George Wiggans, Ph.D.

Technical Advisor

George Wiggans is Technical Advisor at CDCB, following an illustrious 38-year career as research geneticist at US Department of Agriculture. Raised on an upstate New York dairy farm, he earned a Bachelor’s in dairy science, Master’s and Ph.D. in animal breeding from Cornell University. George has made numerous contributions to improving the accuracy of genetic evaluation procedures for economically important traits in dairy cattle and goats. He led implementation of the animal model in 1989 and contributed to foundational research and development of U.S. genomic evaluations for purebred and crossbred dairy populations. A popular lecturer and presenter to global audiences, George has authored more than 300 publications and 121 abstracts (senior or sole author of 180, including 48 scientific journal articles). George has been honored by many organizations, including the J. L. Lush Award in Animal Breeding and a Fellow Award from American Dairy Science Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, co-recipient of a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award, and the Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) 100 Club.

Projects & Publications

Constructed ID's: Eliminating Pedigree Dead Ends

Knowing an animal’s ancestry several generations back is certainly the goal for breeders; however, there are instances where animals have a gap in their pedigree. To fill in more pedigree gaps, CDCB is implementing a new solution starting in February 2023.

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Genomic Selection in U.S. Dairy Cattle

The genomic selection program for dairy cattle in the United States has doubled the rate of genetic gain.

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A genetic investigation of island Jersey cattle, the foundation of the Jersey breed: Comparing population structure and selection to Guernsey, Holstein, and United States Jersey cattle

Frontiers in Genetics, April 17, 2020

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Genomic predictions for crossbred dairy cattle

Journal of Dairy Science, 2019

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Extending genomic evaluation to crossbred dairy cattle – US implementation

Interbull Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2019

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CDCB’s Genotyping Laboratory Certification Program

Interbull Bulletin, 2019

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Impact of genomic selection on genetic gain of net merit of U.S. dairy cattle

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, 2018

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