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NALF Board Meeting Update: April 2020

Published June 10, 2020

The NALF board and its President, Curt Wieczorek, conducted its Spring board meeting via an online platform this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. A productive meeting was held given the change as board members looked to the future for providing services offered by the association to its membership.

Treasurer, Dr. Mark Barker, reported that the financials are positive YTD through April with 4 months left to complete in the current fiscal year. Additionally, Registrations through the month of March were up 5 percent over the previous year through March 31 while transfers during the same time frame were up 6 percent YTD.

The Membership Committee chaired by Bruce Lawrence, discussed a new proposed Facebook Page for membership to be called Limousin and Lim-Flex® Cattle Exchange. The committee had discussed developing the need to increase our Facebook presence to allow producers an avenue to promote and market cattle on-line via the Facebook platform as a service free of charge. Cattle offered for sale on this page would need to be registered with the association unless it is feeder cattle to be listed out of Limousin and Lim-Flex registered parentage. Jay Wilder made the motion with a second by Joe Moore. The motion passed unanimously to start the page. Members will need to send their listing to Mallory Blunier for approval and listing to begin immediately.

Breed Improvement Chairman, Jerry Wulf, presented the LimVision Cow Herd Project to the board as a voluntary opportunity to capture more genomics and phenotypes on Limousin and Lim-Flex females for participators that are actively engaged in the LIMS whole herd reporting program at NALF. Neogen has partnered with NALF in an effort to gather more female genotypes by offering the 50K genomic test at a research price of $24.00 per head versus regular retail price offered for testing of $55 per head. Participating members will also get an additional $3 per head discount for submitting Body Condition Scores and weights on females that they are submitting DNA on for the research project. Members who participate in the research project would also be able to obtain the discounted research pricing on their replacement heifers every year to keep their cowherds updated for genomic testing via Neogen Corporation into the future. Neogen will allow this cow project to run over the next 2 years at the discounted pricing. Dan Hunt motioned the approval for the program to move forward with a second by Gary Fuchs. The motion carried.

Dr. Bob Weaber presented an update on the IGS BOLT Genetic Evaluation.  The path forward for BOLT includes continuing to develop breeder knowledge and understanding.  This is a huge component when dealing with a system such as BOLT.  IGS is working to validate the current BOLT and Work Order 1 systems.  The system that is currently in place is much better than then single-step Cornell method in regards to correlations of EPDs and performance.  Work Order 1 will continue to improve with the update to the Milk EPD that is currently negatively affecting high growth sires.  The correlation between WW direct and Milk is being evaluated by IGS to set to zero versus -.3. Dr. Weaber reported that IGS is hoping to have the WO1 and in place by late June or early July.  Additional improvements include a new marker subset, 2-year-old dam WW contemporary groups, data quality control, and heterogenous variance by gender of calf.

Commercial Marketing & Breed Promotion Chairman, Kevin Ochsner, presented the discussion had by the committee to review the following for the upcoming fiscal years commercial marketing budget: Increase demand and commercial market share through advertising, promotion, and execution of programs directed to demonstrate and enhance the commercial value of Limousin genetics.  In addition to provide input as to educational efforts directed toward commercial producers and content directed toward NALF members on subjects related to serving the needs of commercial producers to buy Limousin and Lim-Flex® genetics.

This is the primary committee for liaison with alliance entities that NALF should look to work with.  They are also responsible for budgets pertaining to advertising, commercial marketing and promotion, and commercial programs.

There was discussion on the board related to if we are making the most out of our advertising platforms. Currently, eblasts are going to 3,725 people. The blog has breeder spotlights and a more integrated approach, and we are also utilizing Limousin 365.

There was additional discussion about marketing objectives, target markets, value proposition and positioning strategy, and the most appropriate communication tactics to deliver our message.  It is important that we convey our message to all segments of the commercial industry.  Kevin also commented on the high amount of Limousin semen sales, which we could potentially capitalize on, particularly as Limousin leads the way in semen sales for the dairy industry utilized in the H, and the usage of genomics and mating tools to help our breeders.  We would like to develop a marketing plan in by June/July and come back together before the August Board Meeting for budget approval.  Marketing and promotion are important, and we need to know if we need to put additional money toward it and how to direct those dollars appropriately.

Show Committee Chairman, Troy Gullotta, reported the committee’s recommendation to the board to include EPD rank for each animal to be added to the judge’s sheets and show programs moving forward in order to provide additional information to both judges and spectators. Ronn Cunningham motioned that the EPD rank for each animal be added to the judge’s sheet and show programs for all junior shows and open shows.  Second was made by Bruce Lawrence.  Motion carried.

NALJA Committee Chairman, Randy Corns, opened the discussion and agenda for the NALJA Committee. Katie Campbell and Troy Gulotta presented the preparations that were being taking for conducting the 2020 NJLSC to be held in West Monroe, Louisiana by late June. We would need to make sure that we are complying with state guidelines and that the state is in Phase 3 where large gatherings can be held, and we make sure that the safety of our exhibitors and attendees remains our number 1 priority. Some changes are possible to the way events are conducted due to Covid-19, but we would stay flexible at this time as we wait and see what the state guidelines will be for the state of Louisiana as they hopefully enter into phase 3 of re-opening by June 26.

Rules and Regulations Committee Chairman, Joe Moore, presented potential updates to the By-Laws concerning date notices for the board nomination procedure. The Committee met on April 13 and has recommended a change of the By-Laws for the nominating committee dates due to publication deadlines for Limousin365.  All prospective candidates must express their interest to the Nominating Committee by July 15 each year versus August 15, and if the committee does not slate those interested persons, supporters then may add their candidates’ names to the ballots via the at-large nomination process.  To qualify as a member-at-large, the candidate must have at least 15 qualifying signatures from lifetime, founder, or active annual members on either the petition style form available on the NALF website or 15 individual qualifying letters of support from lifetime, founder, or active annual members, or a combination thereof to be received in the NALF office no later than September 1 versus October 15th.  Additional proposed changes would add that notices would be published in E-partners and listed in the Limousin 365.  Motion was forwarded by the Rules and Regs committee to accept the date changes suggested by the Rules & Regulations Committee, the By-Laws Change was seconded by Charles Linhart. Motion carries.

Visions Committee Chairman, Charles Linhart, presented the discussion had by committee members concerning the updating of the NALF Strategic Plan. The committee felt strongly it is time for the strategic plan to get updated.  Gary Fuchs is going to email the documentation from last year’s survey to past and current NALF Directors to Mark to have them take back to committee.  We would like committee members to review and come up with revisions and begin the process of updating the NALF Strategic Plan this summer.

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Limousin cattle deliver to your bottom line. With superior genetics, a simple crossbreeding plan and state-of-the-art selection tools, the Limousin breed will serve profit-minded cow/calf producers. In today’s competitive markets, taking advantage of all available opportunities is key. The Limousin breed offers a variety of options from Fullblood to Purebred to the Lim-Flex® hybrid (Limousin x Angus cross) to match your program’s needs and market goals. Crossbreeding for the right blend of muscle, maternal ability and profit is easy with Limousin seedstock.

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