Cattleman's Quiz


The Cattlemen’s Quiz is a multiple choice quiz to test your knowledge of the beef industry. The quiz will use a ScanTron type answer sheet, please make sure you’re familiar with standardized testing score sheets. If you have trouble reading, don’t worry, just make sure you let us know before arriving at the contest and an assistant will help you with reading your quiz.


2014 Cattleman's Quizes and answers

2012 Cattleman's Quizes and answers

Allotted: 90 minutes

Materials: Pencil and a highlighter

Dress: Casual


Additional Resources

Online Herdsman Resource Manual

Tips for using a ScanTron answer sheet



AJSA Study Materials

Online Herdsman Resource Links—A study guide for the Cattlemen’s Quiz  competition
The Herdsman Resource Links
is a collection of beef industry and cattle production related materials from which the Regional and National Classic Cattlemen’s Quiz questions will be developed. These study materials are targeted for the intermediate and senior age divisions. The 4-H Skills for Life Series, a great study tool to utilize for the junior age division Cattlemen’s Quiz, is available for purchase by contacting the ASA office at 406.587.4531.

Sample Quizzes:

2016 Cattleman's quizzes

2014 Cattleman's quizzes

2012 Cattleman's quizzes

Producer Oriented Educational Programs:

The Masters of Beef Advocacy—Earning Your MBA
The MBA program is a self-directed online training program designed to equip beef producers and industry allies with the information needed to be an everyday advocate for the beef industry. MBA candidates will be required to complete six courses in beef advocacy, including:
• Modern Beef Production – Sharing the many benefits of modern, efficient U.S. beef production
• Animal Care – Explaining our commitment to raising healthy animals
• Beef Safety – Communicating why producing safe food for consumers is a top priority
• Beef Nutrition – Explaining how great-tasting beef strengthens and sustains our bodies
• Environmental Stewardship – Sharing how we’re protecting the environment for future generations
• The Beef Checkoff – Communicating the value of your investment in growing demand for beef

Beef Quality Assurance
Here is a hands-on resource to help prepare you for the Cattlemen’s Quiz.  Check out the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification program and see when the upcoming BQA seminars are near you. Some states also offer online certification. BQA is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry. BQA programs have evolved to include best practices around good record keeping and protecting herd health, which can result in more profits for producers.

Cattlemen’s Learning Center
The Cattlemen's Learning Center is one of the most successful producer education programs.  The searchable library of topics will be of benefit to you in learning more about practices that can help improve your bottom-line, read how other producer's have benefited from these programs and much more.

General Resources:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Learning Modules

The Beef Blog

eXtension Webinars from Beef Experts

Beef Today on Ag Web— Powered by Farm Journal

Beef Checkoff News Resources and Fact Sheets

Beef Magazine

Iowa Beef Center

Beef Issues Quarterly

Specific Topic Resources:

National Cattlemen's Beef Association Beef Quality Assurance – Video on guidelines for beef cattle production

Emergency Considerations for Beef Cattle

Cattle Corral Development to Reduce Cattle Stress

In depth look at cattle behavior, handling, and facilities with Colorado State’s Dr. Temple Grandin

Breeding & Genetics:

Sire Source 2016

Estrus Cycle Learning Module

Synchronizing Estrus and Ovulation in Cows

Pregnancy Diagnosis in the Beef Herd

Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology of a Bull

Evaluating Breeding Soundness in Bulls

Inheritance of Color and Polled Traits

Assisting a Cow at Calving Time

Pelvic Measurements and Calving Difficulty

Beef Cattle Vaccines

Foodborne Pathogen Control in the Feedlot

Cattle Diseases

Common Cattle Parasites

Nitrates in Livestock Feeding

Meat Science:
Beef Grading

Guide to Evaluation of Slaughter Cattle

Beef Cattle Nutrition Guide

Body Condition: The Beef Cow’s Energy Gauge

Body Condition, Nutrition, and Reproduction

Guidelines for Use of Distillers Bi-Products

Questions and Answers on Beef Nutrition

For regular/daily updates it is suggested that you follow these organizations on Facebook and/or Twitter:
• National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
• NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen
• Beef Quality Assurance
• High Plains Journal
• Drovers CattleNetwork



Brown Bagger webinar:

Improving Current Tools and Developing New Ones.
Latest changes in national cattle evaluation systems, Dr. Bob Weaber, Kansas State University & Cross Breed EPD and multi-breed genetic evaluation developments, Dr. Larry Kuehn, US-Meat Animal Research Center.

Click here to view the webinar recording.


Making Her Way - Erica Kenner

ERIKA Kenner is on a mission to make Kenner Simmental a leading source of Simmental and SimAngus beef genetics in the Northern Plains. Kenner works with her parents, Roger and Jeanette, near Leeds, N.D., on a ranch founded by her grandfather, Alvin. She returned to the family business in 2007 after attending North Dakota State University and working for four years with the American Simmental Association in Bozeman, Mont. Kenner encourages other young women to consider production agriculture as a career. “Don’t be afraid to … jump in and do it,” she says.....  

Read the Dakota Farmer Magazine article here

Spotlight on GGP-LD

    Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher, Past ASA Chairman 

"Last year Gateway Simmentals tested nearly their entire bull sale group with GGP-LD. When asked why they choose to invest in GGP-LD testing, Jim Butcher responded with the following:

1. It comes with parental validation. It is really nice to sell bulls without any surprises on pedigree down the road.

2. With genomics becoming a bigger part of the genetics puzzle, it is a good thing to have our genetics represented in the system.

3. Even though we have big contemporary groups, the subtle changes in EPDs within sire groups and the overall groups is very useful."


      Dr. Bob Webber
     Dr. Bob Webber, PhD

“Using genomically enhanced EPD for selection of young breeding stock provides a level of precision and reliability that’s never been available to seedstock producers before.  By genotyping replacement heifer candidates, breeders can improve the heifers’ EPD accuracies about as much as the progeny data resulting from a female’s whole lifetime of production. The best part is you can know a replacement heifer’s estimate of genetic merit as if she’s been in production for years, all before she’s even weaned from her dam. Genotyping young bull candidates has the dual benefit of identifying those bulls that should be in the development pen and pointing to those individuals that offer truly unique and valuable genetic combinations. Your bull buyers benefit from the improved accuracy too! Using GE-EPDs with improved accuracy improves the reliability of the decisions breeders make and, ultimately, the rate of progress their selection program can achieve.”


Betsy Senter
       Betsy Senter

"The beef industry, agricultural colleges, and breed associations in particular, are investing millions into research to make our selection easier and more effective. We, as breeders and producers, must learn to "trust" the science.  We have to turn our focus from just looking at a calf (phenotype) and look deeper (genomics).  "Trust" what the science can show you and "Invest" in your own herd!  That's what GGP-LD can do for your program!



ASA was well represented at this year's convention, with both the newly elected chairman (Tracy Brunner) and chairman elect (Craig Uden) of NCBA having deep roots in SimmGenetics.  Additionally, the newly minted chairman elect of the American National Cattlewoman's Association (Penny Zimmerman) is the wife of ASA employee and long-time Simmental breeder Bill Zimmerman. 
ASA, along with several of our International Genetic Solutions (IGS) partners, set up shop in adjacent booths on a prime location, with the IGS banner prominently displayed overhead.  The unprecedented show of breed association solidarity for the benefit of the cattle industry was seen as a positive sign for the beef industry by convention attendees.  

Early Report on MARC Research

The USDA Office of Inspector General has issued a preliminary report after a New York Times article contained statements regarding animal care and mortality rates at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Clay Center, NE.
A review team identified 33 statements from the article for evaluation and accuracy. The fieldwork was performed at MARC, reviewed available Agriculture research Service (ARS) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) documentation. A final report will be issued at a time to be determined.

For the past two and a half years, the American Simmental Association has been working with Dr. Jon Beever from the University of Illinois on a specific genetic condition called oculocutaneous hypopigmentation or OH. Animals with OH have uniformly light colored irises coupled with an unusual chocolate coat color. This is not a lethal condition. In fact, the effects of OH seem to be mainly cosmetic. OH is a simple recessive trait meaning an animal must inherit two copies of the mutation to display the trait.

Recently Dr. Beever has found the causative mutation and developed a diagnostic test for OH. Using this diagnostic, an archive of ~245 SimGenetic bulls were tested for OH. The incidence of this particular mutation is very low in the Simmental animals screened to date. The mutation can be traced back to an Angus bull, Sir WMS Warrant, which was likely misdiagnosed as a heterochromia irides HI carrier. Although this mutation possibly originated from the Angus breed, out of over 1,300 Angus animals tested, only one (Sir WMS Warrant) has been identified as a carrier of OH.

Due to the non-lethal nature of this condition and the low frequency of the mutation in the Simmental population, the ASA will not require any testing for the trait. The ASA will add OH to TraitTrac and OH test results will populate the pedigrees similar to other traits. This genetic trait will be treated the same as other largely cosmetic traits like coat color and horned/polled.

GeneSeek has included the marker for OH on the next generation of GGP bovine chip assays. As soon as GeneSeek launches the next GGP-HD and GGP-LD testing, ASA members will have access to these test results. Until that time, individual animals may be tested through Dr. Jonathan Beever at the University of Illinois (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 217-333-4194).

Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation (OH)

Dr. Jon Beever, University of Illinois,
November, 2015
In the spring of 2012, the American Simmental Association (ASA) received an abnormality report indicating the occurrence of a newborn calf with "white-colored" eyes and a diluted hair coat (see picture at right). All the appropriate DNA samples were collected, used for the validation of parentage, and archived for future reference. Over the next two years, three additional calves were reported to the ASA with similar characteristics. Based on the recurrence of this trait, an investigation was initiated to establish whether the condition was genetic. DNA samples collected from the four affected calves were genotyped using the Neogen GGP-HD. The resulting genotypes were analyzed in contrast to the genotypes of ~80 Simmental sires. This analysis showed clear evidence that the condition is inherited as a recessive trait. Based on hese results, the DNA sequence for several genes was analyzed in each of the affected calves. Within one of these genes, a mutation was identified that is predicted to impair the function of the encoded protein. In fact, in mice, mutations within the same gene cause a very similar condition that is referred to as "chocolate", where black mice have a diluted coat color and beige-colored irises (or irides).

Further investigation, including the genotyping of frequently used sires, indicates the mutation is present at a relatively low frequency in the Simmental population. This is consistent with the very low frequency of affected calves reported over the three year period. Examination of carrier pedigrees reveals the Simmental bull, PVF-BF BF26 BLACK JOKER (ASA #1930631), as the most popular recent ancestor with DNA available for testing. However, several of the genotyped carriers do not have this sire in their pedigrees indicating the mutation could be significantly older. Considering this information and the prior description of similar traits in other breeds, namely heterochromia irides (HI) in Angus cattle, the possible origin of this mutation was investigated by obtaining samples from known HI carriers. Although there are very few DNA samples available from these older animals, a sample was obtained for the Angus sire SIR WMS WARRANT (AAA #9196894). Indeed, WARRANT was found to be a carrier of this newly identified mutation. Therefore, it is most likely that the mutation was introduced into the Simmental population by the use of Angus cattle during the development of black purebreds. The subsequent screening of more than 1,200 Angus sires indicates the mutation has most likely been eliminated from the current Angus population via pedigree selection in the early 1980s.

Based on these data, the scientific literature was reviewed in an effort to understand if there were documented features that clearly distinguish between the oculocutaneous hypopigmentation (OH) and heterochromia irides (HI) traits, both of which had been previously described. It is our opinion that the characteristics displayed by these affected Simmental calves is more representative of OH than it is of HI. Additionally, examination of the human and mouse literature also supports this designation. Thus, we suggest that if both phenotypes exist in the cattle population, WARRANT should be designated as an OH carrier. Further screening of current descendants of Angus HI carriers is being conducted but has not identified any additional carriers of this mutation within the Angus population.

Information contained in reports and literature from the 70s and 80s, and in these current Simmental cases, indicate that this abnormal phenotype has little or no effect on the viability or performance of affected individuals. However, in some cases, a possible sensitivity to light has been reported. Thus, we suggest this mutation be monitored similarly to other non-lethal traits such as coat color or horned/polled. As with any recessive condition, breeders can avoid the appearance of affected calves by restricting matings between carrier animals.

ASA Sale Reports

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (January 30, 2016) - The 2016 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show wrapped up Sat., Jan 30, 2016, with the NCBA board of directors meeting. More than 6,700 attended this year's convention to engage in grassroots policy process, hear from industry experts, and attend the expansive tradeshow. Tracy Brunner, Kansas cattle producer, was officially elected to succeed Philip Ellis as NCBA president.
Brunner, a fourth-generation cattleman from Ramona, Kan., expressed optimism about the organization's momentum, saying he would continue to build on the organization's success of the prior year.
It's an honor to take the reins of NCBA for the next year," said Brunner. "We have a great organization and the strong presence of cattlemen and women gathered this week is a demonstration of several things: the interest we have in improving our businesses, our desire to have fun and fellowship, our belief in the power of dialog to move things forward and our commitment to making this an even greater industry."
Craig Uden, Elwood, Neb., was elected as NCBA president-elect, and Kevin Kester, Parkfield, Calif., is the new NCBA vice president. Steve Hanson, Elsie, Neb., was elected chairman of the NCBA Federation Division, and Jerry Effertz, Velva, North Dakota., is the new Federation vice chairman. The new NCBA Policy Division chairman is Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tenn., and Joe Guild, Reno, Nev., is the new policy vice chairman.
 "The American beef industry is stronger than it has ever been," said Brunner. "We have the right people growing the right product in the right way. And, we have the right organizational culture and structure. We have promotion and advocacy; research and education. We have public policy efforts to ensure beef producers are represented in the halls of Congress and at the table as laws are made. We are committed to not only protecting and promoting the beef business of today, but even more importantly, the beef business of tomorrow. We have an exciting year ahead as international demand for American beef continues to rise and trade remains high priority. It's a great time to be in the beef business and a part of this great organization."
As president of NCBA, Brunner will lead the organization's policy work and oversee efforts undertaken as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. To learn more about the organization visit the website:








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