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2013 Beef Improvement Federation Annual Research Symposium Conference Grant

Investigators
Stein, Daniel; Rolf, Megan
Institutions
Oklahoma State University
Start date
2013
End date
2013
Objective
The goal of the 2013 BIF Annual Research Symposium is to unite researchers, extension professionals, breed association staff, producers and industry stakeholders for candid discussions about recent developments available for genetic improvement of beef cattle. The meeting's format is designed to educate these stakeholders about new developments via the morning general sessions, and then facilitate discussion of this new knowledge and best practices through interactive breakout sessions in the afternoons. The feedback received in these sessions is reviewed by the BIF board of directors and is considered when making updates to the Guidelines for Uniform Beef Improvement Programs, which is the cornerstone publication of best practices in genetic evaluation. These guidelines are used by breed associations and producers to inform performance recording procedures and standards in an effort to increase the value from National Cattle Evaluation. This conference provides the foundation for scientific discussions of genetic and genomic technologies used in the beef industry, which not only increases stakeholder knowledge of performance recording practices, but reinforces their confidence in genetic evaluation. The proceedings of the BIF Annual Research Symposium will be published in electronic form and distributed on USB memory sticks to meeting registrants. Additionally, these proceedings will be made available for national and international access on the BIF website (http://www.beefimprovement.org/proceedings.html). BIF's current policy is to require written proceedings submissions from all general session speakers in order to have transportation, conference registration, hotel, and meals reimbursed. Technical/keynote session speakers are recruited by each individual BIF committee chair and have traditionally served at their own expense, but often submit conference papers for the proceedings.
More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
There are over 700,000 cattle producers in the United States, yet few are familiar with the basics of DNA testing. This leaves tremendous opportunity to educate not only producers, but also veterinarians, AI representatives, and extension personnel on the fundamentals of SNPs, genetic markers, and genomic selection. The vast array of EPDs available makes selection decisions a daunting task for those unfamiliar with basic genetic selection concepts. In contrast to more vertically integrated pork, dairy, and poultry industries, the beef industry's decentralized structure has made technology adoption and education much more challenging. The priorities for AFRI focus on societal issues including maintaining competitiveness of US agriculture, feeding a growing world population, improving food safety, and mitigating climate change. Additionally, sustainability has come to the forefront of national discourse, requiring that US agriculture not only satisfy domestic and international food needs but do so while efficiently using our natural resources. Combining these efforts will lead to sustaining or increasing the economic viability of US farming and ranching operations, thus enhancing the quality of life for all farmers and ranchers and their families. The 2013 BIF Annual Research Symposium will facilitate the achievement of these priorities through focusing on efficient beef production in a changing environment through genetic improvement of animals using both traditional and novel genomic tools. The topics and speakers assembled for this year's meeting will address issues relevant to producers in today's beef industry and facilitate dialogue across every sector of the industry. This feedback and discussion will shape the future of the beef industry. Using science-based concepts and research to determine best practices for standardized performance recording guidelines has been the hallmark of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF; www/beefimprovement.org) since its inception. BIF was established 45 years ago with the intent to provide science-based tools to objectively select the best cattle by standardizing performance recording and genetic evaluation. The organization represents over 40 state and national beef cattle associations. The Beef Improvement Federation's three leaf clover logo symbolizes their commitment to partnering with industry, extension, and research. The BIF Annual Research Symposium is not only a venue for the education of producers and industry stakeholders on the latest technological advancements in the beef industry, but also provides a forum for discussion and feedback from those individuals using these technologies. It is these very discussions which have facilitated BIF's efforts in shaping the way performance programs are executed while simultaneously gaining nationwide acceptance for these guidelines. There is no other event in the beef industry that amasses as many diverse individuals and organizations united in their goals of beef cattle genetic improvement. These efforts make it feasible to produce a safe, healthy, and profitable product for beef producers, their families, and the American consumer.

APPROACH:
The 2013 BIF meeting in Oklahoma will follow the standard BIF format. The meeting will take place over four days in June, with the final day comprising two tours highlighting the beef industry in OK. This conference will also host speakers Wednesday evening as a part of the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) symposium, which is held every other year at the BIF conference. The program for the two morning sessions on Thursday and Friday was developed in conjunction with the BIF board of directors. The programs for the afternoon technical breakout sessions Thursday and Friday will be developed by the standing BIF committee chairs for those topics. We have commitments from a variety of nationally and internationally renowned research and extension scientists. They include thought leaders at the forefront of new genomic technologies and their applications in the agriculture industries, and they are representative of the caliber of scientists that present at this meeting. The BIF program also emphasizes applied topics and reinforcement of traditional animal breeding principles and embraces hot topics in the industry. This year, we will host a group discussion featuring a panel of producers and industry stakeholders to be held during the general session which will discuss the relevance of crossbreeding in today's beef industry. The value of attendance at the BIF conference will be enhanced by collaboration with other industry groups to host conferences and meetings before and after the BIF conference. One example of this cooperation is the Red Angus Commercial Producer Conference that will be held Wednesday morning before our opening reception. We have worked in conjunction with the BIF board of directors and BIF committees to ensure that the program will be exciting, informative, and encourage innovation for all those in attendance. The BIF Annual Research Symposium generally attracts approximately 400 to 900 participants. BIF meetings in the Midwest and Great Plains tend to have a large number of attendees. The Oklahoma organizing committee is planning on hosting 700 to 800 attendees. We believe this is a realistic expectation given that the last few meetings were held in locations that were less centralized (Texas and Montana). Our chosen venue is conveniently located near the geographic center of the continental United States with access to an international airport. Oklahoma is one of the largest beef-producing states in the nation and the rich history and western heritage of the area is expected to appeal to a large number of participants. There were a total of 409 participants at the 2011 BIF meeting in Bozeman, MT, including many seedstock and commercial beef producers, and a great many university and allied industry personnel. Attendees at the 2011 BIF meeting were from 6 countries, 5 Canadian provinces and 35 states. The organizing committee has kept costs to a minimum in an effort to ensure that the conference registration is as affordable as possible. Because of the convenient location, we expect a large number of local attendees from within the state, along with a large number of producers from surrounding states.

PROGRESS: 2013/05 TO 2013/11
Target Audience: The 2013 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium was held in Oklahoma City, OK from June 12-15, 2013. It was attended by over 500 people, which included residents of 37 different states across the United States and several other countries. The conference reached a broad audience, including commercial and seedstock beef producers, extension personnel, scientific researchers, and allied industry stakeholders. This proposal allowed the conference to increase the reach of hte programming to a greater number of graduate students. Ten graduate student travel awards were provided for students all across the country. As stated in the project narrative, these awards were targeted towards underrepresented groups, including women and minorities, and this goal was achieved. These ten students represented eight different universities and included Justin Buchanan (Oklahoma State University), Erika Downey (Texas A&M University), Melinda Ellison (University of Wyoming), Breno Fragomeni (University of Georgia), Erika Lundy (Iowa State University), Lauren Schiermiester (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Jose Antonio Torres-Vazquez (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Bryan Welly (University of California-Davis), Jian Zeng (Iowa State University), and Xi Zeng (Colorado State University). The National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) Symposium was held one evening and contained a program centered around the use of sexed semen in the beef industry. The conference presentations included general session speakers each morning for all attendees, and breakout sessions in the afternoons, where participants could choose the session that best fit their needs and knowledge level. Breakout sessions included information on advancements in live animal, carcass, and end product, selection decisions, producer applications, cowherd efficiency and adaptability, genetic prediction, and emerging technology. All conference activities, including tours, were designed to facilitate the transfer of technical scientific knowledge to the end user and to increase communication between all sectors of the industry. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Numerous graduate students attended this meeting, many through the support of the travel scholarships awarded as a result of the funding in this proposal. This opportunity provided them not only the opportunity to attend the meeting and learn about new scientific knowledge, but to network and learn from allied industry stakeholders and producers. One unique opportunity offered to graduate students in attendnace is to see how the scientific knowledge generated in their field is applied to producers and to discuss technology transfer to the beef industry. This will help them obtain employment after graduate school and help these students to think about how their research applies to the beef industry and to producers themselves. This becomes increasingly important as students move on to industry, where producers must be willing and financially able to purchase or utilize a product being commercialized, or to academia, where they may be involved with integrated grant proposals. The conference also provided the opportunity for professional development for all of the attendees, including university personnel, allied industry, and government. There was tremendous opportunity to learn about new scientific developments, network with current and future colleagues, and to develop collaborations that may shape the beef industry of the future. Producers had the opportunity to develop skills, learn about new tools, and obtain information that will help them to determine which technologies will have positive return on their investment and will help create a better beef product for consumers. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? There were numerous extension personnel present, including over 20 county and area extension educators from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and numerous educators from other states. Not only were they exposed to new genetic and genomic information that they may have been unaware of previously, but they now have additional knowledge that they can take back to their respective states and constituents for a much broader dissemination and impact from this propopsal. The BIF conference has a long-standing tradition of communication with extension and extension training, as evidenced by the inclusion of extension into BIF's mission. This allows the extension educators to return home and have a much wider impact than just reaching the conference attendees alone. They can reach out to their local communities through their own producer programming, as well as through 4-H and FFA programs. Additionally, this knowledge will help them address consumers in their local communities and help educate them on beef production practices and their strong foundation in science. Additionally, many producers get information from their fellow producers. Anytime we can reach out to prodcuers in the local community, we have the opportunity to create a "domino effect" with neighboring producers. The nature of the conference as a traveling venue helps to facilitate these interactions. Finally, the proceedings and archived presentation audio is available online through several venues including a specialized conference site and the BIF website. This allows the educational materials produced during this conference to reach a worldwide audience of beef producers. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported PROGRESS: 2013/05/15 TO 2013/11/14Target Audience: The 2013 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium and Annual Meeting was held June 12-15, 2013 in Oklahoma City, OK. It was attended by over 500 participants that reside in 37 different states across the US and several countries. Conference attendees included commercial and seedstock beef producers, extension personnel, scientific researchers from universities, private foundations, and USDA, and allied industry stakeholders. Ten graduate student travel awards were provided using grant funds (according to the approved budget). As stated in the project narrative, these awards were targeted towards underrepresented groups, including women and minorities. The ten students represented eight different universities, including Justin Buchanan (Oklahoma State University) , Erika Downey (Texas A&M University), Melinda Ellison (University of Wyoming), Breno Fragomeni (University of Georgia), Erika Lundy (Iowa State University), Lauren Schiermiester (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Jose Antonio Torres-Vazquez (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Bryan Welly (University of California-Davis), Jian Zeng (Iowa State University), and Xi Zeng (Colorado State University). The 2013 BIF meeting in Oklahoma followed the standard BIF format. The meeting took place over four days, with the final day comprising two tours (Northern Oklahoma and Southern Oklahoma) highlighting the beef industry in Oklahoma. This conference also worked in conjunction with the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) to host speakers Wednesday evening as a part of the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) symposium, which is held every other year at the BIF conference. The program for the two morning sessions on Thursday and Friday was developed in conjunction with the BIF board of directors. The programs for the afternoon technical breakout sessions Thursday and Friday were developed by the standing BIF committee chairs for those topics (Advancements in live animal, carcass, and end product, selection decisions, producer applications, cowherd efficiency and adaptability, genetic prediction, and emerging technology). All of the activities were designed to facilitate the transfer of technical scientific knowledge to the end user and to increase communication between all sectors of the beef industry. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? This project has provided a variety of opportunities for professional development and training. Numerous graduate students attended this meeting, many of them through the support of the travel scholarships awarded as a direct result of the funding received in this project. This offered not only the opportunity to attend the meeting and learn about new scientific knowledge (which is offered by attendance at most major scientific conferences), but to network and learn from allied industry stakeholders. One extraordinarily unique opportunity offered to graduate students is to see how the scientific knowledge generated in their field is applied to producers and to discuss technology transfer to the beef industry. This becomes increasily important as these students move on to industry, where producers must be willing to purchase or utilize a product, or to academia, where they may be involved with integrated grant propopsals. The conference also offered the opportunity for professional development for all of the attendees, including university personnel, allied industry, and government. There was tremendous opportunity to learn about new scientific developments, network with current and future colleagues, and to develop collaborations that may shape the beef industry in the future. Last but not least, there were vast opportunities for extension training. There were many extension personnel present, including over 20 county and area extension educators from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Not only were they exposed to new genetic and genomic information that they may have been unaware of previously, but they now have additional knowledge that they can take back to their respective states and constituents for a much wider dissemination and impact. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? There were many extension personnel present, including over 20 county and area extension educators from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and numerous educators from other states. Not only were they exposed to new genetic and genomic information that they may have been unaware of previously, but they now have additional knowledge that they can take back to their respective states and constituents for a much wider dissemination and impact. The BIF conference has a long-standing tradition of communication with extension and extension training. This allows the extension educators to return home and have a much wider impact than just reaching the conference attendees alone. They can reach out to their local communities through their own producer programming, as well as through 4-H and through FFA programs. Additionally, this knowledge will help them address consumers in their local communities and help to educate them on beef production practices. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Because this is a short-term conference proposal and the conference is now complete, this is our final reporting (and will coincide with our final report).

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
OKL02863
Accession number
233819
Categories
Education and Training
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Policy and Planning
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game