The summer board meeting for the North American Limousin Foundation was highly productive and resulted in a promising upcoming year. The purchase of the Limousin World magazine was finalized in August by NALF, the board and staff in Denver are excited to work with Kyle and his crew in Oklahoma. The purchase of the magazine was structured by previous NALF boards and was actually put in place five years ago with the conclusion of the purchase to occur in 2013. The combining of the two organizations will help streamline operations and create new opportunities for effective advertising as we market and promote the Limousin breed over the next decade.
Marketing the breed and advertising the benefits of using Limousin genetics are a prime focus for the current board. The substantial increase in last year’s budget for marketing and advertising will remain in place for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. NALF will be advertising through both regional and national publications and continue to maintain a strong presence with video feeder cattle sale platforms in an effort to promote Limousin cattle to both commercial and seedstock cow-calf operations.
The board also reinstated “Breeder Co-Op Advertising.” It was approved within the budget formation process to designate $5,000 for the program where NALF will pay 25 percent of the ad to a maximum of $250. The ads must be provided and approved by NALF on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is intended to complement the State Co-op Advertising and is not intended to replace it.
As many of you are aware by now, NALF is in the process of converting its parentage verification process to SNP technology from STR (microsatellite) (see NALF Line on page 68 for more information). With GeneSeek Inc.’s acquisition of Scidera, parentage verification with STR is only being done at GeneSeek’s facility in Nebraska. The STR parentage verification process has created turnaround time problems verses what was experienced by members over the last few years at Scidera. As a result, the board decided to transition to SNP parentage to expedite turnaround times at the lab starting with all calves born January 1, 2014.
In order to facilitate this move and take the burden off of breeders, NALF (with the help of GeneSeek) is offering to run free SNP parentage profiles on current AI sires and donor dams until December 1, 2013. NALF will not be re-verifying the parentage on these AI sires and donor dams. They will be run for an identification process for SNP parentage profile only. The process of converting our parentage verification is overdue and will make Limousin’s parentage verification process similar to that of other major breeds. This move should help decrease problems for members and has numerous advantages over current STR technology. If you have questions about this process, contact Joe or Brittany in the Denver office.
The board also voted to approve the Southeast Summer Classic in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to a Level 1 Medal of Excellence (MOE) show in 2014. In addition, the board approved the recommendation from the show committee, starting next year with the Southeast Summer Classic, to combine purebreds, fullbloods and Lim-Flex at all Level 1 MOE shows. This does not pertain to the national junior shows and the National Western pen show which will remain the same. The National Western carload show will also not change, allowing exhibitors to combine bulls of differing percentages as needed to make an entry.
These changes were first brought forth through the show committee and debated thoroughly by the board realizing this is a big change for exhibitors. This is an issue that has been debated for years. Currently, our entries at Kansas City, Louisville and Fort Worth are light. Given the success of combining the All-American Futurity the past two years, the board felt that from a marketing standpoint the time for the change is apparent. Given the high-quality of cattle being exhibited by our members and at the same time, wanting to maintain the quality and competitiveness of our shows, the board believes their decision makes for a better show to present the breed to the industry in the most positive light.
If you have any questions about any of these topics, contact the staff at NALF. With the fall sale season in full swing we are looking forward to 2014 and the opportunity to continue promoting the Limousin breed. Plan on attending the 2014 National Western to take in the annual meeting, shows and national sale this year. We are excited for the upcoming events at the NWSS both for our exhibitors and members. We look forward to seeing you in Denver!