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2024 Schedule

56th Annual BIF Research Symposium and Convention

June 10-13 • University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Agriculture and Natural Resources Building, 2506 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996

Monday, June 10

8 am BIF Board of Directors Meeting – Brehm Animal Science 264

Shuttle Schedule:
Continuous circuit from hotels to UT campus every 20-30 minutes from noon – 9 pm.

Young Producer Symposium – ANR 101
1 pm  Welcome
Kevin Schulz, BIF President, Haviland, Kansas

1:15 pm  Biotechnology 101 – A practical, producer guide to gene editing, vaccinology and genomics
Dr. Jon Beever, University of Tennessee

2:15 pm  Break

2:30 pm   Land Loss & Estate Planning – Panel Discussion
Kevin Ferguson– University of Tennessee (moderator)

3:30 pm   From nothing to WOW: Innovative Producer Perspectives – Panel Discussion
Jim Johnson, Brands and Barbwire, live Podcast (moderator)
Rachel & Brandon Cutrer, B.R. Cutrer Brahman, Boling, Texas; Kristian & Becky Rennert, Rennert Ranch, Elm Creek, Nebraska; and Kevin & Lydia Yon, Yon Family Farms, Ridge Spring, South Carolina

5 pm  Opening Reception and Scholarship Reception
Presentation of the Roy Wallace Scholarship and Frank Baker & Larry Cundiff scholarships

6 pm  Creating Feeder Cattle Profit Potential
Dr. Nevil Spear, (moderator)
Dr Holt Tripp; and Lee Leachman, Leachman Cattle

Tuesday, June 11

7 am Breakfast – at hotels

Shuttle Schedule:
6 – 8:30 am and 5 – 6 pm three coach busses will make circuit between hotels and UT campus.
From 6 – 7 pm coaches will shuttle attendees to Yee Haw Brewing, 745 N Broadway St, Knoxville, TN 37917 and return service between 8 – 10 pm.

Morning Session

8 am  Welcome

General Session I: Building a better cow – ANR 101

8:30 am  Modern Research and Modern Tools to Match Cattle Genetics to the Environment
Dr. Jared Decker, University of Missouri

9 am  Genetic Improvement Programs in the Fescue Belt
Dr. Darrh Bullock, University of Kentucky

9:30 am  Why is Cow Longevity and Maternal Performance Important
Dr. Rick Machen, KRIRM, Texas A&M – Kingsville
Dr. Bob Weaber, Kansas State University

10:15 am  Break and Graduate Poster Sessions

10:45 am  The Full Picture of Cow Efficiency
Dr. Dave Lalman, Oklahoma State University

11:30 am  Panel Discussion Q and A
Speakers from General Session I

Noon  Awards Luncheon
Presentation of BIF Commercial Producer, Continuing Service and Ambassador Awards

2 pm  Technical Breakouts

Advancements in Genomics and Genetic Prediction, chaired by Dr. Warren Snelling, US Meat Animal Research Center – ANR 102
2 pm   Unraveling high progeny performance sired by 20th century bulls, El Hay, USDA ARS, Fort Keough 
2:40 pm Diving into cattle genetic resistance to horn flies, Fernanda Rezende, University of Florida
3:20 pm  Break
3:40 pm What does the dairy industry know about inbreeding that you don’t?, John Cole, Center for Dairy Cattle Breeding
4:10 pm BOLT + Helical: Powering Genomic Prediction in Global Cattle Breeding, Daniel Garrick, Theta Solutions

Advancements in Producer Applications, chaired by Dr. Troy Rowan, University of Tennessee – ANR 101
2 pm   Terminal Crossbreeding: A Missed Opportunity for the Beef Industry, Mark Thallman, USMARC
2:45 pm Using Sexed Semen to Navigate the Genetic Fork in the Road, Kenny Wells, ABS Global
3:15 pm  Break
3:45 pm   Leveraging whole herd reporting to develop cow-focused genetic predictions – A panel discussion
Lindsay Upperman, Red Angus Association of America; Lane Giess, American Simmental Association; Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association; and Esther Tarpoff, American Angus Association
4:30 pm  Innovations in Commercial Genomics, speaker TBD, Agricultural Business Research Institute, Armidale, Australia

Advancements in Efficiency and Adaptability, chaired by Dr. Mark Enns, Colorado State University – ANR 103
2 pm Leveraging Beef Genetics as a Climate-Smart Sustainability Practice, Dr. Robert Williams, Sustainable Livestock Technical Manager, Trust in Food
2:30 pm Practical application of hair shedding scores and EPD in your herd, Dr. Jared Decker, Wurdack Chair of Animal Genomics, and Dr. Jamie Courter, State Beef Extension Specialist University of Missouri
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Factors influencing occurrence of liver abscesses, Miranda Zuvich, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University
3:55 pm Using Enviromics to Identify More Adapted Angus Cattle, Dr. Troy Rowan, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist (Beef Genetics), University of Tennessee
4:20 pm Heart Score Comparisons between Finished Beef and Beef on Dairy Animals, Isabella Kukor, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University

6:30 pm Off-Site Social & Shark Tank Competition, Yee Haw Brewing

Wednesday, June 12

7 am Breakfast at hotels

Shuttle Schedule:
6 – 8:30 am and 5 – 6 pm three coach busses will make circuit between hotels and UT campus.

General Session II: Building a better cow

8 am  Breeding a more resilient cow: Perspectives from the dairy industry
Dr. Christine Baes, University of Guelph

8:45 am  Perspectives on Cow Efficiency from USMARC Research
Dr. Larry Kuehn, USMARC

9:30 am  Break and Graduate Student Poster Session

10 am  With cow efficiency, #PhenotypeIsKing: Putting high-throughput phenotypes to work in UK’s genetic evaluations
Dr. Mike Coffey, Scotland Rural College

10:45 am  Panel Discussion Q and A
Speakers from General Session ll

11:30 am  BIF Board Caucus and Elections

Noon  Awards Luncheon – ANR 101
Presentation of BIF Pioneer and Seedstock Producer awards, retiring president’s comments, introduction of newly elected BIF Board of Directors and invitation to BIF 2025

2 pm Technical Breakouts

Advancements in Emerging Technology, chaired by Dr. Megan Rolf, Kansas State University – ANR 103
2 pm  World Angus Evaluation, a collaboration to provide research and genetic evaluations for Angus cattle across the globe, Andre Garcia 
2:40 pm  Non-traditional data sources for use in multi-breed genetic evaluation, Ryan Boldt
3:20 pm Break
3:40 pm Examining the Potential influence of epigenetic effects on genetic evaluations, Stephanie McKay 
4:20 pm Metagenomics: a new tool for livestock improvement, Bailey Engle

Advancements in End Product Improvement, chaired by Dr. Tommy Perkins, West Texas A & M University – ANR 102
2 pm Associations among Bovine Congestive Heart Failure, organ phenotypes scored in the packing plant, and treatment records for BRD, Dr. Justin Buchanan, Geneticist, Simplot Land and Livestock
2:30 pm A comparison of three camera technology predictions of intramuscular fat percentage in F1 Wagyu, Dr. Hanna Ostrovski, Director of Research, Education and Programs, American Wagyu Association
3:15 Break
3:45 pm Successes, problems and opportunities with data collection to improve carcass merit in cattle, Dr. Joe Paschal, Emeritus Professor of Animal Science, Texas A&M University
4:45 pm UGC Marbling Software Research Project Update, Patrick Wall, Ultrasound Guidelines Council

Advancements in Selection Decisions, chaired by Dr. Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – ANR 101
2 pm Seeing through your buyer’s eyes: A behavioral economics experiment on how bull buyers use EPDs, Charley Martinez, University of Tennessee
3 pm American Angus Association’s Functional Longevity EPD, Andre Garcia, Angus Genetics, Inc.
4 pm (Some) Indexes assume you retain ownership but you sell at weaning: A conundrum in the Southeast, Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
4:45 pm Results from the ARS Beef Grand Challenge – examining genotype x management interactions using the germplasm evaluation program, Larry Kuehn, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

5:30 pm BIF Board of Directors Meeting

Dinner on your own

Thursday, June 13

East Tennessee Tour

8 am – Depart Hotels

8:45 am – 9:45 am (CT) — Burns Farms Hereford (Pikeville, TN)

10:30 am CT – 12:00 pm (CT) – Plateau Research and Education Center (Crossville, TN)

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm (ET) – Sweetwater Valley Farm (Philadelphia, TN)

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (ET) – Sixteen Peaks Akaushi (Louisville, TN)

5:30 pm (ET) – Return to Hotels

Stop Details
Burns Farms (Pikeville, TN)

Burns Farms has been raising Hereford cattle near Pikeville, Tennessee, since 1952. From these early beginnings, the Burns family has grown to become the largest Hereford breeder in the Southeast, selling 150 bulls and 100 females annually. In recent years, they have doubled down on the use of embryo transfer and genomic testing to further accelerate genetic progress. Attendees will appreciate the top-to-bottom quality of this operation’s cattle where high-end EPDs are packaged into cattle that excel in both the show ring and in the pasture.

Plateau Research and Education Center (Crossville, TN)

We will make a stop at one of the University of Tennessee’s 10 Research and Education Centers (RECs). The Plateau REC located west of Crossville, Tennessee covers 2,100 acres and is home to the largest beef cattle herd of the UT RECs. PREC has been integral to a number of research programs at UT focused on reproductive efficiency, estrus synchronization, and feed efficiency testing.  Additionally, it is home to a wide variety of field and garden crop research and has been instrumental in a number of impactful research programs. Here we will hear about ongoing research efforts from members of the UT team, an overview of research at other RECs throughout the state, as well as the herd’s long-term participation in the Select Sires Young Sires Program.

Sweetwater Valley Farm (Philadelphia, TN)

Sweetwater Valley Farm became a dairy when the first barn was built in 1917. Several owners spent their time tending the land and raising dairy cows on the farm over the last century. John and Celia Harrison purchased interest in the dairy farm in 1987, and became the sole owners of Sweetwater Valley Farm in 1992. John started producing cheese in 1998 using the milk from his cows. Throughout the early 2000s, both the herd of dairy cows and the cheese operation continued to grow. In 2018, Sweetwater Valley Farm became Tennessee’s first Lely XL Dairy Farm, milking 500 cows with Robotic Technology. Today, Sweetwater Valley Farm is a diversified farming operation that serves as home to over 1,500 dairy cows and multiple beef cows, as well as a source of crop production and farmstead cheese. Our tour will focus on the role that beef x dairy plays in Sweetwater Valley’s operation. We’ll also have an opportunity to try their ice cream and take home some of their top-notch cheese!

Sixteen Peaks Cattle (Louisville, TN)

Sixteen Peaks Cattle are raising world-class Akaushi genetics in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Since 2017, they have focused on breeding full-blood Akaushi genetics for use in crossbreeding programs in Tennessee. They have built a program that emphasizes carcass traits while making functional cattle for the Fescue Belt. From breeding to innovative grazing strategies to high-end beef sales, Sixteen Peaks is pioneering a new type of beef production in the Southeast.

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