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NALF BEGINS ROUND 2 OF VISIONS QUEST

The bell has rung for Round 2 of the North American Limousin Foundation's (NALF's) Visions Quest (VQ) learn-by-doing cattle-finishing and carcass-discovery project with Colorado State University (CSU). The latest bout to generate critical performance and carcass data for ongoing breed improvement and marketing includes 311 head of Limousin-influenced cattle from 27 herds in 12 states.

NALF and CSU employees processed, tagged and vaccinated the VQ Round 2 cattle Dec. 7 and 8. They collected blood samples for DNA extraction and evaluated the animals for frame, muscle, body condition and docility.

Allflex USA provided the visual-and-RFID (radio-frequency identification) matched sets of sky-blue LimMark tags that will help track performance and carcass data.

NALF and CSU will ultrasound-scan the cattle at around 1 year of age and collect actual carcass data at harvest. That will create a unique research opportunity to ascertain benchmarks for carcass expected progeny differences (EPDs).

The CSU Agricultural Research Development and Education Center (ARDEC) cattle-finishing facility's 10-head pens allow feed-intake measurements for evaluating differences in rate, efficiency and composition of growth and the effect that differences in animal docility might have on those traits. VQ also is an opportunity to establish a Limousin and Lim-Flexฎ DNA library to help validate existing and new tests using sire-identified cattle with measured feedyard and carcass performance.

VQ is follow-up to the Limousin Visions Symposium, which NALF conducted at CSU in December 2004. The symposium identified four key traits for Limousin breeders and commercial users to emphasize for maximum profitability when making selection decisions: grade (both yield and quality), growth, docility and fertility.

VQ participants and educational program enrollees will receive monthly lessons about cattle finishing and carcass quality. Enrollment in the VQ educational component is free of charge; contact Bo Sexson, NALF's director of commercial programs, at bo@nalf.org or (303) 220-1693 for more information.

The project would not be possible without the support of the Limousin breeders and commercial cattle producers who enrolled cattle.

• Kassidy Chapman, Spade, Texas, 2 head.

• Circle JC Cattle Ranch, Nowata, Okla., 2 head.

• Coleman's HC Limousin, Charlo, Mont., 10 head.

• Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., 25 head.

• Express Ranches, Yukon, Okla., 20 head.

• GV Limousin, Garnett, Kansas, 10 head.

• Henderson Cattle Co., Jacksboro, Texas, 40 head.

• Johnson Limousin, Krum, Texas, 8 head.

• Lawrence Family Limousin, Anton, Texas, 7 head.

• Liberty Ranch, Plainville, Kansas, 5 head.

•Linhart's Limousin, Leon, Iowa, 17 head.

• Logan Hills Limousin, West Harrison, Ind., 6 head.

• Magness Land and Cattle, Platteville, Colo., 30 head.

• Millerberg Limousin, Draper, Utah, 10 head.

• Morman Trail Farm, Weldon, Iowa, 4 head.

• Ochsner Limousin, Kersey, Colo., 6 head.

• Parkinson Cattle Co., Levelland, Texas, 2 head.

• Potterosa Limousin Farms, Redwood Falls, Minn., 14 head

• Rocking S Limousin, McLeod, N.D., 5 head.

• Rolf Limousin, Le Roy, Kan., 3 head.

•Running Creek Ranch, Elizabeth, Colo., 19 head.

• Schott Limousin Ranch, McLaughlin, S.D., 7 head.

• Sennett Cattle Co., Waynetown, Ind., 10 head.

• Silver Top Ranch, Seminole, Okla., 4 head.

• Spring Creeks Cattle Co., Wauzeka, Wis., 10 head

• Vaughn Farms, Cavalier, N.D., 5 head.

• Wulf Limousin Farms, Morris, Minn., 30 head.

The North American Limousin Foundation (www.nalf.org), headquartered in Englewood, Colo., provides programs and services – including genetic evaluation of 5,000 active sires – to nearly 4,000 members and their commercial customers. The Limousin breed and its Lim-Flexฎ hybrid lead the beef industry in muscle-growth efficiency and ideally complement British breeds.

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