Join the Iowa Beef Center for the Inaugural Genetic Symposium

Speakers to focus on genetic improvement of the herd through the bull

October 6, 2023, 11:24 am | Randie Culbertson

AMES, Iowa – The importance of genetics in making decisions for your operation cannot be overstated. A new event offered by the Iowa Beef Center, with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will educate producers on the tools available for making genetic improvements for their operation.

The inaugural Genetic Symposium is set for Dec. 18-19 in Ames at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Randie Culbertson, cow-calf specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, planned the program, and has a solid lineup of topics and speakers on a variety of topics all focusing on the bull.

Genetic Symposium graphic."Understanding the tools available for genetic selection can help you choose the right bull for your operation," she said. "Attendees will learn from the best in the industry, from leading beef cattle geneticists to bull buyers to breeders who apply the tools available to make genetic improvements for their herds. We'll also have demonstrations on carcass ultrasound and bull development."

Patrick Wall, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, encouraged seedstock producers to attend the symposium.

“Producers can potentially purchase up to half of their genetic base every year during bull buying season, making this decision one of the most crucial choices of the year," he said. "This event is aimed at showing attendees what new genetic tools are available and how to harness them, with the end goal being to lead them into buying the bull their operation needs rather than the kind of bulls they more traditionally find themselves bidding on."

Attendees will hear from a bull stud panel, keynote speakers on bull buying, and a producer panel discussing bull selection from a seedstock perspective. A fun evening activity includes a mock bull sale, after which the drivers for bidding and buying behavior will be broken down and discussed.

Session topics include:

  • Current events on genetic prediction.
  • Bull fertility.
  • Data collection.
  • Adaptability and selection.
  • Carcass ultrasound demonstration.

The event begins at noon on Dec. 18 and runs through noon on Dec. 19. For more details, visit the symposium website.

For more information, contact Culbertson at or by phone at 515-294-6304.

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