How to Qualify

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At your service…

By Luke Bowman, Director of Member Events and International Operations                   

The programs and projects showcased by the ASA for the membership are innovative and creative, making the American Simmental Association the most progressive breed association in the US today. The association’s approach to research and education is second to none, given the successes of Cow Herd DNA Roundup, Carcass Merit Program, Carcass Expansion Project, Progress Through Performance, the new Learning Library, and more.

Another program offered which brings to bear great opportunities for breeders to educate their customers and promote this great breed of cattle is the ASA Educational Specialists Program, or as it is so fondly referred to around the country, “SimSpecialists.”

Your association encourages you to take the bull by the horns when developing customers for your herd or program, and these experts can help. Your association offers this positive imaging program nationwide, all year long, although most of the SimSpecialists days are used for production and bull sales in the spring months.   

Our pool of SimSpecialists is steeped with talent. All are considered experts in beef cattle production in their given region of the country. Each one is familiar with programs and projects tackled by the ASA and can speak directly with the public on the benefits of Simmental cattle and the value of being an active ASA member.   

So how can you arrange to have a SimSpecialist at your next Simmental event? It’s simple. Pending personnel availability, your operation must meet at least one of the qualifiers listed below in order to have ASA representation at your venue. 

1. Audience Qualifier     

Must have a minimum of 25 individuals in attendance; highlighting ASA program(s); event must align with ASA goals and programs; ASA personnel must be the focus for at least 30 minutes or 50% of the event. 

2. $3,500 in Business with ASA     

(within a fiscal year) per membership; must allow some form of education or program awareness. 

3. $2,000 in Advertising with ASA Publication     

Must be a singular membership/account or a collaborative sale; it must allow some form of education or program awareness. 

4. $500 “Buy-a-Day”     

Must allow some form of education or program awareness. 

5. State Associations     



SimSpecialist - Sales Season 2020

SimSpecialist: Susan Russell

In the production sales and show/sale event that I attended in Nebraska before the coronavirus concerns, SimGenetics were very well received. The genetic data emphasis was obvious in the active bidding, with heterosis benefits to commercial herds being strongly touted. The crowds have included a balance of ranchers from different generations looking for Simmental or Sim-influenced bulls, allowing for nice ASA SimSpecialist interaction. At the show/sale combo, it was encouraging to have the judge point specifically to $Indexes and EPDs and talk about how they might help commercial cattlemen in various scenarios. It was also exciting to have a trio of different officials evaluate the multi-breed champion drive and select SimGenetics as Supremes in both bulls and females. 

Since COVID-19 concerns have spread, the production sales thus far in Colorado that I’ve attended have drawn 50-60 in-person buyers. Phone and online bidding are both very brisk. The West is used to open spaces and bulls are displayed outdoors, so social distancing isn’t difficult to achieve, and hat-tips, elbow or fist bump greetings are the new norm. Concerned hosts, haunted by the pandemic’s potential impact and a scramble to adjust formatting, seem to actually be able to breathe easier since the interest and pricing of outstanding SimGenetics remains strong. The ASA’s “Stand Strong Simmental” theme is spot on. 

State associations receive two free days per year for ASA attendance; must allow some form of education or program awareness; one of the two days must be a commercially-oriented event. 


SimSpecialist:  Russ Danielson 
The months of February and March have been active with numerous Simmental production sales held throughout North Dakota, Western Minnesota, Eastern Montana and Northern South Dakota.  Despite adverse weather conditions in the Upper Midwest through the fall and early winter which delayed weaning and in many areas extended the corn harvest into 2020, buyers have been willing to seek out and purchase new genetics for their herds. Commercial cattle producers increasingly recognize the value of superior performance identified by profit-oriented ASA and IGS performance programs.
Personal observations as an ASA SimSpecialist attending qualifying production sales to date this spring reveal buyers rewarding sellers that emphasize accurate and complete EPDs and high economic indexes that fit their breeding programs.  A summary of 14 sales includes 1,300 bulls, 100 bred heifers and 150 open yearling heifers offered for sale. Additionally, more seedstock producers have made the investment to add the accuracy of genomically-enhanced EPDs for buyers.  It appears that feeder demand for carcass premiums is driving more commercial producers to select superior marbling EPDs. The trend of seedstock and commercial producers utilizing the internet to purchase breeding stock continues to increase in our area. 
The demand for Simmental breeding stock by commercial cattle producers continues to increase in the upper Midwest. The number and weight of Sim-influence calves at marketing time provide the economic driving force with the added carcass premiums, feedlot performance and maternal ability of Simmental genetics that have created strong buyer demand for breeding stock again in 2020.
SimSpecialist: Dr. John Paterson
I attended four central and eastern MT bull sales; I was struck by three observations.  First there seemed to be a stronger demand for Simmental and SimAngusTM bulls this year compared to last year and there did not appear to be very many “no sale” bulls.  Second, the use of indexes continues to be used and discussed.  A series of simple genenomically derived indexes was used at several sales which easily emphasized identifying bulls for heifers, bulls for terminal growth and bulls that keep the herd moving in a positive direction. Third, I love to quietly stand in the back and listen to commercial ranchers talk about the business of raising heavy feeder cattle.  Topics discussed were availability of hay, body condition of bulls, and calving cows, Washington politics and community “gossip”.  I am always impressed with the respect that younger ranchers give to older ranchers and continually seek their advice.  All in all, a very pleasant experience to attend four sales.  

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