We have introduced a new Herdbook feature set called “Active Herd” which allows you to create and maintain informal records for your animals. You are able to add new animals or import your existing (reported) animals into custom animal groups and, once animals are created from scratch or imported, you are able to select an animal for which you can create different types of records. Various data can be recorded including animal data, breeding records, pregnancy checks, treatment records, and weaning/yearling records.

Active herd animals and their data are not official records and are provided as a service to members who wish to record supplementary data for their animals. However, since you can record the same data you would normally report in an animal entry job you can create new animal records with the Active Herd interface and thereafter select animals of your choosing to be officially reported using the traditional job system. Your active herd data for those animals will then be used to start a new job from which you can continue to report/register animals.

You can access the new features by going to the Herdbook website (, logging in, and clicking the “Active Herd” link under the “Herd Mgmt” menu. Upon clicking this link you'll be taken to the Active Herd landing/home page, where you can begin by clicking the “New Group” button to create a new group. Once you've created one or more groups you can click the “New Animal” button to add new animals to one of those groups. The help section for Active Herd can be found by clicking the “Help” menu item at the top of the page and then clicking the “Herd Mgmt” section in the table of contents displayed.

The board of trustees passed a resolution to offer a 50% off rebate on GGPLD testing in exchange for either feed intake and/or carcass data.  Members will receive one 50% of price discount per carcass or feed intake record submitted.  Records must be valid for use in our genetic evaluation (must be at least two sires represented and the animals must have at least the sire identified). 
Animals must have been born after August 31, 2015 to qualify for the program.
Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

Mississippi Junior Simmental-Simbrah Association enjoyed their 'Field Day on the Farm' at the beautiful Fenton Farms in Laurel, MS. 32 contestants from across the state participated in a judging contest, showmanship and a cattle show. Mr. Doug Parke of DP Livestock was the judge for the show. A big thank you to the Fenton Family and all the sponsors who helped our juniors prepare for the upcoming events of the AJSA Eastern Regional in TN and the National Classic in Des Moines, IA.

Do you live in the Gulf Coast region or the Fescue Belt?  If so, the University of Missouri has a deal for you!  The University of Missouri is looking to exchange GGPF250 testing for each animal with a hair shedding score (commitment of 3 years of data collection).  The University of Missouri will share those genotypes with the ASA and ultimately provide genomically enhanced EPDs back to the breeder.  
Read Dr. Decker's blog for more information.
For answers to frequently asked questions, read here.
Contact Jared Decker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.573-882-2504) or Jackie Atkins (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 406-587-4531 ext. 103) with questions. 

ASA's Historical Booklet

Looking back on the moments - the memories - those were the days. 
Would you like to share your Simmental memories?  ASA is publishing a chronological history of Simmental and asking members to submit photos and memories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Back in 2008, ASA celebrated 40 years of commitment to the success of our members. SimTalk ran a special chronological history detailing the strides ASA has made to meet the goal for
maintaining and nurturing services and products, bringing increasing value to ASA members’ customers.

In August 2016, ASA will be celebrating the opening of our new headquarters with a chronological history booklet, detailing moments and historical memories since 1968, when the first foundation cows were bred AI to imported Simmental sires.

We invite you, our members, to submit photographs, historical anecdotes, fond memories, and other interesting items for consideration to be included in our "walk down memory lane". Please submit your contribution by May 20, 2016. 

Submit electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail to: 

American Simmental Association
One Genetics Way
Bozeman, MT 59718
Attention: Emme Troendle


1972:  Parisien was the first animal to be registered in both the American and Canadian herdbooks (ASA & CSA #1).  Donald D. Vaniman, the Association's first full-time Executive Secretary, is shown here holding Parisien's lead rope.

The Ultimate Gift

ASA employees share more than their friendship - by Dan Rieder



Over a 10-year period, American Simmental Association staff member Nancy Chesterfield, had experienced a slow, but steady decline in kidney function. “I was diagnosed with thin basement membrane disease (TBMD) and knew that eventually I was going to need a new kidney or be put on dialysis,” she said.

            TBMD is described medically as “an inherited disorder that mainly affects the glomeruli, tiny tufts of capillaries or small blood vessels in the kidneys that filter wastes from the blood.” It is a rare disorder that has been diagnosed in less than 1% of the population.

            During a casual conversation in the ASA office lunchroom, Kathy Shafer, who has shared an open office space with Chesterfield for several years, heard something that piqued her interest. “That was seven or eight years ago, so I prodded Nancy for more information. When I heard what she was going through the words ‘you can have one of mine’ just kind of popped out of my mouth,” she recalled.

            “I was absolutely overwhelmed,” Chesterfield exclaimed. “I had already checked with my siblings and none of them was a match. After the necessary blood work and tests were performed, Kathy came up a perfect match.”

On the advice of her doctor, Chesterfield visited the University of Minnesota Hospital, widely acclaimed and ranked as number one in the world for kidney transplants. On December 15, just a few weeks before she would have been required to go on dialysis, the two women went to the hospital together accompanied by their spouses, Mick, a retired Montana Game Warden and Wade, ASA’s Executive Vice President.

 “Even then, I asked her ‘are you sure you want to do this’?” Nancy said. Kathy’s answer: “absolutely!” reaffirmed that she had no intention of backing out.

            Kathy, as the donor, went into the operating room first. “The best way to perform a transplant is directly from the donor to the recipient as quickly as possible,” Kathy said. “They did not remove my organ until Nancy had been fully prepared to receive it. When she was ready, doctors promptly removed my kidney and inserted it in her. Because it was so quick, there was no chance for tissue deterioration.”

            When she recovered from the anesthesia, Chesterfield, 62, felt immediate relief. “I could feel the kidney working, because I’d had such a fluid buildup. After six days in the hospital, I checked in with the doctors every day for two weeks and have gradually tapered off those visits to twice a week to once a week to once a month. I will take two anti-rejection pills every day for the rest of my life.”

            Shafer, who is 53, volunteered that her age is ideal for transplant donors. “I learned that if I were to have kidney disease, it would have most likely shown up by now,” she said.

            According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are currently 121,678 people in the US who are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. Of those, 100,791 are awaiting kidneys. The median wait for a kidney is 3.6 years. In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place in the US, with 11,570 of the kidneys coming from deceased donors (traffic accidents, heart attacks, etc.), with 5,537 originating from living donors. Shockingly, 13 people die each day while waiting for a kidney.

            “I’d like to encourage people to learn about the urgent need for kidneys and how they might go about donating. There are very few risks associated with living with one kidney and by donating, a person experiences a great rush of satisfying purpose,” Shafer concluded. “There is a massive, national data base available to match donors with recipients and donated kidneys can be kept for future use. The missing component is a lack of willing donors.”

            As for Chesterfield, she has a new lease on life. “I feel like a new person. Before the surgery, I was always tired – I could have easily taken a nap at my desk. Now my energy level is amazing and I don’t get tired at all. I can’t be any more grateful to Kathy -she gave me a part of her own body and saved my life,” she smiled.

The Stock Exchange News  |  

Summary: Selection indices provide a single value, usually reported in dollars, for the selection of breeding stock that optimizes selection on a number of traits the define profit in a particular production scenario. Selection indexes simplify selection by weighting EPDs by appropriate economic values to estimate the net merit of a selection candidate under a predefined breeding objective or goal.

Effective sire selection is a daunting process for many seedstock and commercial beef producers. Indeed, more than one or two traits affect profit in beef cattle enterprises. A vast array of EPD makes selection challenging and depending on breeding system and marketing methods, traits have different economic values (contributions to profit) across enterprises. Selection index provides a broad methodology for optimally weighting EPD which have economic importance to various defined breeding objectives. Selection indexes, when properly aligned with marketing endpoints, can substantially simplify sire selection decisions by focusing selection on a single metric associated with enterprise profitability. Use of selection index can help producers focus selection pressure on economically relevant traits in a consistent way across years and seedstock vendors. Addition of genomic data to EPD computation systems adds accuracy to the resulting EPD and selection indexes derived from them.

Why do we need indexes?

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Showmanship is the ability to present you and your animal in the best form possible. It is the appearance, the presentation, and the knowledge of your animal and the beef industry. Showmanship begins long before you arrive at the show and is dependent on hard work and practice with your animal.

Time Allotted:
There is not time range in this contest, each class length is determined by the judge of the contest.

Your own cattle entry that is entered in your name at the show at which you are participating, show stick, scotch comb, number harness

Jeans, closed toed leather shoes, and a belt.  Exhibitors are required to wear their official AJSA show shirt.

Class breaks will be posted outside of the show office.  At the National Classic, the Top 20 Showman of each age division are selected by the judge, the official placing will not be announced until the banquet.

Exhibitors must use their own animal and must use the same animal for all phases of the contest. Showmanship is a dry contest, meaning your animal cannot be fitted.

Additional Resources

Sure Champ Cattle Showmanship Tips Video

Oklahoma State Beef Showmanship Resource Showmanship_ANSI-3284web.pdf

Competition Pictures






Public Speaking

Contestants will report to the preparation room 35 minutes prior to their scheduled speaking time. Contestants draw topics from a pool and select one on which to speak. The subject areas include but are not limited to, the History and Development of Simmental and Simbrah cattle, Principles of Breeding, Selling, Customer Service and Managing Beef Cattle.  Contestants will be judged on subject knowledge, organization, presentation, response to questions, and general effectiveness.

Time Allotted: 30 minutes of prep time, three to seven minute speeches. Time elapsed during the speech will be posted so contestants are aware of timing. Speakers who finish before three minutes or run past seven minutes will be penalized one point for each second over or under. Following the speech time will be allowed for questions from the judges.

Materials: Contestants are given an information packet on the selected topic and two 3 x 5 note cards, absolutely no outside materials are allowed.

Dress: Business casual (khakis, dress pants, button-up shirts, sweaters)

Additional Resources

Public Speaking Tips:

Public Speaking Contest Information


Competition Pictures


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