You will notice that a large portion of this issue is devoted to our junior membership, the future of our breed. The quality and character of our juniors was evident at the National Junior Limousin Show and Congress held in Des Moines, Iowa, in July. Throughout the week’s full slate of activities, the hard work by the junior board was a tremendous help in making the show and satellite events run smoothly.
The experiences and responsibilities they took on will contribute to their continued success in the future, whether they are raising Limousin, involved in production agriculture or pursuing careers in agricultural business.
I would like to thank the hard work put in by the Iowa Limousin Association for hosting a great week in Iowa. The project is a huge effort that takes a tremendous amount of work by many individuals to make the week a success.
It takes great exhibitors and quality cattle to make a successful show, and that was definitely displayed during our week in Iowa where the quality ran deep. If you were selected as a division winner, you beat a lot of good cattle to accomplish that feat.
Even though we devote the majority of our time at NALF promoting Limousin cattle to seedstock producers and commercial cattlemen, I still believe show rings and national cattle shows are a showcase for the seedstock industry. Livestock shows allow producers to put their genetics and cattle on display to the industry and it grants them exposure they may not get otherwise. Given the great job of lining up cattle by Dr. Clint Rusk, Kevin Jensen, and Wes Hudson throughout the week, I know the news of good cattle will travel throughout the country as they return to their various occupations in the industry. I would like to thank our judges for the tremendous job they did evaluating our cattle and working with the exhibitors.
As for the NALF staff, our focus will shift over the next 60 days. NALF promoted Limousin cattle to the commercial industry at the NCBA Summer Conference, which took place in Denver in late July. A big part of Joe Epperly’s and my job is to spread the word of what Limousin can provide the beef industry, which is something we are going to be hitting hard on in the coming months.
One tool we plan to use at these events is the information provided to us by one of the best educational events I’ve witnessed at a Junior National. The “Real World 101” program, provided members an opportunity to see cattle and carcasses. Attendees had the opportunity to see carcasses of Limousin, Lim-Flex and Angus steers in the cooler and feed performance trial information of cattle at Iowa State University.
When comparing real dollar advantages of feeding performance and carcass results that occur when using Limousin cattle, dollar gains are evident given advantages in feed efficiency, cutability and superior yield grades inherent with an abundance of muscling and reduced waste in the form of fat and trim.
The Iowa Limousin Association, Iowa State University and the Wulf family generously sponsored this event and I thank them for a job well done.
Joe and I spend a significant amount of time writing and discussing the advantages Limousin provide to the beef industry from production to plate, but nothing hits home like getting to see actual results and cattle broke down into various cuts and packaged, laying alongside each other showing the increased amount of useable product and reduced waste. This information can be utilized at meetings such as those conducted at NCBA or state events to help spread the word about Limousin cattle. Improved feed efficiency and pounds of edible quality product are even more paramount to the beef industry given the continuation of the current drought and the resulting high cost of feed.
August brought the long awaited start of our non-exclusive agreement with GeneSeek and the Limousin Profiler that is now available at NALF. NALF will now be handling DNA in-house before sending it to the lab at GeneSeek to be tested and genotyped. The Limousin Genomic Profiler yields molecular breeding values that will be incorporated into our winter genetic evaluation. The genomically-enhanced EPDs will be beneficial to our breeders both large and small. The increased accuracies you will receive will be of great help to breeders who have smaller contemporary groups.
It will still be important for breeders to submit their weight data to NALF in order to make these programs work. The Profiler provides add-on capabilities for polled, parentage, color and myostatin (F94L) from samples. GeneSeek is also offering bundles for genetic defects and foundation cow tests that include all the defect testing required for registration.
Late summer is always a busy time for NALF with NCBA Summer Conference in late July, our Emerging Leaders Academy in early August, and preparation of the new fiscal year budget. The budgeting process involves a great deal of time and effort from both staff and board, with its final approval coming during the late August board meeting. In addition, NALF is tweaking details for in-house handling and shipping of DNA samples that began in August.
As always, NALF is here to assist our members as we move into the future. If you have questions about the new services, programs and products offered at NALF, please feel free to call.