From the Desk of the ABBA Executive Vice President

ABBA has sent out the first of a quarterly newsletter to our F1 members. Since this will also be used as a promotional piece at conventions and meetings, it explains the improvement in fertility, maternal ability, and growth of the F1 female and her off spring.

It also outlines the ABBA Brahman F1 Certification Program and how F1 breeders can enroll their females in the program. If you get a chance to read it, (it is on the website, I would appreciate some feedback so we can make each one better than the last. Caydi Blaha did a nice job putting my pencil scratches to right!

The next one will go out in August. That type of information is needed by our commercial customers. In a recent Hereford advertisement, the crossbred advantage of a Brahman-Hereford F1 was attributed naturally (but wrongly), to Hereford genetics. If Hereford genetics were such a good source of hybrid vigor, why is hybrid vigor only HALF that of the Brahman cross when Herefords are used on other Bos taurus breeds? I think we all know why. ABBA members will finally have genomically enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPD) calculated for all their registered purebreds and F1s.

A.J. Knowles has been working to make this a reality for the membership. Even if your cattle are not genotyped, they will still have GE-EPD. Animals that are genotyped and have performance records will have the greatest benefit since it will more accurately indicate their genetic relationship to their relatives (only parent off spring are exact, other relationships are averages, leading to a small lack of accuracy).

Young genotyped animals with no progeny will benefit the most from this change. As A.J. has written elsewhere, the EPD for your animals may change a little or a lot but either way, they are more accurate. This is just one step. This past month, A.J. and I attended the Texas A&M Research Center Field Day at McGregor, Texas to visit with the researchers and learn about their Brahman research.

We also visited the Texas A&M Research Center at Overton, the location of the Texas A&M purebred Brahman herd and visited with Dr. Charles Long and Dr. Monte Roquette about their research. They are going to share their genomics and performance data with ABBA. In preparation for the board meeting in Lake Charles last month, Iridiana worked tirelessly on correcting accounting errors and getting our investments in order.

None of these were easy and now that they are straightened out, the books look better and will be easier to understand and keep our investments on track. I will have more from the board meeting in next month’s column.

-Joe C. Paschal

From the field. ABBA Breed Improvement Director – A.J. Knowles

It is finally here! The long-awaited era of genomics in the American Brahman breed has begun. Through our partnership with LGS, ABBA is proud to offer genomically enhanced EPDs, the results of which will post to everyone’s DigitalBeef around the middle of this month.

We can expect some changes in overall EPD values for many cattle, some small and some large, and while some animals may see an unfavorable change in their EPD values with this switch, it is important to remember that the EPD estimates provided will be more accurate even for animals without genotypes on file.

The use of these technologies allows for breeders to make selection decisions more accurately, leading to higher selection intensity and greater genetic progress in their respective herds. I would like to thank everyone who has taken time to collect and send in their samples for genotyping or parentage verification.

One of the labs we partner with has seen a 210% increase in samples processed year-over-year! In other news, Joe and I have been working with Dr. Charles Long and the Texas A&M Research Center in Overton to put together a Brahman research summit in late summer to hear from research and industry groups about current Brahman research, areas that need research, and connect researchers to Brahman industry partners.

Please keep an eye on the ABBA website and the official ABBA Facebook page for the most accurate and up-to-date information on these developments! As we create and release educational materials, you’ll hear about them there fi rst. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns at As always, I look forward to seeing y’all down the road at as many Brahman events as I can get to!