USDA, CDCB sign agreement on dairy genetic evaluations

March 26, 2012 — An agreement has been signed transitioning dairy genetic evaluations from USDA to the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), according to Jay Mattison, CDCB vice chair.

Called the “Non-funded Cooperative Agreement” between USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and CDCB, it was presented to the industry last summer and has been the subject of ongoing discussion and debate.

With the agreement in place, the production of genetic evaluations and management reports would begin to be moved from USDA’s Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL) to CDCB. CDCB has retained a team, headed by Dr, Duane Norman, who recently retired as head from AIPL. They will be involved with producing the April genetic evaluations, including genomic information.

Beginning with the April evaluations, breeders will be able to obtain genomic evaluations on their own bulls, as well as their females. CDCB announced the fee schedules that will be in place, and the revenue from those fees will be used to offset some of the costs of producing the genetic evaluations going forward.

Holstein Association USA still reluctant Holstein Association USA president Chuck Worden said his organization was not notified that the agreement had been signed. Holstein USA had participated in a CDCB meeting last October, at which time the document was approved over Holstein USA’s objections. The vote at that meeting was seven in favor, two opposed (Agri-Tech Analytics joined Holstein USA in opposition). Further, Worden said, until there are signed agreements Holstein USA and CDCB, safeguarding Holstein data, the Holstein USA would not be participating.

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