Tools). The Stay EPD uses a random regression approach to predict stayability developed by Dr. Janusz Jamrozik and colleagues from the University of Guelph and the Canadian Simmental Association. Dr. Scott Speidel at Colorado State University, Dr. Bruce Golden (Theta Solutions), and the genetics team at International Genetic Solutions (IGS) (Lauren Hyde, Wade Shafer, Mahdi Saatchi, and Steve McGuire) worked together to incorporate the new methodology into the IGS evaluation. The new stayability evaluation includes data on animals of varying breed composition, directly incorporates genomic data, produces true accuracy values and provides Stay EPDs to all IGS partners on a common base. 

Features of the Multi-breed stayability with BOLT:

            1) Multi-breed stayability. As mentioned, the new Stay EPD is calculated for all cattle in the database (not just for purebred and fullblood Simmental, as it was in past evaluations). The calculation of EPDs in this fashion required the new evaluation to account for heterosis, which can be sizable for a trait like stayability.  Because stayability has a major impact on profit, having Stay EPDs on all cattle will substantially improve the ability of the All Purpose Index to predict differences in profit on hybrid and cattle of other breeds. 

            2) Direct incorporation of genomic data.  This evaluation represents the first time "Single Step" methodology has been used in the beef industry on a large database.  The innovative approach refers to DNA marker results being incorporated directly into the genetic evaluation, rather than being incorporated post evaluation or as a correlated trait.  Single Step is widely accepted as the most powerful means of leveraging DNA for genetic prediction.  The use of a Single Step approach on a large database (the largest in the beef industry) was made possible through the use of BOLT, ASA's revolutionary new software developed by researchers Dorian Garrick and Bruce Golden through Operation Quantum Leap.

            3) More "accurate" prediction of accuracy.  Prior to BOLT, the calculation of EPD accuracy was relegated to using indirect methods that were very imprecise, which commonly resulted in calculated accuracies being a poor estimate of the EPD's true accuracy, i.e., an EPD assigned a high accuracy may have truly been a low accuracy EPD and vice versa.  Until the development of BOLT, the direct calculation of accuracy was thought to be impossible on a large database due to computational limitations.  By leveraging statistical methodology unique to genetic evaluation and cutting-edge computer programming, BOLT calculates accuracy directly, thereby making it a much more "accurate" estimate of true accuracy.

Because the indirect methods used prior to BOLT tended to overestimate accuracy, you will notice that the accuracies associated with our new Stay EPDs will tend to be lower than the accuracies calculated in the prior evaluation of stayability. This does not mean that we are predicting stayability less accurately than we did in our previous evaluation--in fact, due to BOLT's ability to leverage phenotypes and genotypes more effectively we are actually predicting stayability with considerably more accuracy--it does mean that the published accuracy is now a better gauge of how much confidence you should have in an EPD. This fact will help seedstock and commercial producers better manage selection risk.

            4) Change in base.  Breeders will see significant movement in Stay EPDs from previous evaluations, not only because of improvements in methodology, but also because of a change in base.  However, changing the base does not affect the ranking of cattle; it simply shifts all EPDs up or down by the same increment.  For a point of reference, in the prior evaluation 21 was the average Stay EPD on purebred animals born over the last 2 years, w

Written by: Erika Kenner

Every rancher and farmer loves the idea of handing down the operation to the next generation, until it actually happens! Sometimes it can be hard for the older generation to let go of the reins and let the younger generation take over. Many times it’s a work in progress and helps when both generations can work together awhile during the process. Most of the time, the next generation wants to take the operation in another direction and this can be scary for the ones turning it over. This is the case for the 2016 Promoter of the Year! Each time another generation has come to the Keller Broken Heart Ranch, they have changed the direction a little bit.

Dwight & his father, Eugene Keller, started their seedstock operation in 1982 south of Mandan, ND. Eugene only had dairy on the place until Dwight came back to the farm. Dwight wanted to be in the beef business, so after obtaining a loan, he purchased 30 beef cows and his dad did the same. They started with Simmental bulls on Hereford and Angus cows, and have grown and developed over the years to an offering of 100 bulls and 80 open heifers selling annually, with 2017 being their 20 th annual production sale.

Dwight had been in livestock judging growing up and then as a coach in graduate school and had formed a good impression of Simmental cattle from what he had seen while judging. He was looking for a breed that would offer both maternal and terminal qualities and he felt the Simmental did it better than any other continental breed.

They started incorporating artificial insemination in the program in 1984, but they also pay top dollar for cleanup bulls and go wherever the genetics happen to be.  They always put their money into bulls and didn’t buy any females. They figured that would give them more money to spend on the bulls they needed.

Dwight says he could not have done all that he has without the support and help from his wife, Dr. Susan Keller. Dr. Keller is the current ND State Veterinarian and has been the Keller’s personal veterinarian all along. In addition, she also helped Dwight since the beginning with all the record keeping and mailing lists.

Now the next generation is starting to take the reins. Luke and Jake Keller are on the ranch and have tried to incorporate their ideas. Luke worked for American Simmental Association for a few years and when he came home, he had some new things he wanted to try. Luke always likes to think out of the box and is willing to try something different. He especially has been excited about implementing the new technology available, especially DNA. Dwight and Susan have pulled back the reins occasionally, but for the most part, they have let the boys have some rein.

Luke made many contacts working for ASA and had the opportunity to see many feedlots firsthand. This prompted him to suggest marketing their calves through a feedlot directly instead of a local sale barn. They have been able to get their data back on their calves so they know first hand how their genetics work. This has prompted them to select genetics differently. They still focus on performance and maternal, but they also pay close attention to calving ease and carcass traits.

Embryo transfer was also implemented this year, which is where having a veterinarian in the family comes in handy! Susan has done all the implanting herself so they are able to do everything on the farm.

In 2016, the Keller’s were a stop on the ND Stockman’s All Breeds Cattle Tour. Luke was elected chairman of the All Breeds Cattle Tour committee and worked hard to promote the tour and his own operation.

Dwight was a member of the NDSA Board of Directors for 2 terms in the past. When he was on the board, they had to deal with several tough issues and Dwight said it wasn’t always easy, but he took the responsibility seriously. Luke was also a member of the ND Simmental Board of Directors for 2 terms and was always willing to help with every project and would go above and beyond what was expected to assist the members.

Luke has also started his own consulting business and works hard to know his customers needs to help them buy the cattle that will work the best for them.  Jake stays home on the ranch and is perfectly content with focusing on the day-to-day operations. Their sister Tessa is still in college, but when she is home, she is also very involved in everything going on at the ranch. She is working on an Agriculture Communication degree and may be able to assist with their advertising in the future!

Handing over the reins and working together in a family operation sometimes has challenges, but in the end is very rewarding. The North Dakota Simmental Association is proud of the accomplishments of the Keller’s through the years and appreciates the promotion they do for the Simmental breed. It is great to see it will continue for years to come.

The North Dakota Simmental Association presented the 2016 Promoter of the Year award to the Keller Broken Heart Ranch and Luke Keller on Friday, December 9, at the ND Simmental Association banquet in Bismarck.

 

Stuck on SimAngus Genetics

A Montana commercial operation transitions to producing high performance SimAngusTM seedstock bulls.        |      

By Emme Troendle        |

“SimAngus, Simmental and Angus breeds have always been the top of our list because of the quality of the breeds,” commends Will Townsend of Townsend Ranch LLC, “We have used traces of other breeds in the past, but when it came down to it, the trends weren’t as good as Simmental, Angus, and SimAngus.”

The Townsend Ranch, located outside of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, is situated with the rugged Big Belt Mountain Range and famous Smith River as a backdrop to their productive ranch and farmland. Townsend continues, “If you look at the $API (All Purpose Index) and $TI (Terminal Index) trends for SimAngus cattle, they have increased continuously, but that isn’t the case for all breeds.”

Townsend is the third generation to ranch in White Sulfur Springs, where they run a 1,500 head operation that is in the midst of changing from a commercial cow-calf pair to seedstock bull production. “We have been improving genetics for a long-time, so we got the idea to market and sell some of our bulls, and now we’re looking to move full-time into the seedstock business,” he elaborates.

 

Continue reading the story

by Mike Apley in Vet's Opinion     |     

Hopefully, everyone is getting up to speed on the rapidly approaching changes coming with the veterinary feed directive. I’ve presented on this topic at numerous meetings, and some issues often come up:

The list of medically important antibiotics which will require a VFD in cattle is really quite short: Examples are tylosin, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, neomycin, tilmicosin and chlortetracycline/sulfamethazine (a fixed combination). Concurrent feeding with any other drug must be approved on the VFD, although not as much detail is required for concurrently fed drugs.

Although the veterinarian does not have to specify the amount of feed which may be purchased by entering this on the VFD, someone must still figure out how much feed the producer may buy under the VFD. This will require cooperation between the distributor of the VFD feed and the producer who will feed the final feed product to animals. 

The veterinarian will specify the approximate number of animals to be fed and the rate of grams per ton for the VFD drug. The consumption rate of the cattle will determine the amount of feed to be purchased.

More VFD drug than authorized on the VFD may not be purchased. If feed or the premix to make the feed are left over after the VFD expires, then the VFD product may still be possessed, but may not be fed again until a VFD is in effect. 

In the case of chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline, some of the feed regimens on the label are mg of drug given per pound of animal body weight per day. In this case, the veterinarian must first use the estimated feed intake of the cattle, along with their body weight, to determine the grams per ton in the final feed. This may need to be specified for different weight ranges and anticipated feed intakes where variation is likely to occur during the VFD effective period. Communication among the veterinarian, producer and VFD drug distributor has never been more important.

Free-choice feeds are also causing some confusion. Since the formulation of free-choice feeds determines the intake, only approved formulations may be fed. For loose mineral, there is only one publicly approved mineral formulation containing chlortetracycline for control of active cases of anaplasmosis. The formulation may be manufactured by any business, including non-licensed feed mills. The “blue bird label” for this formulation may be viewed on the blue bird label page of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.

To produce anything other than this publicly available formulation requires an FDA-approved formulation and must be produced by a licensed feed mill. If you have been using a mineral with chlortetracycline, check that it is an approved formulation and if you will be able to have it authorized by a VFD starting in 2017. You may find that your local distributor isn’t sure and he or she needs to check for you.

You will be able to purchase the type A chlortetracycline (CTC) products (the most concentrated form, containing 50 or 90 grams of CTC per pound) without a VFD because it is not a feed under the regulatory definition of feed; therefore, it is a medicated feed article and not a medicated feed. However, although you will be able to buy and possess the type A chlortetracycline product without a VFD, you will not be able to legally feed it without a VFD. 

Be aware that some distributors are considering requiring purchasers to sign a form indicating they understand they must have a VFD to feed the type A chlortetracycline medicated feed article, and will have a valid VFD in place before they feed it. Attempting to bypass the VFD regulations by buying the type A chlortetracycline medicated feed article and not obtaining a VFD when feeding it is a really, really bad idea. It’s bad for the industry, and bad for anyone doing it when the FDA shows up and asks to see the VFD that goes along with the drug that has been purchased.

Mike Apley, DVM, Ph.D., is a professor in clinical sciences at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

South Central ASA Trustee Nominees

South Central

 

Scott Cowger, Kansas City, MO

 

 

Campaign Letter

I am excited about the opportunity to represent the members of  the South Central Region on the ASA Board if elected! I have been actively involved within the Simmental breed for over 35 years coming up through the AJSA program and currently the ASSA (American Simmental/Simbrah Association) having served on the Activities and Events Committee, Policies and Procedures and chair the Building and Ground Committee during my previous term on the board. I embraced the challenges and opportunities that were presented and would love the opportunity to serve the membership and continue enhancing our breeds.  

I passionately believe in the future of the Simmental/Simbrah breeds and am excited about the progress we have made in the beef industry. The future looks great for the Simmental/Simbrah breeds and I can assure you I will continue to represent the membership to the best of my abilities. I look forward to working for our membership and continue our progress, being the industry leader in genetic evaluations, EPD's and providing leadership for the future. Thank you again for considering me to serve the South Central Region as an ASA Trustee and I look forward to working for you if voted onto the board.

Respectfully yours,

Scott Cowger

  BIO

Cowger is part of RS&T Simmentals, LLC, a 135-head, closely knit family operation that includes his wife, Lorri; children: Jordan, 18, and Tyson, 16; sister:  Tiffany; and parents: John and Becky. He holds a B.S. degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Missouri-Columbia and current serves as a mentor and guest lecturer for undergraduate students in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Cowger previously served on the ASA Board of Trustees from 2012-15, has served as president and board member of the Missouri Simmental Association, completed a two-year term as an AJSA Trustee in the late 1980s and was a member of ASA’s Progress Through Performance (PTP) committee. RS & T Simmental bulls are marketed through an annual sale held on the farm and primarily go to commercial breeders located within a 150-mile radius. A select group of open show heifers are sold through an on-line sale, while bred females and cow/calf pairs are sold through the Livin’ the Dream and The Gathering sales.

 

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Gary Updyke, Checotah, OK

Gary Updyke 

 

 

Campaign Letter

As you read this letter and make a choice for board member of your South Central Region, I would appreciate it if you would consider me to represent you.

You can find out a little about me in the brief bio on your enclosed ballot. Since I haven't had the opportunity to meet many of you, I'll try to fill in the blanks and keep this simple.

My grandpa homesteaded our farm in western Oklahoma (between Vici and Seiling) where my family and I raised wheat. After serving in the Marines Corps 4 years, I earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education, taught Vocational Ag at Floyd, New Mexico, and then returned to Oklahoma State University to complete my Masters and Educational Doctorate.

My wife, Cindy, and I raised our two children in Eastern Oklahoma (between Checotah and Warner). It was there that Updyke Simmentals was established in 1982 for our kids who were in 4H and later FFA. Quality family time made those some of my best years.  I was also an administrator at Connors State College where I supported the start of Be a Champ Show Cattle Camp held every summer at CSC. In addition, I had the privilege of serving as heifer superintendent of Muskogee Regional Livestock Show and Junior Simmental Heifer Superintendent of the Tulsa State Fair for many years. As our children headed to college, our objective turned to raising quality performance Simmental cattle.

The theme for ASA Fall Focus this year was "Teaming Technology with Tradition" which pretty much covers my experiences with ASA. I have progressed from registering calves on tedious hand written reports to entering data online and receiving reports of EPDs on all of our registered cattle. 

Electing a member for the ASA Board of Trustees is very important for you as a Simmental breeder. ASA is leading the cattle industry. ASA administration and staff work together as a family to provide cattle producers everything necessary to improve and market their cattle. Your current board has a good representation from each region with a balance of mutual and varied interests. I feel that my background and experience make me a good fit with this board; so again, I would appreciate your consideration and your vote for Trustee.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Updyke

Contact info: 918-843- 3193 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 BIO

In July 2015, Updyke was appointed to the ASA Board to fill the unexpired term of Blake Nelson, who had resigned. He is the owner-operator of Updyke Simmentals, a family-owned cow/calf operation that includes 120 breeding age females. Updyke genetics are marketed in a variety of ways from bull test consignment sales to state sales to private treaty. A Simmental breeder for 36 years, Gary has been involved in NCBA, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, served as president and a member of the board of the Oklahoma Simmental Association, and is currently president of McIntosh County Cattlemen's Association. In addition, he is a member of the American Legion, the county conservation board and the Community Action Foundation. A Marine Corps veteran, Updyke earned his Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree and Educational Doctorate from Oklahoma State University, then served on the staff of OSU, Lamar Community College, and Vice President at Connors State College.

Updyke and his wife, Cindy, are the parents  of two children: Christina Amundson and the late Greg Updyke.

 

North Central ASA Trustee Nominees

North Central

 

Steve Eichacker, Salem, SD

Steve Eichacker 

 

 

Campaign Letter

Simmental Cattle have always been a way of life for me. I can remember in 1970 when I was eight years old bouncing over the pastures in an old IH pickup rounding up cows for AI’ing (in less than primitive corrals) to use that first Simmental semen, then the excitement when those calves weaned off 100 pounds heavier than our unregistered commercial calves.

Located in southeast South Dakota, Eichacker Simmentals is a diversified family operation raising hay, corn, soybeans and a registered cattle herd consisting of 300 cows, with 250 being Simmental and SimAngus™ (1/2’s to PB’s) and 50 Red Angus cows, where half are bred Red Angus and half are bred to Purebred Red Simmental bulls to raise Sim/Red Angus. Our cattle are currently marketed through two sales, one being the Dakota Made Female Sale in December and a spring bull sale in March. Both sales are held in our sale barn on the farm where everyone in the family pitches in to help on sale day.

Simmental cattle have opened a lot of doors for us over the years. Consigning to all of the state consignment sales for years, then exhibiting pen bulls for 10 years at the NWSS from the 1990’s to early 2000’s to now having our own production sales. The people we have met and friends we have made are endless and still ongoing.

I do believe one of the reasons the Simmental breed is so popular and the reason we are enjoying the success we are today is our diversification and our ability to adapt. We know what our breed looked like in the 80’s (grab an old Simmental Shield or Register if you don’t know what I mean).  But, as a breed we realized and accepted the challenge and that’s why we are one of the most sought after breeds in the industry today. We can adapt to a black program or a red program. We are a great fit in a crossbreeding program whether it be performance or maternal. And we all know a little Simmy goes a long way in making a great show heifer or show steer.

I am also a believer in a strong junior program. The future of any breed depends on its youth.  Our family has participated in either a National or Regional Junior Simmental show the past seven years.  Cathy and I are co-chairmen for this year’s North Central Regional to be held in SD this coming summer.

Whether it is Junior Simmental, 4-H or FFA, I have seen firsthand the benefits these programs have on molding our future leaders in the industry. My wife & I have had the opportunity to judge at the National FFA Convention the past two years which has really opened our eyes to the potential our youth has to offer our country.

The Simmental breed is alive and well and my goal is to keep that momentum charging forward. I have no crystal ball as to what the future may bring, but I have always said “you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but with some common sense and good judgement we can keep the Simmental train on the right track and in the right direction”.

Thanks for your time and consideration and I ask for your vote on the upcoming ASA trustee election.

Thank you,

Steve Eichacker

  BIO
Located in southeast South Dakota, Eichacker Simmentals is a family operation that began in 1970, when Steve’s dad, Raphael, used his first units of Simmental semen.  The herd has grown to approximately 300 registered cows of which 250 are Simmental and SimAngus™ and 50 Red Angus.  Eichacker’s also use an extensive embryo program utilizing a local cooperator herd.  Cattle are marketed through a fall female sale and spring bull sale.  Along with raising all the feedstuffs for the cattle, they are diversified raising corn and soybeans. Eichacker Simmentals was started by Steve’s parents, Raphael and Judy, and is now managed by Steve and his wife, Cathy, who have three children, Amanda, Nick and Adam, and two grandchildren. Steve is a very active in his community, serving on numerous township, church, and bank Ag advisory boards.  He has also served on the SD State Simmental board where he was a past president.  Steve and Cathy have also been SD Junior Simmental Advisors for the past 20 years.

 

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Erika Kenner, Leeds, ND

 

 

Campaign Letter

Dear ASA North Central Region members;

I am running for the North Central Region position of the American Simmental Association Board of Directors and I would appreciate your vote!

Growing up on my family’s farm and ranch in north central North Dakota, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in the Simmental business. Early on all the heifers I purchased were my 4-H projects and then for a couple years, I was able to compete in the North Central Junior Regionals. Steadily, my herd grew and now consists of one-third of the cowherd at Kenner Simmental Ranch.

While attending college at NDSU in Fargo, I was an intern for the American Simmental Association for one semester. After graduating with a degree in Animal Science and Communications, a job opened at the ASA that interested me. I worked for the ASA and ASA Publications from 2002 through 2006.

I moved back to the family farm/ranch in 2007. We have an annual production sale at the ranch where we market predominantly to commercial cattle producers across North Dakota and surrounding states. It is imperative to understand the commercial industry and provide the customers with genetics that will be profitable and good for the consumer.

In 2011, I represented the ASA on the NCBA sponsored Young Cattlemen’s Conference. YCC made me realize how important it is to be actively involved in our industry. Since then, I have become more involved in the North Dakota Stockman’s Association, as well as my community.

My experience in the commercial cattle industry, the show ring as a junior, and as a past ASA staff member gives me a well-rounded background. I believe this is an asset to the ASA Board. I want to keep our Association moving in the right direction and ensure our SimGenetics are competitive and in-demand.

The Simmental breed is my passion. It would be my honor and privilege to serve the members of the North Central Region on the ASA Board.

Sincerely,

Erika Kenner

  BIO

Erika Kenner and her father, Roger, run more than 400 registered Simmental and SimAngus™ cows along with a purebred Red Angus herd. Both maintain their own cowherds, which are operated as one unit. The Kenners run a diversified grain farm involving up to 10 different crops with a heavy emphasis on small grains. Over 120 bulls and 70 bred heifers are sold through an annual sale. A long-time member of the NDSA Board, she served as President, edited the ND/SD Simmental magazine and co-managed the Simmental Classic Sale. The NDSA named her “2014 Promoter of the Year.” A graduate of North Dakota State University, she was a member of the NDSU Meats Team. After graduation, she joined the ASA staff, working for both the Association and the Publications for a total of five years, then took up livestock photography before returning to the farm. Locally, she serves as manager of the Airport Authority, is co-chair of her church circle and is a member of the Economic Development Committee.

 

 

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Tom Robinson, Coggon, IA

Tom Robinson 

 

 

Campaign Letter
To active Breeders in the North Central Region:

Hello, I’m Tom Robinson from Coggon, IA.

I am the board nominee for the American Simmental Association Trustee position in the North Central Region.  There are two seats up for election.  We have three other tremendous breeders also running for the board.  That being said, I feel my qualifications bring a new perspective to the table.  My extensive experience and interactions with individuals in my consulting business includes all phases of the beef industry.  I work with both registered and commercial producers being involved from conception to the feedyard and the packer.  I know the importance of the influence of Sim-Genetics in the end product.  Thus, I feel this gives me well-rounded qualifications to see the bigger picture of Beef Production.  Dealing with all phases of the Beef Industry helps identify where we can do more to make our mark in these tough times. 

I’m currently the President of the Iowa Simmental Association and a long time breeder of this great Simmental Breed.  Previous to my Presidency I served as a Board member of the Iowa Simmental Association.  The State of Iowa hosted the largest AJSA Junior National ever this summer in Des Moines.  I had the pleasure of being involved with our state’s membership and I witnessed firsthand the enthusiasm and future of the breed up close and it could only make you proud to be a Simmental Breeder.

Many of my clients make Simmental Genetics work in the feedyards and collect premiums that make money in this tough market.  Feed efficiency and gain are the results of good cattle, good feed, good environment, and good people.  Together the results display the need to use Sim-Genetics.

This is an important election and everyone in the North Central Region should take this very serious and not be complacent.

I am asking for your vote to become an American Simmental Trustee to move a progressive and aggressive agenda to help all breeders in this region, as well as across this great nation, no matter of your make up.  All people as breeders are important and need a voice to carry their concerns in the decision-making process.  This way policies can enhance all breeder’s ability to market Sim-Genetics. 

Thank you for your consideration and your vote.

 
 BIO
Robinson and his family maintain a 40-head cowherd comprised of purebred and percentage Simmental. Robinson cattle are calved primarily in the spring with a few fall calves. Tom owns and operates a feedlot consulting business dealing with cattle feeders primarily in Iowa. Active in raising Simmental for the past 15 years, Robinson merchandises genetics primarily by private treaty, but also consigns to online sales. A member of the Iowa Simmental Association board
since 2015, he was elected president in February of 2016, and was instrumental in hosting ASA’s National Classic, which established new participation records. His family has experienced considerable success exhibiting cattle at shows throughout the years, including the Iowa State Field Day, the State Fair, the American Royal and the National Western. Active in several agricultural organizations, he’s a member of the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, NCBA and the Farm Bureau. He has judged county and state fair cattle shows on numerous occasions.

Robinson and his wife, Laura, are the parents of two grown daughters.

 

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Scott Werning, Emery, SD

Scott Werning 

 

 

Campaign Letter

Dear North Central Simmental Members,

I am very excited to be running for American Simmental Association Trustee for the North Central Region. I see this as an opportunity to serve and give back to the breed that my family has been blessed to be involved with in our cattle operation. Aside from the cattle, the breeders and people involved with the Simmental breed make this Association a very special one.

My family has experimented with many breeds of cattle since the 1970’s and decided in the 1990’s that Simmental was the clear choice for our seedstock business. Like most of you, we found Simmental to be the most versatile and balanced breed out there. We see it first hand and the industry data is there to back it up as why Simmental cattle provide the most profitable pasture to plate genetics available to the commercial cattlemen and women. Ranchers love the maternal strength and feeders demand the growth, muscle, & efficiency that Simmental brings to the table. These are just a few of the reasons I would like to be involved with the Association to keep Simmental on the top of producer’s minds when selecting their next genetics.

Last but not least the American Junior Simmental Association provides an incredible platform to shape our youth and is a vital part to the future of the Simmental breed. These are our future leaders and they need our full support.

Thank you for considering me to serve as American Simmental Association Trustee for the North Central Region.

Sincerely,

Scott Werning

  BIO

Scott Werning and his family operate Werning Cattle Company in the hills of  the James River Valley near Emery, South Dakota. Werning is a 2006 graduate of South Dakota State University where he was a member of the 2005 Livestock Judging Team and the 2005 National Champion Meat Animal Evaluation Team. At the National Contest he placed second in Cattle and first in Cattle Reasons and was High Point Individual at that National Meat Animal Evaluation Contest. After college, he worked for Cargill Animal Nutrition as a feedlot consultant before returning to the family ranch in 2009. The Wernings run 400 Simmental, Angus, and SimAngusTM cows along with two embryo transplant cooperator herds. In 2015, their operation was ranked number one for registrations in South Dakota. In 2016, Werning and his family marketed approximately 225 bulls, 100 bred heifers, and a handful of select show heifers. In 2017, they will mark their 36th Annual Production Sale held at the ranch on the second Tuesday in February. Scott and his wife, Ashley, have two children, Creighten, 6, and Thatcher, 2.

 

Eastern Region

 

Gordon Hodges, Hamptonville, NC

 

 

Campaign Letter

Family

Happily married to Melissa Miller Hodges for 36 years. Melissa has worked for the USDA-FSA since we were married. We have two grown, married children and one newly born granddaughter. Both of our children were raised actively working on the farm, showing Simmental and Angus cattle and playing sports. Spencer (29 years old) is the Marine & Fishing Department Buyer for Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston, NC, and is married to Elizabeth who gave us our first grand-child in August, Sloane Elizabeth. Juliana (25 years old) recently graduated from Vanderbilt University with her Masters in Nursing, is currently interviewing for a job, and plans to apply for her Doctorate at UAB in January. Her husband, Christian, is currently in the Neuroscience PhD program at UAB. 

Education 1980 graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Animal Science.


ASA Membership History

I began breeding Simmental in 1970 and have been an active member of ASA since 1974 as ASA Member No. 4128. I was also a partner for 24 years in Pineview & Bell Farms, ASA Member No. 112788, with long-time friend Frank Bell, who received the World Simmental Federation Golden Book Award in 2011. In 2005, Pineview & Bell Farms sold out to Gibbs Farms, ASA Member No. 67563, in Ranburne, AL and I have held the position of Genetic & Marketing Manager for Gibbs Farms for the past 11 years. My family still owns approximately 40 cows in the Pineview Farms membership (ASA 4128) & enrolled in the ASA THE program.

Education

1980 graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Animal Science.

 

ASA Leadership History

I have been a very active ASA member since 1980, attending virtually all Annual Meetings, Summer Conferences, Past Trustee Meetings, and now the Fall FOCUS. I previously served two terms on the ASA Board from 1990-1996, serving as Chairman of the Breed Improvement Committee for 3 years. During that time I was instrumental in establishing the Multi-Breed Genetic Evaluation still used today and served on the steering committee for FOCUS 2000. During that time, in cooperation with the Growth & Development Committee, I was active in establishing the Progress Through Performance (PTP) show concept for SimGenetic shows. During my 18 years between serving as a Trustee, I continued to attend all ASA meetings, assisted with many committees, and served multiple years on the Genetic Evaluation Technical Advisory Committee.
I am currently serving on the ASA Executive Committee, Publication Board, Breed Improvement Committee, Growth & Development Committee, ASA Genetic Evaluation Review Committee, and the ASA/RAAA Technical and Strategic Planning Committee.

 

 

Candidate Statement

I have dedicated my life and career to the beef cattle industry, involving Simmental and SimAngus as the primary breeds since the mid-1970’s. I take my role as a member of the American Simmental Association Board of Trustees very seriously and humbly ask for your supporting vote to allow me the opportunity to once again serve as your Eastern Region Trustee.

  

BIO

A breeder of Simmental cattle for 46 years, Hodges owns Pineview Farms, a Simmental/SimAngus™ seedstock operation consisting of 40 cows, located in the foothills of western North Carolina. Since 2006, he has also served as Genetic and Marketing Manager for Gibbs Farms, a Simmental/SimAngus
operation of 800 cows, located in Northern Alabama and Georgia. For purposes of marketing, bull calves are developed and marketed through a cooperative
effort between the two progressive operations. A graduate of North Carolina State University with degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Education,
Hodges spent more than a dozen years managing cattle sales throughout the eastern half of the nation. He has now served nine years as an ASA Trustee,
with his first six-year tenure from 1990 to 1996, and spent three years as chairman of the Beef Improvement Committee. Presently, he is completing a
three-year term after being elected once again in 2014. Hodges and his wife, Melissa, are the parents two grown children: Spencer, and Juliana.

 

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Randy Moody, New Market, AL

Campaign Letter

 

 

Click here for PDF

  BIO

Moody is the owner/operator of Little Mountain Farm, a Simmental/SimAngus operation of 50 mature females that is built exclusively through A.I. and E.T. Females are marketed primarily through the Genetic Connection, LLC sale, while bulls are sold through the North Alabama Bull Evaluation sale. Additional bulls and heifers are sold private treaty. A past president of the Alabama Simmental Association, Moody co-chaired the 2008 AJSA Eastern Regional Classic. He’s also served as regional vice-president of the Alabama Cattleman’s Association and annually attends Beef Improvement Federation Meetings. In 2007, received the prestigious Alabama Seedstock Producer of the Year Award. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of  Montivallo, and for 23 years, has owned Randy Moody Associates, a marketing company specializing in Industrial and Agricultural spray pumps. He serves as a consultant to Hudson-Alpha Institute to develop a biology curriculum for high school advanced placement, focusing on genetics. Moody and his wife, Joy, are the parents of a son Michael Moody, DVM.

 

 

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Cliff Orley, Lebanon, PA

Cliff Orley

 

 

Campaign Letter

 It has been a privilege to serve the ASA and its membership as a Trustee for the Eastern Region over these past three years. The primary responsibility of each Trustee is to represent All Simmental breeders both small and large and do so with an open mind. I have approached this challenge with an objective mindset relative to the task at hand. Equally important is to understand the demographics of the area which you serve and realize that "one size does not fit all programs.

A major part of a Trustee's work is to help build upon already established programs at ASA that work effectively and modify, change or create new ones that will positively affect the progress and promotion of the entire Simmental breed. An important point of this is to put a face to the ASA and Simmental breed at public functions whenever feasible. Along these lines our Junior (AJSA) needs the continued and increasing support both physically and financially. They are the future by which our breed will prosper!

As an ASA Trustee, it is most important to always remain fiscally responsible when studying an existing or new program. With that said, it is also important to maintain a balance of all ASA programs to benefit a majority of the ASA entire membership. As with any progressive group it is important to have an open line of communication with your fellow members and.be a good listener!

It has been a pleasure to serve as an Eastern Area Trustee and I would like to continue to serve. I do subscribe to all of the thoughts I have shared in this letter and remember this election is very important, so be sure to VOTE!

Thank you for your time, Cliff Orley

  BIO

Orley’s CLO Simmental herd is comprised of Simmental and SimAngus™ females managed through a practical, no-frills concept. All females are bred A.I. with selected donors utilized for embryo transplant. In addition, Orley owns and operates Keystone Cattle Service, performing custom-fitting and showing purebred cattle, while also consulting on herd and sale management. CLO cattle genetics are marketed through consignment to several established sales and by private treaty. An active member of various cattle organizations in both Ohio and  Pennsylvania, he has served as Chairman of the highly respected Simmental  Breeders Sweepstakes and was a founding member of the Stars and Stripes Sale group. He also serves as chairman of the board of Supervisors of South Londonderry Township. An Ohio native, he is an Animal Science graduate of Ohio State University and has served on the staffs of the University of Kentucky and Penn State University. Married to Lynn, he has been a Simmental breeder for 18 years.

 

 


Mapping the MAZE through genetics, feeding and marketing options was the focus of upper Great Plains beef cattle producers during a seminar held October 28 in Mandan, North Dakota. The event was sponsored by the American Simmental Association, the American Red Angus Association, the American Gelbvieh Association and their North Dakota affiliates.

In an unprecedented alliance, the executive officers of three national breed associations joined together to share their expertise to assist commercial ranchers in finding maximum value in their cattle. .The concept of International Genetic Solutions (IGS) was presented by Wade Shafer, ASA CEO. The responsibilities of breed associations in the success of cow-calf operations was outlined by Myron Edelman, AGA CEO. Identifying the value of feeder cattle and achieving increased profitability was the final topic presented Tom Brink, RAAA CEO.

Commercial and seedstock producers took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions during a panel discussion at the conclusion of the collaborative meeting.

Fall Focus 2016

Thank you to our Fall Focus 2016 sponsors for helping make this event possible!

fall_focus_2016_sponsors

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