The National Center for Beef Excellence (NCBE), a non-profit organization focused on implementing initiatives to create increased value for commercial producers, has received a $199,345 grant to fund a feasibility study and develop a business plan. The grant was provided by the Missouri Value-Added Grant Program, which provides grants for projects that add value to Missouri ag products and aid the rural economy.

NCBE’s cornerstone will be the Beef Genetics Center (BGC), which aims to revolutionize the speed and depth of progress that can be achieved in genetic research for the betterment of beef products and beef-cattle production. Just as the grain industry has been transformed through the plant genetics advances of the past decade, BGC wants to transform, sustain and expand the beef industry through step-change genetic advancements.

First off, BGC aims to provide seedstock producers and their commercial customers with single-breed genetic evaluation (EPDs). The timing for this venture is critical, as the university genetic evaluation centers currently providing these services intend to discontinue genetic evaluation by 2010 in favor of genomic research.

Future BGC initiatives include development of a coordinated multi-breed genetic evaluation, and genetic material repository and data warehouse. This will allow integration of a multi-breed genetic evaluation system that utilizes genomic data, coupled with a DNA sample repository, to provide a synergistic environment for industry service, research, discovery and added value to complement EPDs and add value for beef producers and beef consumers for years to come.

NCBE representatives will seek counsel from representatives of all beef-industry sectors in order to complete the feasibility study and business plan. For more info, contact Rex Ricketts at rickettsr@missouri.edu.

To read the executive summary, click here: