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Trustee Election Ballots Have Been Mailed

Participate in the selection of members who serve on the ASA Board of Trustees by voting online or by paper ballot.  If you are sending in your paper ballot, use the enclosed envelope addressed to The Chairman of the Tellers. Please do not send it to the ASA office. We cannot forward it for you.

Here are the 2020 Trustee candidates. Please take the time to get to know them.

Industry News

The “Why” Behind Whole Herd Reporting

December 03, 2019 Industry News ASA
By Jackie Atkins, Ph.D. | The American Simmental Association (ASA) launched the whole herd reporting system called, Total Herd Enrollment (THE), in April of 1999. Twenty years later, THE remains at the center of thorough data reporting to fuel the genetic…

Check Out What We Have Done So Far

November 19, 2019 Industry News ASA
By Lauren Hyde, Ph.D. | Nearly a year and a half ago, on Saturday, May 5, 2018, the American Simmental Association released the first full suite of multi-breed EPDs powered by the state-of-the-art BOLT software. I have to admit that the ASA staff, with the…

Focus on the Future. Focus on Profit

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Simmental gains genetic improvement in ERTs from calving ease to stayability and growth to marbling during the past 20 years.

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” — Anonymous “There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” — Victor Hugo

Being in the cattle business, one must keep the future in mind with every genetic selection decision. The decision you make on which genetics to use this breeding season could influence your calf crop 15 years from now. That’s in the year 2034! Likewise, the performance we realize today is influenced by decisions made years ago. This article is focusing on the genetic trends in purebred Simmental cattle during the last 20 years to help predict how Simmental cattle will perform in the future.

Figure 1. Genetic improvement in the average EPD of purebred Simmental cattle by birth year. The traits have been standardized so relative change between traits can be compared. The selection pressure in these economically-relevant traits can be seen in the increase in the selection indices ($API and $TI; Figure 2) during a similar duration. An interesting note: Often breeders argue the selection indexes drive away growth, but Figure 2 illustrates an increase in YW EPD along with an increase in $API and $TI.


Figure 2. Change in the average dollar index in purebred Simmental cattle by year of birth for the All Purpose Index ($API; use if keeping replacement heifers) and Terminal Index ($TI; use if all calves will be harvested) and as reference average yearling weight (YW) EPD for the same animals.


The trends show improvements in nearly every trait despite traits being correlated and in opposing (not favorable) directions. Simmental cattle continue to have positive weaning weight and ADG trends, important economically-relevant traits to both cow-calf producers and feedlots. Calving ease has improved greatly as well as marbling. Simmental genetics are getting a bigger piece of the market share in recent years. According to the National Association of Animal Breeders, Simmental is the second highest breed for semen sales. In

the last three years, not only have semen companies sold more units of Simmental semen; additionally, the percentage of all the semen sold in the US from Simmental bulls has grown by 33%. This translates to Simmental getting a bigger piece of the semen-sales pie. Keep up the good work, Simmental breeders! “Every year I wonder what the Association and breeders will accomplish in the future AND at the end of every year, I’m always amazed. Thank you all for this.” — Steve McGuire, COO of the American Simmental Association. 

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