Angus Genetics Inc. and Merial have entered into an exclusive agreement to provide American Angus Association breeders with genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs) powered by IGENITY. This will be the first time beef producers have access to genomic-enhanced EPDs for multiple traits at once — and from an Angus-specific DNA profile.
Bill Bowman, president of Angus Genetics, says this agreement joins two groups committed to advancing genetic improvement in the beef industry.
“AGI and IGENITY share a common vision to provide beef producers with the most advanced solutions to their genetic selection and management needs,” Bowman says. “This represents a significant milestone for our industry — one our board has directed us to pursue aggressively for the past two years and supported with collaboration and research dollars.”
The combination of a breed-specific DNA profile with the Angus National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) will result in higher-accuracy EPDs. This will be an especially powerful tool for evaluating young animals, as cattle will now have accuracies that were previously only possible once they had multiple progeny on the ground, Bowman says.
Dr. Stewart Bauck, executive director of research and development, IGENITY, commends AGI and its parent company, the American Angus Association, for leading this charge.
“The American Angus Association has set the standard in data collection and embracing cutting-edge technologies,” he says. “We appreciate the work the Association has done to keep the breed at the forefront of the beef industry by helping bring this advancement to Angus breeders.”
Bowman says the selection of a DNA technology partner was a logical decision.
“IGENITY has a robust profile of analyses, including the industry’s only DNA analyses for reproduction and maternal traits in combination with all of the economically important carcass traits,” he says. “Plus, the addition of the genomic tools from IGENITY into our NCE system provides us the ability to improve the accuracy of Angus EPDs — especially in young animals.”
Bauck adds that genomic-enhanced EPDs for multiple traits have become a reality after years of collaboration among beef industry leaders.
“The industry agreed that genomic-enhanced EPDs were the next advancement in DNA technology,” he says. “It was our responsibility as the leading DNA technology provider to take action and move the topic of genomic-enhanced EPDs from an industry discussion to a user-friendly solution.”