Byron Leu, Livestock Field Specialist, Southeast Iowa
The science surrounding beef genetics expected progeny differences (EPDs), and DNA continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Seedstock producers can be overwhelmed by these new technologies, their practical use on the farm, and their long-term economic impact.
A one-day conference featuring nationally recognized experts was developed and facilitated by Dr. Daryl Strohbehn, ISUE Beef Specialist, and ISU Extension Livestock Field Specialists Carl Neifert and Byron Leu. This Iowa Beef Center (IBC) team assembled industry experts from Cornell University, Colorado State University, ABS Global, Iowa State University, the Charolais Association, and selected seedstock producers to address the challenges and practical use of this advancing technology. The conference was held on December 2, 2004, at the Starlite Village in Ames. Seven educational sessions were presented, including discussions of gene markers in EPDs, economic relevant traits, and the current status of DNA testing. The conference was financially supported by Livestock Plus, Inc., the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, the Iowa Beef Breeds Council, and nine beef breed associations from Iowa. A $30.00 registration fee was charged.
Over 120 producers and agribusiness representatives attended the 2004 Beef Seedstock Conference. Evaluations of the program effort were very positive, with attendees rating the usefulness of the overall conference at 8.4 on a 10-point scale. 47% of the attendees were introduced to 3-4 new ideas/techniques, with 42% reporting that they learned 1-2 new ideas/techniques. Overall, attendees rated the conference at a 7.9 rating relative to providing useful knowledge and understanding about these emerging genetic technologies.
The evaluations were equally impressive regarding the incorporation of new information and/or practices into their seedstock operations. 87% indicated they would change their operations as a result of the information presented at this conference. Attendees also projected that these management changes would have a positive economic impact on their operations. 22% indicated an economic impact of over $1,000 as a result the information presented at the conference, with another 36% reporting an impact of $500-$1,000. Overall, 87% of the attendees indicated that their bottom line would be improved due to the information presented at the program.
Due to the positive feedback and interest generated in the Beef Seedstock Conference, future educational efforts will be explored by the IBC.
March 12, 2005
107 - Iowa Beef Center, 1st (Oct - Dec)
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July 8, 2006
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