Will the future of DNA in beef cattle effect the purpose of a breed association. How does your breed association find the markers used to compare animals? Is DNA just a fad that major breeders may of already messed up?
I watched a sale yesterday all I heard was top of this top of that 50k this 50k that. Unfortunately at the same time I was looking at the animal that was a piece of junk that I wouldn't want walking in my pasture. I am saying this to explain that DNA is a tool just like EPD'S are tools but you still have to have functional cattle and I don't give a rats ba toot how good the numbers or what the DNA says.
I might be misunderstanding the question but DNA is just more information and really the breed associations job is only to provide lineage that shows that the cattle belong to their breed. As far as DNA testing being the wave of the future, I don't think it will be. Nothing ever beats progeny proven and on the dairy side of things we figure a genomic test to be the equivalent of about twelve daughters and that is a loooooong way from proven. ;-) It's a good start and we are able to cull a few duds that we wouldn't have known about without it, but it's not the same as evaluating calves on the ground. I've already seen a few train wrecks in herds where they decided that a genomic test was the same as proven. The first generation is not so bad but if you get into two and three generations of only genomic testing you really don't know what you have other than three generations of crapshoot. Like Gizmom, I see some of the beef cattle being sold by dna and epds that don't have a place in a quality herd regardless of what the numbers say.
I think the use of DNA to verify parentage in purebred cattle as well as check for carriers of defects and horn status are valuable information. If you do a full DNA test on a registered Hereford it tests for parentage, hypotrichosis, idiopathic epilepsy, diluter gene, as well as if the animal is homozygous or heterozygous polled. The diluter gene is a big one if your goal is to breed black baldy calves, if a Hereford bull carries the diluter gene there is a good chance you will get some grey calves instead of the preferred black baldy look.
Whether or not the use of DNA for GE-EPD enhanced testing holds any value is still to be seen. EPDs is just 1 selection tool to be used, they aren't gospel but it sure is nice if you can get both the desired phenotype and a good set of EPDs to go with it too.
I like the DNA because I can get the test done myself for myself and the Ass. doesn't have any thing to do with it. I can compare the DNA scores to the EPD's. I don't have much in the defect line to test for. I don't care if a cow or a bull is homo polled and I already no mine will be red.
Genex is great with this. A well known and used purebred simmental bull, Wide Track, just tested positive for CA. I bought 5 straws on him about 6 months ago. My Genex rep called me last night to tell me he tested positive, and they pulled him from their line up. She offered to buy back my semen, but I have used all but 1 straw, so I said don't worry about it. I will just have to test the resulting calves. DNA is a tool, and I do have one positive CA carrier in my herd (comes from her angus dam), so I test every calf she has. Just part of the job of breeding cattle.