Wisconsin Holstein Association Wisconsin Holstein

Industry News releases

Its time for final comment on future U.S. genetic evaluations

Breeders have until July 16 to give input on the CDCB’s Business Plan proposal

Fort Atkinson, Wis (June 18, 2012)…On Friday June 15, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding released its roadmap for operational and financial aspects of how U.S. genetic evaluations might be carried out once USDA takes a step back from providing this service. The five-page Business Plan discusses governance, data flow and collection, as well as future fees to fund the system. The initial budget is projected to be $1.153 million and it will expand to $1.84 million by the third year.

As breeders review the Business Plan for the first time, you will want to turn to page 5. It is the chart most of us will want to review quite carefully. It contains the fees (surcharges) above and beyond the current genomic test costs to obtain information gathered on your animal’s genomic evaluations. The proposed fee schedule rewards those who contribute data to the system while it charges higher fees to those who do not participate in production data collection or breed sponsored programs such as classification which are essential to calibrate the entire system. It also places the largest cost center on males which are projected to account for nearly 80 percent of the fees collected.

For breeders that have waited nearly five years to get information on their bulls, you can test them for $20 and receive a one-time evaluation. If you find a blue-chipper, and wish to receive continual updates, then you must pay $800 for that privilege. On the flip-side breeders should be able to recapture that expanded fee from semen sales. As stated earlier, all fees move upward on a sliding scale as a participant contributes less data to the system.

There are also other important aspects that warrant careful review. Some include:

- The fees are subject to change based on the number of tests run (fees collected from those tests) and expenses to conduct genetic evaluations.

- The number of voting members for the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding expands from 9 to 12 with a system to further expand the group to 14 to include some other allied industry partners (page 1).

  • - It creates a provision to expand the number of nominators (a role currently handled by A.I. and breed associations) for genomic tests. (The nominators are important because they also collect the fees).

  • - It provides a mechanism to continue Material License Agreements with individual organizations and protect data confidentiality. In addition, a provision has been added that seeks independent review of breed association type data.

One unresolved question in my mind can be found on page 4 (North American genomic consortium). Our Italian and British friends already have access to our genomic information. Who else may one-day gain access and how will that be determined?

As dairy producers, we will have 30 days to comment on the Business Plan (June 16 to July 16). Download the the five-page document here along with a one-page explanation here.

Since the Council of Dairy Cattle Breeding has no website, comments can be emailed to one of the nine voting members . . . or the four Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding officers. Those emails include:

Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA)

John Meyer, Holstein Association USA jmeyer@holstein.com
Neal Smith, US Jersey Association nsmith@usjersey.com
Chuck Worden, Holstein Association USA wormontdairy1@frontiernet.net

Dairy Records Providers (DRPs)
Kent Buttars, National DHIA kent_buttars@yahoo.com
Pat Maddox, CA DHIA ruannpat@aol.com
Dan Sheldon, National DHIA drswhf@yahoo.com

National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB)
Marj Faust, ABS/Genus Marj.Faust@genusplc.com
Keith Heikes, Genex kheikes@crinet.com
Bob Welper, Alta bwelper@altagenetics.com

Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB)
Ole Meland, Chair omeland@accelgen.com
Jay Mattison, Vice Chair jmattison@dhia.org
Becky Payne, Secretary bpayne@usayrshire.com
Gordon Doak, Recording Secretary gdoak@naab-css.org

By Corey Geiger, Holstein Association USA, National Director