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NAAB supports proposed cooperative agreement with USDA to produce genetic evaluations in the private sector

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The National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB – the trade association of the U.S. AI organizations) unanimously approved a resolution supporting the transition of dairy genetic evaluations from AIPL-ARS / USDA to the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding. Delegates to the 66th annual meeting, held Sept. 19 in Milwaukee, WI passed without opposition a resolution praising the work by the Council, the Dairy Data Working Group and the Business Plan Working Group, calling it an “open process” that carefully considered the long term needs of the industry. Both plans have been posted on the holsteinworld.com website and have been the subject of much industry discussion. These documents may be found by clicking here.

According to Ole Meland, NAAB board chairman as well as current chair of the Council, these two proposals will be on the agenda for the next Council meeting to be held immediately after World Dairy Expo on Oct. 7 & 8 in Madison, WI.

Board elections

In other action, Keith Heikes, CRI Genex, and Chuck Sattler, Select Sires, were re-elected to the NAAB Board, while Dr. Nate Zwald, Alta Genetics, joins the board for the first time, replacing his Alta colleague, Dr Bob Welper, who had served two terms and was ineligible for reelection. Meland was reelected chairman with Heikes reelected vice-chair and Marjorie Faust, ABS Global, once again chosen as the third member of the executive committee.

Semen sales totals

Dr. Gordon Doak, NAAB president, reported on sales totals for dairy and beef semen. U.S. dairy sales totals for dairy semen were up 4.41% in 2011 over the previous year at 22,544,547 units. Holstein units totaled 19,826,027, up 3.32%, followed by Jersey at 2,156,285, up 11.1%. Showing growth also were R & W and Red Holstein, Brown Swiss, Red Carrier Holstein and Milking Shorthorn. Ayrshire and Guernsey showed slight declines.

Semen exports showed a nearly 6% increase to 15,701,513 units totaling over $124 million. Holsteins led the way at 13,882,848 units or a 6.27% increase, followed by Jersey with a nearly flat total, at 1,139,624 units.

Imports of Holstein semen showed a big increase from about 55,000 units in 2010 to 142,628 units in 2011. Big increases in imported semen were also shown by Jerseys (70,816) and Norwegian Red (40,375) while decreased results were shown by Swedish Red, Montbeliarde, Red Holstein and Brown Swiss.

The growth of genomic testing was documented. Doak reported that since 2008, a total of 49,697 dairy bulls have been genomically tested. Of that total, 15,616 have been tested in the 12 months from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

The NAAB Technical Conference, held every second year, was slated for Sept. 20 & 21 with some 250 attendees from across the U.S. and nine countries scheduled to participate.

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