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New Online Course: Cow-Calf Record-Keeping for Tracking Genetic Improvements

genetics record-keeping course for beef producers

Once you know where you are, you can start to plan where you would like to go. Do you want your calves to be heavier at weaning? Are you interested in more uniform coat colour so your calves fit into a certain market? What other goals and objectives do you have for your beef cattle herd?  

Genetic change in cow-calf operations can occur both through sire selection and through replacement female selection in conjunction with cow culling. While some of your goals will be influenced by your production practices, other goals such as higher weaning weights will be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors (such as nutrition, stress, health problems, weather and others). 

This seven-part online course will walk you through the process of tracking genetic improvements through practical record-keeping. Turn information into action, as you learn how to collect and save data so it can be analyzed and used to make better decisions. 

The Cow-Calf Record-Keeping Course for Tracking Genetic Improvements includes:

Black beef bull with white calf on green grass
  • Lesson 1: Crossbreeding and hybrid vigour 
  • Lesson 2: EPDs and heritability 
  • Lesson 3: Using records to select replacement heifers 
  • Lesson 4: Using records to select replacement bulls 
  • Lesson 5: Using records for cow culling decisions 
  • Lesson 6: Bull selection and calving ease data 
  • Lesson 7: Post-weaning gain and yearling weight  

This course is the third in a series of record-keeping courses. Other courses include Animal Health and Performance and Forage and Grasslands. A final course on farm financial records will launch later in 2024.  


Thanks to our partners at the Alberta Beef Producers, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Canadian Beef Breeds Council and Maritime Beef Test Station for contributing their time and expertise during the development of this course. 

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