Board Highlights: Functional Longevity, Making the Membership Experience Better and New CAB Programs
Angus breeders from across the country came together this week to set direction for the American Angus Association, making certain the breed is serving its members well now and in the future.
“Longevity has obviously been one of those real key priority traits that the Board's been focused on, and therefore the research has been ongoing to develop a research EPD [expected progeny difference],” said Mark McCully, CEO of the American Angus Assocation, on The Angus Conversation podcast. The Functional Longevity (FL) research EPD will be released this summer to anyone currently submitting data through MaternalPlus® or inventory reporting.
Eventually, the maternal weaned calf value ($M) index will include that new EPD, but not until next year when it’s fully included the weekly evaluation, said Chuck Grove, chairman of the board.
“It probably won't change dollar M significantly,” he noted. “It's a small piece of the index, but when you insert that small piece, you've also got to make the other pieces a little smaller that are in the index.”
The board officially took “no action” on the application to approve the slick intentional gene alteration (IGA), but did release a memo explaining that decision that can be found at www.Angus.org.
“We're trying to gather information, because we — just like the membership — are trying to learn and gather as much information as we possibly can,” Grove said.
From performance programs to the communications and public relations committee, the board heard about efforts improve the member experience. For example, they heard the results of a focus group pulled together to improve the data submission process, and previewed the Angus.org overhaul, a project set for completion later this year.
In addition, the business meetings for the Association’s four entities all convened and covered business ranging from a new data initiative CattleFax completed for Angus Media to new product offerings from Certified Angus Beef.
“We have consumers that want these product lines, and grass-fed has been one that’s a small market, but we have a processor that has this product ready to go. We have a customer ready to buy it and they want it branded,” explained McCully.
Barry Pollard, vice chairman of the board, also joined the podcast, and to hear that full episode, search for The Angus Conversation wherever you get your podcasts. Or, listen at this direct link: