The ceremonial ribbon cutting officially opened the ASA headquarters. Past Executive Secretary, Don Vaniman, and Executive Vice President, Dr. Earl Peterson, shared humorous memories of the beginning years of ASA, and current EVP Shafer welcomed the crowd with funny ASA moments. Bruce Holmquist, General Manager of the Canadian Simmental Association (CSA), gifted ASA with Bernie J Brown’s “Simmental Country” print, celebrating the longstanding relationship between the CSA and ASA. A pulled-pork barbeque with live music from local violinist Lilly Brogger and other festivities followed the ribbon cutting.
The following days, ASA members, commercial cattlemen, and staff gathered for a combined-weekend educational symposium and ASA board meeting. The title of the Fall Focus 2016 was “Teaming Technology with Tradition” and featured a distinguished panel of speakers focusing on tying the tradition of breeding and raising seedstock cattle with the new available technologies. Trailing the educational portion of the schedule, Chairman Dale Miller convened an open Board meeting, and participants took advantage of the opportunity to listen and interact with board members and ASA staff on a wide range of subjects.
Reflecting on the Grand Opening, Wade Shafer, EVP said, “By all accounts, ASA’s Grand Opening and Fall Focus was a smashing success. We had great speakers, great discussion and great fellowship. A big thank you goes out to all involved. Thank you! Thank you!”
Simmental breeders, ASA staff, and Bozeman dignitaries mill around the main floor after a tour of the new headquarters.
To kick-off the Grand Opening ceremony, ASA hosted tours of the new headquarters all day. One mile down the road from the original headquarters constructed in 1974, the new facility is a combination of modern-industrial and old-fashioned Western style. Tours included the three floors of the new building, highlighting on the new Board Room with the stained glass window from the old headquarters, the work spaces for ASA and ASA Publication staff, finishing on the top floor looking out at the view of the Bridger Mountains.
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.
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?