A Letter from the Executive Vice President: BOLT

December 1, 2017

American Hereford Membership and Valued Customers,

Over the course of time, things change and evolve, and this is certainly true of beef cattle improvement. The American Hereford Association (AHA) has been blessed with leadership of the AHA Board of Directors and staff who are committed to breed improvement by developing valuable tools for this task.

The resurgence of the Hereford breed can be attributed to AHA members committed to utilizing these tools and developing genetics valuable to the commercial industry. These tools have included Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) program, the industry-leading comprehensive National Reference Sire Program, the research projects that document the value of Hereford genetics in real-world commercial settings, and the Pan American Cattle Evaluation (PACE) which utilizes pedigree, performance data and genotypes of Hereford genetics from both North and South America.

Over the past few years, the AHA has used a multi-trait Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) for its genetic evaluation. More recently, the Association has used a blending method to utilize genomics to increase accuracy and reliability for animals that had Molecular Breeding Values (MBV).

The AHA Board of Directors recently voted to release updated expected progeny differences (EPDs) and corresponding accuracies using the Biometric Open Language Tools (BOLT) genetic evaluation software on Dec. 4, 2017. In addition, you will see an updated set of profit ($) indexes.

The process has been fully supported by the Board, an advisory committee, scientific community and staff. Members should expect some changes, and attached, you will find an explanation of the changes to the models, additional traits and indexes.

The AHA’s recent strategic plan outlines staff to remain committed to breed improvement and work to provide the most useful tools for the membership and the commercial industry. I would like to thank everyone that has been a part of this process and supported the development of this new evaluation that utilizes all tools available.

Regards,
Jack Ward
Executive Vice President
American Hereford Association

Genetic Evaluation Updates