There could come a day when breed associations are no longer relevant. But in an ever-changing world of cattle breeding and marketing, they might be even more important than they once were.
That’s according to Larry Corah, professor emeritus at Kansas State University and former vice president of supply at Certified Angus Beef.
“When all the genomic information, genetic information, started floating out, one of the conversations we’d hear a lot is ‘will breed associations exist in five years, 10 years’ time?’ That was really common. I don’t hear that today,” he says. “I think as you look to the future, I would argue, in many ways, breed associations could play an even bigger role than they do today.” Corah and his friend and colleague Dave Nichols, longtime animal scientist at Kansas State University and now also a professor emeritus, joined The Angus Conversation to talk about the long history of innovation in the cattle business and the evolving roles of associations and land-grant institutions.
Impressive, upward change in the beef business can be attributed to new discoveries, application of tools and more collective knowledge, they say. Cattlemen have implemented that to reach heights that were just a far-fetched dream even at the turn of the century.
They recalled the early days of artificial insemination, the decline and then rise in beef quality and the makeup of students when they started compared to today.
“I would never have imagined the changes we would’ve seen,” Nichols says. The cattle have improved so much he’s had recent challenges that would have seemed laughable not long ago. “One of the problems we have right now, we have a calving class and our challenge is we don't have any assists.”
Corah says the Angus breed has an “obligation” to continue that kind of advancement, for both its members and its customers.
To hear their observations on the past and predictions for the future, listen to “Corah, Nichols: Will Breed Associations, Land Grants Become Obsolete and Other Life Lessons,” on all major podcast platforms, or follow this link.