Welcome to the CDCB Connection!

Welcome to the CDCB Connection!

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Welcome to the CDCB Connection!
CDCB Connection                                    September 2017

Welcome to the CDCB Connection!

Discover New Dairy Genetics at World Dairy Expo

Dairy producers and industry can “discover new dairy genetics” during World Dairy Expo, where the CDCB will introduce six new genetic evaluations for health traits. The meeting will be headlined by a producer panel on dairy health data and genetic evaluations. Recent research findings – including those foundational to the new health traits – will be presented by staff from the CDCB and USDA Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory (AGIL).
     Tuesday, October 3
     8 am – 1 pm (program starts at 8:30)
     Exhibition Hall, Mendota Room 4
     Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
     Registration and detailed agenda
     Walk-ins are welcome
The producer panel focused on health traits will be moderated by Dan Sheldon, CDCB Treasurer and dairy producer from New York. Participating producers include Don Bennink, Florida, Mitch Breunig, Wisconsin, Alan Chittenden, New York, and Simon Vander Woude, California.

Two-Phase Plan to Launch New Health Traits

At the October 3 meeting, CDCB will detail the methodology, presentation and implementation plan for six new health traits – hypocalcemia/milk fever, displaced abomasum, ketosis, mastitis, metritis and retained placenta. This fall, health data from Dairy Records Processing Centers will be incorporated and formatted for the release of preliminary evaluations in December 2017. After industry feedback and research publication, these six health traits will be officially included in the April 2018 evaluations. For details, join the CDCB meeting at World Dairy Expo and watch for more information in the CDCB Connection this fall.

CDCB Board Elects New Officers

At its August meeting, the CDCB Board of Directors elected new officers for 2017-18:
  • Chair: John Meyer of Holstein Association USA, Brattleboro, Vt., representing the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA)
  • Vice Chair: John Clay of Dairy Records Management System, Raleigh, N.C., representing the Dairy Records Processing Centers (DRPCs)
  • Secretary: Chuck Sattler of Select Sires, Inc., Plain City, Ohio, representing National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB)
  • Treasurer: Dan Sheldon of Woody Hill Farm, Salem, NY, representing Dairy Records Providers (DRPs)

“The CDCB staff looks forward to working with this new officer team to advance key initiatives and continually enhance the U.S. genetic system, evaluations and other products,” said João Dürr, CEO of CDCB. For more about the priorities, read this month’s column by new Chair, John Meyer. Find the complete CDCB Board structure here.

Thank You for Dedicated Leadership

Sincere gratitude is extended to the officers who have provided leadership to the CDCB Board over the past two years.

  • Chair: Jay Mattison of National Dairy Herd Information Association (NDHIA), Verona, Wis., representing DRPs
  • Vice Chair: Gordon Doak of NAAB, Columbia, Mo.
  • Secretary: Dr. John Clay of Dairy Records Management System, Raleigh, N.C., representing DRPCs
  • Treasurer: Neal Smith of American Jersey Cattle Association, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, representing PDCA

“These officers and the entire Board have been strong leaders who dedicated countless hours and steered CDCB through an incredible transition,” stated João Dürr. “Over the past few years, the CDCB has reinvented itself, now effectively managing the U.S. dairy genetic database and delivering the genetic evaluations previously provided by USDA. This leadership team, along with previous chair Ole Meland, directed that transition through industry collaboration, focus on continuous improvement and the sincere desire to serve dairy farmers.”

The 2017 Interbull Annual Meeting was held in Tallinn, Estonia, with the 68th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), August 25-28. The Interbull meeting is a global forum to discuss recent developments in genetic and genomic evaluation methods among an integration of science and industry expertise. Paul VanRaden and John Cole of USDA AGIL were invited speakers to the Interbull-EAAP joint sessions, presenting “Genomic tools to improve progress and preserve variation for future generations” and “Management of Mendelian traits in breeding programs by gene editing,” respectively. U.S. participants included João Dürr, CDCB; Jay Mattison, NDHIA and ICAR; Gordon Doak, NAAB; Marj Faust, Data Driven Genetics; Paul VanRaden, USDA AGIL; John Cole, USDA AGIL; Tom Lawlor, Holstein USA; Ignacy Mizstal and Daniela Lourenço University of Georgia; and Daniel Gianola, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Faust Recognized for Service
Marj Faust of Data Driven Genetics was recognized for eight years of service as U.S. representative on the Interbull Steering Committee, as shown in the photo with Interbull Chair, Reinhard Reents. As her term has expired, Gordon Doak of NAAB will fill this role. Thank you, Marj, for your valuable counsel to the dairy community.

CDCB, HAUSA Collaborate to Enhance Systems

CDCB’s Ezequiel Nicolazzi visited Holstein Association USA (HAUSA) in Brattleboro, Vt., in July as part of continuing efforts to improve database systems and data flow. An important outcome was a comprehensive exchange of information between CDCB and HAUSA, as better understanding of how the systems work together will result in more accurate, faster service to dairy producers. This is just one step in on-going efforts to maintain effective collaboration and enhance the flow of information.Welcome to the CDCB Connection!
The team engaged to optimize information flow and systems included, from left to right: Sam Comstock, HAUSA Geneticist & Programmer Analyst; Tom Lawlor, HAUSA Executive Director, Research & Development; Ezequiel Nicolazzi, CDCB Technical Director; Lindsey Worden, Executive Director, Holstein Genetic Services; Jenifer Levisee-Phillips, Quality Assurance Manager; and Peter Cole, Executive Director, Policy, Industry Affairs & Governance. Photo courtesy of Ashley Mohn, HAUSA.


An end user agreement is now required for access to CDCB files, to protect the use of data and products resulting from CDCB evaluations. Users agree to acknowledge CDCB as the source whenever the information is made available to third parties. Click here for more.


CDCB Industry Meeting
October 3, 2017
8:00 AM-1:00 PM CDT
World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wis.
Genetic evaluation release
December 5, 2017
April 3, 2018
August 7, 2018
December 4, 2018

Quality Certification for Genotype Labs

Quality Certification Requirements for Genotyping Labs went into effect September 1, after development by a CDCB working group and approval by the Board of Directors. Earlier this year, the Genomic Laboratory Guidelines Task Force (GENLAB) was established as one of five CDCB working groups, each asked to develop or finetune CDCB programs through staff and industry collaboration.

The objectives set for GENLAB were to define standard operating procedures (SOPs) and develop guidelines for the CDCB quality certification (QC) program for labs generating genomic data on behalf of nominators. The GENLAB task force included Michael Bishop of Illumina, Michael Cowen of Genetic Visions, Jiansheng Qui of Neogen, Emily Piper of Zoetis, Wim van Haeringen of VHL, and CDCB staff Ezequiel Nicolazzi and George Wiggans.

Key points in the new standards include:

  • A new CDCB Genomic Laboratory “ring test” to be first conducted in late 2017/early 2018 and thereafter once every two years.
  • Requirement of ISO certification (or equivalent) for genomic laboratories, including a two-year tolerance for current CDCB genomic laboratories with proven records but without ISO certification
  • A one-time CDCB certification laboratory fee of $1000 for labs applying to become certified
  • New QC metrics for submitted genotypes to assess CDCB lab performance

Documentation can be found on the CDCB nominator and lab portal (quick links to new QC Guidelines and Metrics). Please contact Ezequiel Nicolazzi at CDCB for further clarification.


Connecting with John Meyer

Welcome to the CDCB Connection!
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 CDCB 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 the 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. …

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. …

CDCB Core Value:
Providing Premier Dairy Genetic Information Services & Industry Collaboration


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