Seventeen cattle producers are in the Limousin breed's corner for Round 3 of the Visions Quest (VQ) learn-by-doing cattle-finishing and carcass-discovery project. The North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) and Colorado State University (CSU) are overseeing the latest bout to generate critical performance and carcass data for ongoing breed improvement and marketing. It includes 167 head of Limousin-influenced cattle from 10 states.
CSU employees processed, tagged and vaccinated the VQ Round 3 cattle as they arrived at the university's Ag Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) north of Fort Collins in November and December. They collected DNA samples and evaluated the animals for frame, muscle, body condition, capacity 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 continue a unique research opportunity to ascertain benchmarks for carcass expected progeny differences (EPDs).
The ARDEC cattle-finishing facility's 10-head pens allow feed-intake measurements for evaluating differences in rate, efficiency and composition of growth and the effects that differences in body capacity and 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 co-director of member and commercial relations, at email@example.com or (303) 220-1693 for more information.
VQ Round 3 would not be possible without the support of the Limousin breeders and commercial cattle producers who enrolled cattle.
Running Creek Ranch, Elizabeth, Colo., 20 head
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., 10 head
Ochsner Limousin, Kersey, Colo., 5 head
Magness Land and Cattle, Platteville, Colo., 10 head
Linhart's Limousin, Leon, Iowa, 10 head
Mormon Trail Farm, Weldon, Iowa, 5 head
Wulf Limousin Farms, Morris, Minn., 30 head
Potterosa Limousin Farms, Redwood Falls, Minn., 5 head
Bullis Creek Ranch, Wood Lake, Neb., 1 head
Vaughn Farms, Cavalier, N.D., 10 head
Rocking S Limousin, McLeod, N.D., 5 head
Buckhorn Creek Ranch, Sulphur, Okla., 10 head
Express Ranches, Yukon, Okla., 20 head
H&T Bies Cattle Co., Fairburn, S.D., 10 head
Lawrence Family Limousin, Anton, Texas, 5 head
Spring Creeks Cattle Co., Wauzeka, Wis., 5 head
Waddle Limousin Ranch, Pine Bluffs, Wyo., 6 head
The North American Limousin Foundation (www.nalf.org), headquartered in Centennial, Colo., provides programs and services including genetic evaluation of 5,000 active sires to more than 4,000 members and their commercial customers. The Limousin breed and its
lead the beef industry in muscle-growth efficiency and ideally complement