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Beef Genomic Prediction Trial (Video)

The Canadian beef cattle industry is working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers to produce a more efficient and environmentally sustainable herd. They are using a new tool called beef genomic prediction. If you're a beef cattle producer, the trial team encourages you to engage in the project. View this video and visit the project’s web site to learn more.

Video transcript

[Modern electronic music fades in.]

[Beef cattle stand in a field. Text appears.]

Text on screen: Beef Genomics

[The text separates, revealing more text.]

Text on screen: Prediction Trial

Voice of the Narrator: Producing quality beef plays out over generations of animals...

[Shots of beef cattle in field. Shot of people on horseback. A graphic of a timeline of cows appears, going from 1900 to 2018.]

... and the Canadian beef cattle industry has been using a variety of tools...

[Shot of people on horseback. A graphic of a timeline of cows appears, going from 1900 to 2018.]

...over the last hundred years to improve their herds. Now there's a new tool...

[The timeline is replaced with a graphic of DNA and a nucleic acid sequence of letters.]

...called beef genomics prediction, that can potentially shorten long term genetic selection.

[The sequence of letters becomes words.]

Text on screen: Beef Genomic Prediction

[The image behind the graphic changes to a strand of DNA. On the graphic, multi-coloured cows appear in line next to the DNA image.]

It helps breeders and ranchers select animals with superior genetics at an early age before performance traits are taken.

[A red and yellow cow grows larger, encompassing the rest.]

At the same time, it is aiming to produce a more efficient and environmentally sustainable herd.

[The graphic disappears, revealing a shot of cows in a field.]

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is working in collaboration with several partners to develop this new tool.

[Cut to Changxi Li outside a cattle pen. Text appears.]

Text on screen: Changxi Li, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Changxi Li: My name is Changxi Li, and I’m a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

[Cut to Changxi Li speaking to other workers.]

I’m leading the Genomic Prediction trial project.

[Cut back to Changxi Li speaking to the camera.]

Genomic Prediction analyses the relationship between DNA markers and a cow’s performance, and I use that relationship for the selection candidates based around DNA markers alone.

[Cut to a blue digital background. Text appears.]

Text on screen: DNA Markers

[More text appears.]

Text on screen: Performances Traits Feed Efficiency – Growth – Carcass Traits

Narrator: The relationship between DNA markers and performance traits can be used to predict genetic merit for animals that don’t have pedigree information or that don't have recorded performance traits or phenotypes.

[A graphic of cow silhouettes surrounding a question mark appears.]

This is very important for predicting traits like feed intake and feed efficiency.

[A young calf silhouette comes forward. A magnifying glass slides overtop.]

[Cut to Carolyn Fitzsimmons outside a cow pen. Text appears.]

Text on screen: Carolyn Fitzsimmons, Research Scientists, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Carolyn Fitzsimmons: My name’s Carolyn Fitzsimmons, and I’m a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

[Cut to a cow in a pen eating feed.]

The key performance traits we are working on are feed efficiency, but also methane production.

[Cut back to Carolyn Fitzsimmons.]

So we’re looking for animals that produce less methane. This is going to be able to be used by producers...

[Cut to a close-up of a cow.]

... to one, lower the cost of production...

[Cut back to Carolyn Fitzsimmons.]

...two, make beef production more environmentally friendly, and then also sustainable.

[Cut to a close-up of a cow. A graphic of a cow and DNA strand appears over it.]

Text on screen: Beef Genomic Prediction Trial

Narrator: The Beef Genomic Prediction Trial is a great example of industry, academia and governments working together.

[Logos of companies and departments appear next to the cow.]

Text on screen: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, BCRC Beef Cattle Research Council, livestock gentec, delta genomics, University of Alberta, Canadian Charolais Association, Canadian Angus, Beef Booster

Federal and provincial governments, industry associations, universities and private companies have each contributed funding and/or expertise to this project.

[Cut to Mel Reekie standing before a cattle gate. Text appears.]

Text on screen: Mel Reekie, General Manager, Canadian Charolais Association

Mel Reekie: My name is Mel Reekie, and I work for the Canadian Charolais Association as their general manager.

[Cut to Mel Reekie speaking with Changxi Li.]

Knowledge is power. Genomics is knowledge.

[Cut back to Mel Reekie speaking to the camera.]

If we can look at our DNA, our pedigree, and our performance data all in one group through genomics, and increase our accuracies and our EPDs...

[Text appears.]

Text on screen: EPD – Expected Progeny Difference

...we’re enhancing the tools that we already have.

[Cut to a graphic of DNA with silhouettes of cows overtop. Text appears.]

Text on screen: Beef Genomic Prediction Trial

Narrator: The Beef Genomic Prediction Trial only gets stronger with more genetic samples.

[To the right, a cow appears with an empty curl of DNA. The silhouettes of cows slide towards the DNA, each becoming a rung, filling it in.]

It’s all about developing the best possible beef herd here in Canada.

[The graphic disappears, revealing a shot of cows in a field.]

If you're a beef cattle producer, the team encourages you to engage in the project. You can do that by going to the project’s website.

[Text appears.]

Text on screen: beefgenomicprediction.ca

[Cut to a green screen with background images of a cow and DNA.]

Text on screen: Innovate. Grow. Prosper. Learn more about agricultural science at agr.gc.ca

[Cut to the animated Canada wordmark on a white background.]

Text on screen: © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2018)

[The modern, electronic music fades out.]

[Fade to black.]

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