Feb. 9 2018 08:48 AM
The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

CDCB, UW-Madison Collaborate for Feed Intake Data
The CDCB and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have signed a five-year agreement to conduct research to generate residual feed intake data from Holstein cows for future national genetic evaluations.

This project will build upon the foundation laid through the research funded previously by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which compiled more than 9,000 feed efficiency phenotypes. The new data from UW-Madison will further build the database, increase the accuracy of genomic predictions for feed efficiency, and ensure new animals and current genetics are included in the database.

Wisconsin data is collected using the Insentec Roughage Intake Control (RIC) system in a free-stall barn at the Emmons Blaine Dairy Cattle Research Center in Arlington, Wis., and by measuring feed refusals in a tie-stall barn at the USDA-ARS Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC) in Prairie du Sac, Wis. This project will be under the direction of Dr. Kent Weigel.

The CDCB is working with the other participants of the original NIFA project to develop ways to amplify the number of records for the national feed intake evaluations.

CDCB to Sponsor Lush Award
Starting this year, CDCB will sponsor the J.L. Lush Award in Animal Breeding, which is presented annually during the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting. To recognize outstanding research in animal breeding, the J.L. Lush Award was established in 1982, the year Jay Laurence Lush passed away at the age of 86.

“It was a clear decision, when the CDCB was offered this opportunity to recognize outstanding research in dairy genetics,” stated João Dürr, CEO of CDCB. “We are pleased to represent dairy producers and the industry to honor the important contributions of animal geneticists to continually improve dairy cattle and herd productivity. We look forward to supporting the J.L. Lush Award in 2018 and years to come.”

The winner of the J.L. Lush Award must have done research work published in the 10 years immediately preceding the year of recognition, performed research in any area of animal breeding and genetics that had or has the potential for improvement of dairy cattle, and have been a member of ADSA for at least five years. The 2018 award will be presented at the ADSA awards ceremony in June in Knoxville, Tenn. Click here for more on the award.

The CDCB has posted five new annual reports based on records from Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA).
In the News
Global leaders in livestock genetics and data recording are gathered in Auckland, New Zealand on February 7-16, for the ICAR*-Interbull Annual Conference and the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP). Several members of the CDCB and USDA AGIL team will represent U.S. dairy genetics and research. Dr. Kristen Parker-Gaddis, CDCB Geneticist, was selected to present “Development of national genomic evaluations for health traits in U.S. Holsteins.”

Follow the social conversation at @ICAR_WCGALP2018 and watch for more details in the March CDCB Connection.

*ICAR = International Committee for Animal Recording

CDCB Recruiting Genomic Data Manager
CDCB announces an opening for a new position, Genomic Data Manager. The need for efforts to maintain and improve the functionalities of the genomic processing system continues to grow exponentially in the dairy sector. Usage of these systems has become extremely sophisticated and is widely adopted, generating enormous quantities of data points that are to be shared with others in the dairy sector. The Genomic Data Manager’s role is to ensure functionality and lead new developments on the CDCB genomic data processing system, ultimately contributing to provide state-of-the-art genomic evaluations to the U.S. dairy industry. For full information please review the position announcement here.

Feb. 20 Deadline for CDCB Internships
For the third year, CDCB will offer summer employment for junior, senior or graduate students with a major in animal or dairy science. Selected interns will learn and apply research techniques to analyze dairy cattle genetics and management data. The work is in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to benefit the missions of the CDCB and USDA’s AGIL – organizations with a history of performing quality research and reporting findings in scientific journals. Interested students should apply by February 20; application details here.

CDCB Health Traits

As you prepare for the April launch of CDCB health traits, refer to this CDCB fact sheet for background information. Further details will be sent as the launch approaches.

CDCB will host the 2nd annual Genomic Nominators Workshop on May 10, followed by a Genomic Laboratories Workshop on May 11, in Baltimore, Md. Representatives from nominator companies and labs, mark your calendars and watch for invitation with details.
The dates of this year’s triannual genetic evaluations are April 3, August 7 and December 4. Click here for the in-depth CDCB genetic evaluation calendar.

Connecting with Chuck Sattler
Chuck Sattler serves the dairy industry in various capacities – as Chair of National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), Secretary of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) and Vice President of Genetic Programs for Select Sires, Inc. This month, CDCB Connection visits with Chuck for his viewpoint on evolutions in dairy genetics.
What is the value that CDCB provides to dairy producers and the A.I. industry?
There are many ways in which the CDCB delivers value to dairy producers. I’d like to highlight three areas.

First and foremost, the CDCB delivers tremendous value to dairy producers by providing information that allows producers to directly compare the genetic products offered by different breeding companies and helps producers understand the value of the products they are purchasing. ...

How do CDCB evaluations impact the marketability of U.S. genetics?
The CDCB evaluations are viewed as credible and are held in high regard around the world. This is in large part due to the long track record of USDA* - and now CDCB – of providing evaluations that stand the test of time and deliver results consistent with predictions. But it's not just that. ...
How do you describe the opportunities in genetic improvement for health traits?
The industry continues to evolve, and we all appreciate the need to continue to improve the health and well-being of our cattle. As the consumer focus of what we do on the farm intensifies, we should strive to do more to prevent disease so that we can do less treatment of disease. ...