by Tom Brink, CEO | Red Angus Association of America
Accomplishing more together than we could individually is the reason 16 beef breeds, including Red Angus, are part of the genetic evaluation partnership operated by International Genetic Solutions (IGS). What started as a collaboration between Red Angus and Simmental in 2010, with the goal of creating the industry’s first multi-breed EPDs, has now grown to become the world’s largest genetic evaluation for beef cattle. Breed associations from the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are working together to create a huge database of cattle performance records and genotypic information, and to share the cost of using cutting-edge software and technology to calculate the most accurate EPDs possible. What IGS is doing today is so large and sophisticated, it was little more than a dream five years ago.
To offer just one example of how working with multiple breeds directly benefits Red Angus, Ryan Boldt, RAAA Director of Breed Improvement, recently calculated that available data on Red Angus-sired calving events (and their associated calving-ease scores) is 20% larger through IGS than if Red Angus was conducting its genetic evaluation as a single breed.