Genomics Testing and the Future of Showing Cattle

Opinion

The role of genomics continues to expand in the beef industry, with the technology becoming increasingly cost effective. Besides determining parentage, genomics have the potential to assess feed efficiency, fertility and susceptibility to disease. To many producers, this may eventually mean genetic testing most animals, most years. To others, it may simply mean genome sequencing for breeding animals.

“Ideally, what you’s like to do is have very intensive measurements of your breeding animals, says Alison van Eenennaam, animal genomics and biotechnology cooperative extension specialist from UCDavis.  “And then once you’ve made your genetic improvement that spreads down the process chain by natural mating.”

Related: Beef Research School: Beef Carcass Quality Selection & the Role of Genomics

There isn’t much debate about potential for genomics in the beef industry, but what does it mean for the show ring? Check out van Eenennaam’s response to that question in the following video, filmed during the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference last month.

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