A Non-funded Cooperative Agreement (NFCA) was developed and signed on March 27th, 2013 between the Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory (AGIL), United States Department of Agriculture and the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) determining the transition of the U.S. dairy cattle genetic and genomic evaluations from AGIL to CDCB. This transition started with CDCB delivering the April 2013 official genetic evaluation results for production traits and delivering all genetic evaluations beginning in December 2013.
CDCB announced the effective date of the NFCA was applicable on December 17th, 2013. This started the two year countdown to CDCB being self-sufficient in computer resources and staffing with the capacity to run the genetic evaluations, provide the dairy management benchmarks, and maintain the industry cooperative database.
After two years of investments and intense preparation, the transition has been completed. Since Friday, December 11th, 2015, all data processing for genetic evaluations is being conducted by six permanent staff and two contractors at the CDCB headquarters in Bowie, MD and is taking place on servers and being loaded into the database owned and maintained by CDCB. In order to ensure continuity, the system was designed to allow service users to continue to interact with the CDCB system exactly as they did before the transition.
Building the CDCB system and transferring the legacy files was only possible due to the unconditional support provided by the AGIL staff, showing once again their absolute commitment to the dairy industry. AGIL will continue performing research and development of methods, procedures, and algorithms used by CDCB to compute estimates of genetic merit of dairy animals.
Along with the technical implementations, all Material License Agreements proposed by the CDCB to data suppliers have been signed and filed, completing a very important step for the industry collaboration effort that represents the core value of CDCB.
Successfully completing this landmark goal only means that CDCB is ready to face different challenges ahead on its commitment to constantly improve services that empower dairy farmers in their quest for efficiency, profitability, and sustainability.