The US demand for Jerseys continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the Jersey Association, again, reporting new records in registrations and program involvement for 2015.   National DHIA reports more Jersey cows on test last year as compared to previous years and dairy farmers are adding the influence of Jersey genetics into their dairy operations by any means possible.  Herby and I often get calls from non-Jersey owners asking where they can buy a trailer load of fresh Jerseys.  Some even call and ask for pot loads or multiple pot loads.  What makes it even more exciting is that this demand is reaching into Holland, Sweden and other countries as well.

Still other producers are relying on Select Sires semen and our world-class Jersey program to benefit from the efficiencies that Jersey cattle have, which ultimately leads to profitability for their farming operations.

Through all of this, the Select Sires Jersey program has been steadfast in having the best lineup of proven sires available to the global marketplace.  Select has more daughter proven bulls ranking in the top 50 than any other A.I. company, which is great news.  Perhaps even more exciting is that we look into the holding pens for bulls that will potentially graduate in 2016, and the opportunity for more breeder satisfaction with high ranking bulls is simply awesome.

Over the next three proof rounds, we will watch over 40 bulls add reliability to their genomic predictions through actual daughter data. From this list, the very best will earn a certificate of graduation and will move up into the ranks of the elite and join the tremendous bulls like 7J1038 Valentino, 7J1149 Dimension, 7J1190 Fastrack, 7J1184 News and 7J1088 Colton . . . just to name a few.

As the dairy industry changes from its traditional ways to a brighter, more colorful future, having bulls that can consistently deliver as promised is more important than ever.  Our current active sires have over 96% reliability in their production evaluations and 93% reliability in their type evaluations.  Why is this important?  For those producer owners that are not familiar with the breeding patterns or the sire stacks in Jersey pedigrees, having the confidence to know that every properly used straw of Select Sires semen will produce the type of individual that they expect is important!

For 50 years, Select Sires has been providing the best in the breed to Jersey enthusiasts around the globe. During that period, we have worked hard to earn your trust by representing our genetics with transparency and honesty.  Over the next year and long into the future, you can be confident that Select Sires is honored to be your time tested – partner approved company in providing Jersey genetics to maximize your profit potential.

Improvements on the way

The US Jersey Board of Directors has been diligently working over the last few years to improve how individuals are identified and reported.  On March 12, 2016, the board approved a change involving cattle registered that are part of their Genetic Recovery program as well as those that are registered via the Genetic Expansion program.   This new ‘Generation Count’ system will simply be a {#} following an individual’s name. Any individual that is registered from an unknown parent or a non-Jersey parent will carry the label {1} after the given name.  This count will continue for six (6) generations.  The previous OA, PR, GR or J1 through J6 prefixes will be removed and no longer part of the recorded name.

Additionally, beginning in May 2016, US Jersey will begin publishing Breed Base Representation (BBR).  BBR was developed by The Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory of USDA, which completed studies to determine the extent to which alleles of various breeds appear to be represented in a genomic tested individual’s genetic makeup. The procedure starts by defining purebred reference groups, which are registered animals carefully chosen to represent five different breeds (Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holsteins, and Jerseys). The purebred reference groups are recent AI bulls in each breed that have daughters with milk evaluations.

This new technology is the most scientific way yet to determine the combination of bloodlines in an individual’s DNA. It is based on DNA and simply looks at how closely that individual’s alleles compare to the reference group.  It does not rely on pedigree as a reference nor does it rely on pedigree to calculate the final BBR score.  It is also important that you understand BBR is NOT a purity test; it is simply the most detailed tool we have today to determine if the alleles indeed look like other Jersey alleles or perhaps there are other breeds involved.

Because US Jersey and other breed associations have created programs to enroll cattle not traditionally eligible for registry within their breed, the use of BBR will help to insure the accuracy of the data being recorded.  The use of this tool can be very beneficial in many ways, including being able to prove that an individual does indeed come from Jersey seed stock, even though the recorded parentage suggests otherwise. According to the article from CDCB, “we are fortunate to have a new tool to characterize these animals.”

Confidence with Select Sires

As mentioned earlier in this article, Select Sires has spent the last 50 years developing a Jersey program that is the envy of the industry.  Our bulls come from great cow families that have stood the test of time and been profitable members of their owner’s herd.   As we go forward, we will continue to focus on the bringing you the best genetics the breed has to offer.   We are fortunate to be able to work with many great herds throughout the North America and our partnerships with River Valley Farms, International Genetics, Rancho Teresita and now Jerseyland will yield us endless opportunities to provide breed leading genetics that you can use with confidence.

We will continue to use clarity in our marketing promotions and do our level best to represent our genetics truthfully.  We will continue to uncover every rock to find the best of the Jersey breed, looking to find future emerging cow families and most important, partner with you in providing you, our member-owners, genetics to regard and trust in!


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