An industry-wide collaboration is improving breeding tools.
International Genetic Solutions (IGS), a group of more than 17 cattle associations and organizations, is working across the breed spectrum to provide resources and technologies that ensure cattlemen and women along the industry chain are set up for success.
“We’ve put together a massive collaborative effort with approaching 20 million head of cattle to provide the most scientifically-credible, the most cost-effective, the quickest, multi-breed, directly-comparable genetic evaluation on the planet,” says Chip Kemp, IGS Commercial & Industry Operations.
IGS partners and leaders across the beef industry meet virtually this week during the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) virtual symposium, beginning June 8.
“If you think about IGS, from a big-picture standpoint, it’s the value of collaboration,” says Tom Brink, Red Angus Association of America CEO. “Beef breeds, historically, haven’t always worked together so well, or so much, but IGS broke the mold on that. Being able to combine these data sets, more analytical power, better EPD predictions to use for all the breeds involved, IGS just really facilitates that in an unprecedented way.”
The collective effort is intended to help individuals make more informed decisions – from seedstock to commercial producers.
“The collaboration that we have with IGS will do two things: not only will it help their members sell seedstock bulls and replacement heifers but it will also help their customers, commercial producers make an informed decision in their operations. And those two things together will contribute to accelerating genetic improvements,” says Stewart Bauck, vice president of agrigenomics for Neogen Genomics. “It’s going to have a significant, important, and long-term beneficial impact on the beef industry.
Bob Weaber of Kansas State University agrees.
“Getting everybody pulling the wagon together allows the IGS team and the leading scientists in the world, working in beef cattle genetics, to accelerate the process of genetic improvement,” Weaber says. “Tools like the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator puts increased profit potential in the hands of cattlemen and women as they assign and assess the value of their stock.”
IGS, and the tools it provides, is unique, Brink adds.
“We’re a lot stronger working together than we are individually,” he says. “We’re getting a lot better genetic predictions by doing what we’re doing, working together, so that’s really the power of IGS.”
International Genetic Solutions (IGS) is an unprecedented collaboration between progressive organizations across the US, Canada, and Australia that are committed to enhancing beef industry profitability. The collaboration encompasses education, technological advancement, and genetic evaluation. Through collaboration, IGS has become the largest beef cattle evaluation in the world.
More information about BIF’s virtual symposium, June 8-12, is available at https://beefimprovement.org