Extension Education Session
Limited transfer of existing and emerging reproductive technologies to beef cattle enterprises precludes those enterprises from reaching their economic potential and places them at a competitive disadvantage relative to livestock enterprises where such technologies are being implemented more aggressively. On the other hand, and until now, the beef cattle sector has never had the reproductive tools available to facilitate widespread successful adoption of these technologies within the industry. Hence, the need for increased efforts to transfer technology to the industry has never been greater. The National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG) in Beef Cattle will serve as a new model for research and technology transfer wherein industry participants at all levels and from across the US are afforded the opportunity to access information and acquire new skills that will improve reproductive management and resulting genetic makeup of our nation’s beef cattle industry. Comprehensive educational training programs will be developed for practicing veterinarians, extension livestock specialists, allied industry, producers, and students that will enable various segments of the beef cattle sector to acquire (through face-to-face and distance-learning applications) new knowledge and skills that will aid in the successful adoption of reproductive procedures/biotechnologies. Curriculum modules designed to support improvements in reproductive management will be comprised of the following: 1) Heifer development programs including reproductive tract scoring, fetal aging and sexing; 2) Breeding management, including estrus synchronization, artificial insemination, sex-sorted semen, and embryo transfer; 3) higher education student internships in reproductive management; and 4) on-farm beef heifer development and marketing programs patterned after the Missouri Show-Me-SelectTM Replacement Heifer Program. In addition, a graduate certificate program will be offered, entitled “Bovine Reproductive Management and Genomic Technologies”. Collectively, NCARG will serve as a new model for research and technology transfer intent on improving reproductive management and genetic makeup of our nation’s beef industry.