San Antonio – The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) was represented by five staff members at the Southeastern Brangus Field Day, on Thursday, August 11 through Saturday, August 13, in Grantville, Georgia.

“The Southeast Brangus Breeders Association (SBBA) offered a first-class field day that was very organized and extremely educational,” said IBBA Executive Vice President Tommy Perkins, PhD. “SBBA events are always well attended, and this year at The Oaks Farms was no exception. Attendance reached over 200 people.”

Perkins, Advertising Sales Manager Melanie Fuller, Education and Data Coordinator Jenny Bohac, Field Service Representative Lauren Prine, and Communications Coordinator Peyton Waldrip attended the event. Activities for the field day included a welcome reception, IBBA board and committee meetings, SBBA board and committee meetings, farm tours, and presentations from several speakers.

The conference's agenda included the following speakers and respective presentations:

• “Genetics That Fit,” by Auburn University College of Medicine Food Animal Clinician Dwight Wolfe, DVM, M.S., DACT

• “New Genetic Tools for the Commercial Users of Brangus Genetics,” by Zoetis Director of Genetic Technical Services: U.S. Cattle & Equine Divisions Kent Anderson, PhD.

• “Use of AI, Embryo Transfer, & IVF: The Need & Benefit,” by Todd Bickett, DVM, of Bickett Genetics

• “Feed Efficiency,” by Auburn University Extension Specialist Associate Professor of Animal Sciences Lisa Kriese-Anderson, PhD., M.S.

• “Veterinary Feed Directive 101,” by Melynda Stephenson, DVM, M.S.

• “Carcass Traits & Meat Grading,” by Auburn University Extension Specialist Associate Professor of Animal Sciences Lisa Kriese-Anderson, PhD., M.S.

• “Herd Health,” by Mark Alley, DVM, of Zoetis Veterinary Operations Cattle Division

“We're a long way off from what the market wants in some places and environments,” Wolfe said. He shared ideas about the modern consumer who is afraid of hormones in beef, and who thinks organic products are healthier than non-organic products.

Wolfe covered a broad spectrum of other several industry topics including, but not limited to: nutrition, carcass traits, herd health, disease issues, drug use, biosecurity, estrus synchronization, culling practices, and epigenetics.

Furthermore, Wolfe's remarks were about beef quality assurance and making improvements in beef quality. He said reproduction has the biggest economic impact on any operation.

Anderson represented Zoetis by presenting his ideas about additive and non-additive genetics and the accuracy of both. He also talked about DNA tests that give genomic enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPD). Anderson said that bulls with GE-EPDs are superior because the selections are based on EPDs with higher accuracy, thus making for less surprises.

Bickett talked about reproductive technologies, and their role in beef cattle production. He focused on timed artificial insemination, embryo transfer, and invitro fertilization.

Kriese-Anderson included theories on residual feed intake (RFI) in her feed efficiency presentation. “The cow is efficient if her weaned calf is 50 percent of her body weight,” Kriese-Anderson said. She also said RFI is independent of growth and mature size, and proves to be moderately heritable. In conclusion, she said RFI does have a place in the beef and purebred industries.

Stephenson talked about the reasons behind the veterinary feed directive (VFD), including antimicrobial resistance. She said the VFD is considered to be any antibiotic used on or in feed or water for a food-producing animal. The VFD will go into effect in January of 2017.

Kriese-Anderson's second presentation gave participants information about the beef cattle yield and quality grading system in the United States.

Perkins said Alley stressed the importance of reading labels and following directions before administering animal health products. He discussed vaccination protocols for diseases such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD). He clarified the differences in killed versus modified-live viruses.

Tom Davis, Glen Davis, and Fred Linz talked to participants about reverse engineering. Perkins said these were effective speakers, based on the long line of people waiting to greet them after the presentation. The main focus of their presentation was helping producers understand how to produce cattle which will meet the needs of the consuming public in terms of a nutritious, pleasant beef-eating experience.

The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, strives to provide the commercial cattle industry, domestically and internationally, with the best genetics possible. Founded in 1949 as the American Brangus Breeders, the organization has since evolved into the IBBA. The IBBA's purpose is to enable its members to produce quality beef for the commercial cattle industry and its consumers. For more information about IBBA, visit GoBrangus.com.

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