Dairy Science Department
BS in Dairy Science
This paper aimed to achieve two different objectives. The first objective of this study was to identify and explain the genetic gain achieved in commercial beef cattle operations with the use of genomic predictions versus the use of visual appraisal and EPDs. The second goal of this paper was to develop a method to easily explain genomic predictions and their practical applications on commercial beef operations to a lay audience, specifically to ranchers. In order to accomplish these objectives, I evaluated three of the most common selection methods used by producers today. These included visual appraisal, expected progeny differences (EPDs), and genomic enhanced predictions. I used actual data from two California ranches that have already begun using genomic predictions as part of their management programs. The ranches that I collected data from were San Benito Cattle Company, Hollister, CA and Flyin’ M Cattle Co., Tracy, CA. This information illustrated that almost any progressive beef operation could incorporate genomics into its management system. To achieve my next objective, I again used examples from the ranches I received data from, as well as wrote my own information within the guide that aimed to answer questions that producers may have. Lastly, the second objective portion of this paper also served as an instructional tool for producers that focused on giving them guidance as to how they should go about administering, collecting, and applying the data that genomic predictions provide in a manner that was both practical and beneficial for their operations.