Tuesday, November 29, 2022

ARC National Beef Cattle Improvement Herd of the Year Awards

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) will once again present its National Beef Performers Awards in 2022. This is the 44th instalment of the awards, the aim of which is to showcase the best of the best in seven categories, all relating to beef cattle performance and beef cattle producers. Each of the seven categories is sponsored by various agricultural companies and role-players, and serve to honour those who have excelled in their breeding and production practices, as well as the mentoring of fellow producers. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has been a key stakeholder in these awards since its inception and continues to play this role this year. As of 2022, Plaas Media is the main sponsor of the awards and will also be sponsoring certain categories.

To be eligible for the ARC National Beef Cattle Improvement Herd of the Year category, sponsored by Plaas Media / Stockfarm, a stud beef breeder had to excel among a number of performance indicators, not only those directly involved with managing and breeding his or her own herd. This award category is also one of the most fiercely contested and highly sought-after accolades in the industry.

Besides being adjudicated on how they implement performance recording and related technologies to improve the genetic potential of their herds, their involvement with industry, interaction with their fellow producers and their efforts to build and add value to the beef production industry is also assessed. Breeders and herds across breeds in southern Africa can enter this award category while producers making use of any of the service providers in southern Africa are eligible to enter.

Herd-related traits that are assessed include the following:

  • The level of reproduction, overall participation and implementation of performance testing as a tool for improvement.
  • Cow efficiency in the herd (including post-weaning performance).
  • The completeness of performance records.
  • The size of the cow herd (must consist of at least 50 cows).
  • The calving performance of the herd.
  • Genetic trends and progress in the herd and the application of modern scientific breeding techniques.
  • The contributions and reputation of the participating herd owner are also considered, in particular regarding his or her leadership and guidance to other farmers and stakeholders. – Dr Ben Greyling and Frans Jordaan

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