2016 Junior National

The 2016 NJSS will be held July 2-7 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Find all of the new and updated information about the 2016 Junior National Shorthorn Show here!

The Edge Goes Digital

The Edge Newsletter, your reliable guide to all things NJSS, is now available in electronic format only. Read it on the AJSA or ASA website, find a link on our ASA Facebook page OR download and print it out at home.  Just don’t wait for your mail carrier to deliver it, because it’s ONLINE ONLY in 2016! Click here to read the Edge 2016 Newsletter.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

“Remember, prior planning prevents poor performance.” These were the words of a wise college accounting professor I was given the opportunity to learn many things from. At the beginning of the course’s first semester, I comprehended the scope of the quote to apply only to class materials and the importance of studying for exams. However, as the year progressed, I began to understand that the concept of prior planning encompassed far more than my accounting homework.

Today, as I continue to think about the significance of this saying, its importance in the cattle business becomes clear.  So oftentimes, in the hectic nature of our day to day activities at a cattle operation, future planning becomes tossed aside in lieu of more pressing tasks at hand. However, to ensure our future success, planning for the future is of utmost importance.

Do you know where you want your operation to be in the future? Today is the best day to set goals for tomorrow. Be proactive in making your operation even better than it is now. Learn more about a topic that could help improve your bottom line, try a new idea, the opportunities are endless. Today’s beef cattle market is the highest on record. How can you plan ahead to make sure your operation is profitable when markets become narrow?

  • Establish an effective record keeping system. Incorporating a system that accurately records expenses and profits will be a valuable decision making tool. Decisions can be made with real world numbers, in turn helping to increase productivity and profitability.  Are your cattle performance records up to date? Do you have a performance record keeping system in place? If not, take the time to learn more about record keeping and to find a system that best meets your herd’s needs.
  • Gain knowledge about industry trends and technology. Today’s fast paced, technology based world has not overlooked the cattle industry. Today, there are many products, innovations, and technology available that can help your herd and operation improve. Areas that technology continues to touch include: reproductive, feed efficiency, and herd health technology.


Oftentimes, looking to the future can be overwhelming; however, the task today will reap benefits over and over in tomorrow’s world. ­Agricultural producers have a multitude of resources available to help answer questions and provide educational materials. State extension services are a great place for producers looking for useful information. As you transition and prepare for the future, I hope you too will remember that “prior planning prevents poor performance.”


What Can Performance Data Do for You?

With added emphasis being place on today’s cattle producers to utilize performance data within their operations, many may be left wondering what the benefits will be. Sometimes as a small breeder it is easy to ask “what does my data really matter, if any, besides-I only want to register a few head this year.”

Performance should matter to all breeders; no matter how big or how small. Performance data relies on the submission of data from all breeders and cattle. When considering how EPD’s work, all data is averaged to give indicators of genetic performance. When only cattle to be registered have data submitted, it skews the accuracy of all EPD’s.  The concept is simple; we need all the data we can get for the most accurate EPD’s possible.

Some beneficial thoughts about submitting and utilizing performance data:

  • EPD’s are a common sense approach to competing with other breeds in a factual, easy to compare manner. When the ASA completes its transition to the Multi-Breed EPD system, breeders will receive EPD’s that compare to the largest genetic evaluation system in the industry.
  • Improved marketing opportunities will result for cattle with EPD data to back their genetics. Cattle that are proven with accurate EPD results will be more appealing to customers who want to keep performance in check.
  • The breed will experience long term improvement through better data records.  Performance records take the effort of all breeders submitting data for the good of the whole breed to be of great use.

The Shorthorn breed has a decision to make as the ASA transitions to the Multi-breed EPD evaluation system. Will the Shorthorn breed utilize performance data to its full potential? Please take time to consider the impact your herd’s data can play in the enhancement of the whole breed.