CDCB Connection September 2017

Connecting with John Meyer

Discover what's on the mind of newly-elected CDCB Chair, John Meyer of Holstein Association-USA.

What do you see as the CDCB priorities in the year ahead?

Meyer:Quite simply, the priority of the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding is the accurate production of the tri-annual U.S. dairy cattle genetic evaluations.  The U.S. has always been the gold standard around the world for dairy cattle genetic evaluations, and everything we do at the CDCB needs to be centered around that.

What are keys to maintain that gold standard?

Meyer:It starts with the U.S. dairy cattle breeders who provide the seed stock for not only U.S. dairies, but dairy farmers around the globe. Those dairy cattle breeders are ultimately responsible for the great reputation U.S. dairy genetics have. The success or failure of a country's dairy genetics is determined by the genetic material offered by those breeding cattle in that country. Likewise, the choices that dairymen around the world make in the matings of their cattle determines the success of a country's genetic offering.
Also important are the member organizations who make up the CDCB - the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), the National Dairy Herd Information Association (NDHIA), the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA), and the Dairy Records Processing Centers (DRPC). Dating back to the 1960s, the good collaboration among USDA, DHIA, NAAB and PDCA over time has been the foundation for the great success of the U.S. dairy genetic evaluation system.
More recently, Dairy Records Processing Centers and the CDCB have come into the fold. Continued cooperation among these parties is essential to maintaining the world's gold standard status in genetic evaluations.
Other allied dairy industry organizations are also vital. The research and development done by business and industry n the formation of new products and services has been, and will continue to be, critical to future success.
Having talented people at the CDCB is an important aspect of keeping the USA in the world's leadership position for dairy genetics. Dairy producers pay for everything the CDCB does, so they must find value in the CDCB services to keep the CDCB viable.
In the end, the U.S. dairy industry is successful because dairymen around the globe continue to place high value on U.S. dairy seed stock. Constant, never-ending improvement in all of these areas will ensure that we maintain the gold standard in dairy genetics around the world.

How do you see the dairy industry in 10 years? How does that impact genetics and information?

Meyer:In the next 10 years, we will continue to see rapid advances in biotechnology that will help breeders develop better dairy cattle as well as provide benefits to dairy product consumers. Biotechnology-enabled output traits could include enhanced food and nutritional values, improved processing traits, pharmaceutical products from milk and its byproducts, and new food ingredients. We can expect some animals will be bred specifically for certain needs - to provide positive contributions to the medical and pharmaceutical industry, for example.
By 2050, we expect over nine billion people on Earth will need to be fed, and dairy and meat proteins will be a big part of the food product mix.
Where does the CDCB fit into this? The CDCB needs to be able to provide genetic evaluations for the end users of U.S. dairy genetics. Ten years from now, the CDCB genetic evaluations may include identification and evaluation of some of these new biotechnology-enabled output traits.
While most users of genetic information 10 years from now will be similar to those of today, it's likely we'll have a new group of users as the value of milk is realized in new medical and pharmaceutical markets.

This is a great time to be in the dairy industry!