Lectureship to Offer Training in Genetic Technology Advancements in Beef Cattle Industry

 Centennial, Colo. (Feb. 25, 2019)—A lectureship on genetic technology in beef cattle will be offered in Centennial, Colo., May 16-17, 2019, hosted by the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM) in partnership with Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado State University. The Application of Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle Lectureship will be a valuable learning opportunity for beef cattle producers to build their knowledge on the ever-changing genetic technology advancements in the beef industry, held conveniently at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) offices.


Attendees at the 2018 Application of Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle Lectureship in Florida.

Attendees at the 2018 Application of Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle Lectureship in Florida.

“Technology in ranching is evolving fast, and there is no better example of this than genetic technology,” said KRIRM director and endowed chair, Clay Mathis, Ph.D. “We believe that it is important for KRIRM graduate students and stakeholders in our industry to truly understand the new technologies that have been developed to aid in the genetic advancement of beef cattle.”


Beef cattle experts Dr. Bob Weaber and Dr. Matt Spangler, the lectureship instructors, will help producers build and apply their knowledge of genetic advancements in the real world of seedstock and commercial cattle production.


Spangler, associate professor and beef genetics extension specialist at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, noted that participants of this lectureship will learn the importance of how and when to use genetic improvement tools that exist in the beef industry. One such topic that he believes is important is multiple trait selection. The lectureship will help participants understand selection accuracy, confidence intervals, and strategies for multiple trait selection.


“There is more than one trait that impacts the profitability of cow-calf enterprises,” said Spangler. “Thus, producers need to select for improvement in multiple traits simultaneously. We will discuss and illustrate ways to do this and also ways not to do this.”


During the two-day course, learning objectives will also include developing breeding objectives by identifying environmental constraints, marketing alternatives, and the economic relevancy of traits; and deciphering performance measures, adjusted data, ratios, and Expected Progeny Difference (EPDs). An interactive sire selection exercise will also be included, providing tools for participants to return to their ranch and apply what was learned.


“It is important to understand where and how these technologies are appropriate and practical,” explained Mathis. “This lectureship will provide that knowledge to attendees and should simplify some of the management decisions regarding genetic selection.”


Weaber, associate professor and cow/calf extension specialist with Kansas State University, noted how genomic technologies are growing in their ability to describe genetic variation in economically important traits. Examples of this will be discussed while studying the application of genomically-enhanced EPDs (GE-EPD) and marker-assisted management in genetic advancement. 


Registration is $300, which includes workbook materials, meals, and refreshments. The event will be held at the NCBA headquarters, 9110 E Nichols Ave., Suite 300, Centennial, CO 80112. Learn more, download the complete agenda, and register at krirm.tamuk.edu/genetics19, or call the KRIRM office at 361-593-5401. 



Formed in 2003, KRIRM is a ranch management master’s program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville created in honor of the 150thAnniversary of the legendary King Ranch. As the only ranch management master’s program in the world, KRIRM teaches graduate students using a multi-disciplinary, systems approach to ranch management. The institute also provides the highest quality lectureships and symposia to stakeholders in the ranching industry through its event outreach component. For more information about KRIRM, visit krirm.tamuk.edu.