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Keith Bertrand Honored with BIF Pioneer Award


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (June 14, 2013) — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored Keith Bertrand with the Pioneer Award during the organization's 45th annual meeting and research symposium in Oklahoma City, Okla., June 12-15, 2013. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.

After completing his bachelor of science degree at University of Florida and both a master of science and doctorate at Iowa State, Bertrand began his research career at the University of Georgia in 1980. 

In the early days of development of genetic evaluation models, his application of the animal model and then the reduced animal model produced the expected progency differences (EPDs) that were published in the early breed association sire summaries.  Not content with just producing the EPD values, numerous research projects were undertaken to test the efficacy of predicted genetic values in real-world conditions.  

Reaching beyond providing the tools for genetic evaluation of livestock, Bertrand has also made an impact by training many of us in the Beef Improvement Federation to use and continue to enhance the technology behind these tools. The list of his former graduate students provides a virtual “Who’s Who” of animal breeding and genetics.

Contributions as a speaker at past BIF meeting, as well as BIF sponsored Genetic Improvement Workshops challenged us as providers and users of this data to be vigilant about collecting and using well-edited data, the proper use of contemporary groups and the analysis non-random components of the data. 

A presentation at the fourth Genetic Prediction workshop in 1994 discussed the value of more frequent genetic evaluations as a means of increasing the credibility of the NCE process and data, very prophetic words regarding a topic that still presents a challenge to the industry today. 

He was presented the BIF Pioneer Award at a luncheon Friday, June 14, in Oklahoma City.

For more information about this year's symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting and tours, visit www.BIFconference.com. For more information about the BIF organization, visit www.beefimprovement.org.



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