2014 Fall Focus

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First Educational Symposium is a huge success.  

Nearly 150 SimGenetic enthusiasts from 25 states and 2 Canadian provinces met in Bozeman this past week for the first annual Educational Symposium held in conjunction with the fall ASA Board Meeting.

The Monday schedule was packed with up-to-the-minute information from beef industry experts from around the country. Drs. Bob Weaber, Kansas State; Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Bruce Golden, Cal Poly; Dorian Garrick, Iowa State; and John Hall, University of Idaho, along with Marty Ropp, Allied Genetics and ASA’s own Dr. Shafer gave presentations that sparked good discussion with the attendees.

 Video Recordings and PowerPoint Presentations

Introduction and Welcome: Chairman Jim Butcher and EVP Dr. Wade Shafer


Crossbreeding Talks in 2014: Why They're Still Needed ~ Dr. Bob Weaber (Kansas State University) and Dr.Matt Spangler (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)


Selection Decisions Using Economically Relevant Traits: The Pathway to Indexes ~ Dr. Bruce Golden (Cal Poly)


Understanding Conventional and Genomic EPDs ~ Dr. Dorian Garrick (Iowa State University)


The Future of Genetic Prediction: A Quantum Leap ~ Drs. Bruce Golden and Dorian Garrick


Learning From Pigs ~ Marty Ropp (Allied Genetic Resources)


Dr. John Hall (University of Idao) - UI and ASA Cooperative Projects and Q and A ~ Panel Discussion Part I


Q and A ~ Panel Discussion Part II~ Guest Speakers

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Speaker Bios


Dorian Garrick, PhD, Jay Lush endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Iowa State University

Dorian Garrick was appointed to the Jay Lush endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics at Iowa State University in August 2007 following five years at Colorado State University and fifteen years at Massey University where he has held the A.L. Rae Chair since 1994.  He received a First Class Honors degree in Agricultural Science from Massey University in New Zealand and a PhD from Cornell University.  Dorian has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of national animal evaluation programs, performance recording databases and breeding schemes.  He has worked in the design of experiments to detect major genes and to exploit them in breeding programs.  His recent work has focused on theoretical and applied aspects of using genomic information to predict performance.  Dorian views animal breeding in a systems context, involving the integration of knowledge and understanding of business goals, production systems, processing and marketing, in concert with quantitative and molecular genetics.  Dorian has worked with a variety of genetic improvement programs, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, dual-purpose sheep, fine-woolled sheep, pigs, elk, salmon and tree breeding.  Dorian works well with other researchers and equally enjoys working with enthusiastic producer and industry groups that seek to include animal breeding approaches in the attainment of their farm or ranch business goals.  Dorian is a Director of the US National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium that focuses on the development and application of methods that use genomic information to predict genetic merit in beef cattle.


Bruce Golden, PhD, Department Head and Professor, Dairy Science Department, Cal Poly

Prior to coming to Cal Poly Dr. Golden was the chief executive officer of a livestock and pet technology company he founded after a 19-year career on the faculty at Colorado State University where he was a full professor of animal breeding and genetics. Dr. Golden's research and service to industry have resulted in numerous awards and publications including a series of patents related to animal identification and diagnostic instruments. While at Colorado State he was the founder of the Center for Genetic Evaluation of Livestock, a provider of genetic evaluations for breed organizations and breeding companies worldwide. He has extensive international experience in livestock production including working in China, Brazil, Venezuela, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and Australia. Dr. Golden attended Washington State University in Pullman, WA, where he received both Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in Animal Science. Dr. Golden received his Doctorate degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.



Matt Spangler, PhD, Associate Professor, Extension Beef Genetics Specialist, University of Nebraska

Matt Spangler grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in south-central Kansas where his family still farms and has a cow/calf operation. After receiving his B.S. degree in Animal Science from Kansas State University (2001) he attended Iowa State University and received his M.S. degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics in 2003. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in Animal Breeding and Genetics (2006) and is currently an Associate Professor and Extension Beef Genetics Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He works as part of a collaborative team with colleagues at UNL and US MARC to develop and evaluate methods related to genomic selection and is currently part of a collaborative effort funded by the USDA competitive grants program to develop genomic predictors for feed intake and efficiency in beef cattle.

After the educational seminar, stay for the Fall ASA Board meeting. Since all ASA meetings have an open format this will give you an opportunity to also attend committee meetings, as well as the official meeting. Join us for a barbecue at the ASA headquarters, and a chance for our members to share ideas and learn about new programs in the ASA.



Bob Weaber, PhD, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist, Kansas State University

Bob Weaber’s nationally recognized extension programming has resulted in more than 145 publications and more than $13 million from 42 awards of grants and gifts for research and extension programming. Weaber’s extension program leadership has been recognized with MU Provost’s Innovative Extension Programming by New Faculty, the MU CAFNR J.W. Burch State Extension Specialist Award, and the Beef Improvement Federation’s Continuing Service Award.

Weaber grew up on a cow-calf operation in southern Colorado and went on to earn a BS in animal science followed by a Master of Agriculture degree in the Beef Industry Leadership Program at Colorado State University. He completed his doctoral studies in the Animal Breeding and Genetics Group at Cornell University. While there, he served as the Interim Director of Performance Programs for the American Simmental Association for three and a half years. Previously, Weaber was Director of Education and Research at the American Gelbvieh Association. Bob, his wife, Tami, and their young children, Maddie, Cooper and Wyatt, reside near Wamego, KS.



Marty Ropp, CEO, Business Development Specialist & Field Representative, Allied Genetic Resources Marty Ropp is founder, part owner and executive officer of Allied Genetic Resources. Originally from Normal, Illinois, the current home office of Allied, Marty grew up in the swine seedstock business but left Illinois in 1982 to pursue his collegiate career in Kansas. There, he received a B.S. Kansas State University and followed with a M.S. from University of Missouri. Marty also coached the Livestock and Meat Animal Evaluation teams of the University of Missouri during his teaching tenure there. He then held positions as University Extension (Regional Livestock Specialist), for the University of Missouri then Michigan State University, before coming to the American Simmental Association in 1998. For twelve years and most recently he served as the Director of Field Services for the American Simmental Association located in Bozeman Montana. In addition to coordinating the commercial marketing, seedstock marketing and fields staff services of the association, he coordinated and grew the long running ASA Young Sire Evaluation Program. While at the ASA, he received the Golden Book award from the World Simmental Federation for distinguished service and recently received the Continuing Service award for the Beef Improvement Federation for his efforts toward large scale genetic information collection and promotion of change.