To start the new year, CEO João Dürr previews CDCB goals and expectations for 2022.
What are the top priorities for CDCB in 2022? Dürr: We expect 2022 to be a historical year for CDCB and collaborators. Several strategic projects in development will soon deliver value to the dairy industry: completely updated web services (WebConnect and webpage), research on cow mobility and lactation projection factors initiating data collection and analysis, single-step GBLUP models showing progress, expansion of the feed efficiency data pool, and expansion of our communication strategy.
The top priorities for 2022 are:
Upgrade CDCB web services and user experience
Invest $2 million in research and development
Secure sustainable data flow for Feed Saved evaluations
Add an outreach position to enhance communication
How does CDCB determine priorities for research and development? Dürr: CDCB is a collaboration between all sectors of U.S. dairy with central focus on dairy producer needs. There is an ongoing effort to capture the aspirations and concerns of dairy producers regarding genetic improvement and herd profitability. This is achieved through the activities of the CDCB Board of Directors, advisory committees, events and other forms of engagement. Our most important recent efforts to extend CDCB services are a direct result of grassroots input: genomics for crossbreds, Feed Saved, disease resistance, cow and heifer livability, and cow mobility and hoof health (in development). We understand the expectation for reliable-efficient-state-of-the-art genetic evaluations, so there is perpetual research to improve methods and data analysis.
Looking back at 2021, what activity or project rises to the top? Dürr: CDCB saw record demand for genomic services – both domestic and abroad – in 2021. This is possible due to the joint effort in facilitating data collection for the national cooperator database (DRPs, DRPCs, and PDCA), carrying out genotyping services for producer benefit (genomic nominators and labs), and applying the genomic predictions to select the best breeding stock in the world (NAAB, PDCA). This collaboration became even more intense in 2021 through the elaborate process of public consultation and validation of the Net Merit revision. For the first time, the U.S. industry had a comprehensive opportunity to review and seek clarification about the science behind the primary selection index. The result was stronger support toward the bold vision for genetic improvement. The CDCB Genetic Evaluation Methods (GEM) and Producer Advisory (PAC) committees were instrumental in the process and 2021 update of Net Merit.