DULUTH, Ga. — July 14, 2009 — Angus Genetics Inc.® (AGI) and Merial have entered into an exclusive agreement to provide American Angus Association® breeders with genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs) powered by IGENITY®. This will be the first time beef producers have access to genomic-enhanced EPDs for multiple traits at once — and from an Angus-specific DNA profile.
Bill Bowman, president, AGI, says this agreement joins two groups committed to advancing genetic improvement in the beef industry.
“AGI and IGENITY share a common vision to provide beef producers with the most advanced solutions to their genetic selection and management needs,” Bowman says. “This represents a significant milestone for our industry — one our board has directed us to pursue aggressively for the past two years and supported with collaboration and research dollars.”
The combination of a breed-specific DNA profile with the Angus National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) will result in higher-accuracy EPDs. This will be an especially powerful tool for evaluating young animals, as cattle will now have accuracies that were previously only possible once they had multiple progeny on the ground, Bowman says.
Dr. Stewart Bauck, executive director of research and development, IGENITY, commends AGI and its parent company, the American Angus Association, for leading this charge.
“The American Angus Association has set the standard in data collection and embracing cutting-edge technologies,” he says. “We appreciate the work the Association has done to keep the breed at the forefront of the beef industry by helping bring this advancement to Angus breeders.”
Bowman says the selection of a DNA technology partner was a logical decision.
“IGENITY has a robust profile of analyses, including the industry’s only DNA analyses for reproduction and maternal traits in combination with all of the economically important carcass traits,” he says. “Plus, the addition of the genomic tools from IGENITY into our NCE system provides us the ability to improve the accuracy of Angus EPDs — especially in young animals.”
Dr. Bauck adds that genomic-enhanced EPDs for multiple traits have become a reality after years of collaboration among beef industry leaders.
“The industry agreed that genomic-enhanced EPDs were the next advancement in DNA technology,” he says. “It was our responsibility as the leading DNA technology provider to take action and move the topic of genomic-enhanced EPDs from an industry discussion to a user-friendly solution.”
The list of available genomic-enhanced EPDs is being finalized by the American Angus Association. It’s expected that Angus producers will be able to tap into this offering with the availability of the test this fall. The spring 2010 Sire Evaluation Report, available online in December 2009 and in print January 2010, will be the first report to include genomic-enhanced EPDs. These EPDs are enhanced by analyses from IGENITY; however, producers will continue to communicate and work with the trusted team at the American Angus Association.
In addition to genomic-enhanced EPDs for Angus producers, IGENITY offers analyses for more than 15 economically important traits producers can use to make more confident selection, management and marketing decisions. IGENITY also offers user-friendly information management software and expert consultation to help producers customize this advanced information to their individual herd goals.
For more information about IGENITY, contact your IGENITY sales representative, call 1-877-IGENITY or visit www.igenity.com. For more information about the genomic-enhanced EPDs available from the American Angus Association, contact your Angus regional manager or call (816) 383-5100.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,400 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2008 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) is a division of the American Angus Association, with headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo., which offers services to the more than 33,000 members of the American Angus Association and thousands of commercial cattle producers using Angus genetics across the United States. For more information about AGI or other Association programs, visit www.angus.org or call (816) 383-5100.