Representatives from USDA-ARS and the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) signed the Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement (NFCA) on March 27.

This NFCA allows for the transition of genetic evaluation calculations, maintains the industry cooperator database and focuses USDA-Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory's (AIPL) mission on research.

For 30 months, several dairy industry representatives, including individuals from artificial breeding organizations, dairy breed associations, milk recording organizations, dairy record processing centers, private industry, universities and USDA-ARS, collaborated to create this agreement that addresses the future of dairy cattle genetic evaluations and management benchmarks.

For its new role, CDCB retained an interim team with extensive dairy cattle genetic evaluation experience. Duane Norman, retired AIPL research leader, will lead the team and Leigh Walton, a long-time AIPL data analyst, will manage the information technology.


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This team will work in cooperation with current AIPL staff to produce the April 2013 genetic evaluations and release genomic information. This is part of the 24-month transition plan outlined in the NFCA.

Beginning with the April 2013 dairy cattle genetic evaluations, genomic evaluations may be obtained on bovine males and females. CDCB announced its fee schedule (available at:, which will be collected as part of the genotyping testing costs, with fee revenue being used to help offset costs related to producing genetic evaluations, maintaining the database and providing management benchmarks.

Founded in 1986, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding is a broad-based and multiple-entity organization that formalized in 1999 with articles of incorporation. CDCB strives to ensure quality dairy cattle data, which are available for scientifically validated genetic and genomic evaluations.

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