Left side

Forget the Fancy

Commercial producer, associate dean explains how management is important in addition to genetics.

by Kasey Brown, associate editor, for Angus Journal®


Dave Daley
Dave Daley

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (June 13, 2013) — At a conference where genetic and management practices are thoroughly discussed, Dave Daley, California State University–Chico, told the audience of the 45th Annual Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention that the most important trait to the cattle industry is profit. Cattlemen can talk about genetic advances as much as they want, he said, but the most important part to a commercial cattleman is staying in business.


“I don’t think you need to talk about crossbreeding anymore. I really don’t. I don’t think we’re changing minds. I think you, the individual producer in your environment, need to think about planning your genetic program for the long term, not switching here and there,” he asserted.


Commercial producers expect seedstock producers to provide the genetics that are needed. Commercial cattlemen don’t have a lot of time to sort through genetics, said Daily, who is associate dean of the university, as well as a commercial cattleman. “You (seedstock producers) provide the genetics and genomic tools so we can use them to stay in business.”


We all look at things from our own window; our focus is from what we knew growing up, he said. This explains some of the continuing straight-breeding vs. crossbreeding debate. Daley advised looking at things with a broader scale.


In many commercial instances, the environment directly affects which kind of breeding plan is used. Daley said none of us truly grasps how dramatic environmental factors are.

Heterosis is not just breeding to be better than the parents, he said, though often people mistakenly think it does. It produces progeny that are compared to the average of both parents. For instance, if you breed a Holstein to a Hereford, you wouldn’t expect the progeny to produce more milk than the Holstein.


If you use crossbreeding, use it with realistic expectations in mind, he recommended.


“Think about where you are now and where you want to be in 10 years. To be honest, that is the easiest thing that I do. I have to focus on things that make a huge difference to me, and genetics is the fun part. Honestly, with all the tools out there, that’s the easy stuff. We better start thinking about all these other issues that are going to impact what we do, and you need to start spending the same amount of energy toward those as you do genetics.


“Don’t always keep your eyes closed, always be open to new things, and look at opportunities,” he concluded.


Editor’s Note: This summary was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API). Through an agreement with the Beef Improvement Federation, we are encouraging reprinting of the articles to those who will adhere to the reprint guidelines available on this site. Please review those guidelines or contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270. PowerPoints are posted with permission of the presenter and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the presenter.

API's coverage of the event is made possible through collaboration with BIF and sponsorship of LiveAuctions.tv. For questions about this site, or to notify us of broken links, click here.

Headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo., API publishes the Angus Journal, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, and the Angus Journal Daily, as well as providing online coverage of events and topics pertinent to cattlemen through the Angus Journal Virtual Library.

BIF Conference

Site sponsored by

Liveauctions.tv     LiveAuctions.tv

Other Angus Journal
event sites …

Visit the
Angus Journal
topic library …

The topic sites in our library offer gateways to information on body condition scoring, beef cow efficiency, country-of-origin labeling, targeting the Certified Angus Beef® brand and more.

Sign up for…

Angus Journal
Angus Journal
Copyright © 2014

Right side