Founded on February 1, 1968, the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) is an organization dedicated to advancing and coordinating all segments of the beef industry. The BIF seeks to connect science and industry to improve beef cattle genetics.
The purposes of the BIF as expressed in its by-laws are:
Uniformity – To work for establishment of accurate and uniform procedures for measuring, recording and assessing data concerning the performance of beef cattle which may be used by participant organizations.
Development – To assist member organizations and/or their affiliates in developing their individual beef improvement and quality management programs consistent with the needs of their members and the common goals of such generally accepted record keeping programs.
Cooperation – To develop cooperation among all segments of the beef industry in the compilation and utilization of performance records to improve efficiency, profitability and sustainability of beef production.
Education – To encourage the Federation’s member organizations to develop educational programs emphasizing the use and interpretation of performance data and quality management programs in improving the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of beef production.
Confidence – To develop the increased confidence of the beef industry in the economic potential available from performance measurement and assessment.
The BIF is composed of member organizations that include:
Provincial, state, national and international organizations that are actively conducting performance programs in beef cattle.
Organizations and public agencies that are not actively conducting performance programs but have a principal interest in beef cattle.
Individuals who make a contribution to the Federation in the amount of $50 or more in any given year.
Guidelines For Uniform Beef Improvement Programs
The major publication of the BIF is Guidelines For Uniform Beef Improvement Programs. The Guidelines is published primarily to assist organizations in designing and conducting beef cattle performance programs for their members. The objectives of this publication are to outline standard procedures for measuring, recording and using beef cattle performance data and to facilitate greater uniformity in terminology and methodology in the beef industry. The BIF shows no preference for, or discrimination against, any breed of cattle or industry organization.
The first edition of Guidelines was published in 1970 and revised in 1972, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2010. Committees established by the BIF Board of Directors develop recommended standards based on scientific research and industry experience. Through the years Guidelines has evolved as new information has become available.
Procedures outlined in this publication are used widely in the beef industry. Member organizations are encouraged to use these standards in all cases where they are appropriate. Use of these standards by an organization makes communication with other organizations and industry segments easier and more accurate. Improving the accuracy of measuring, recording, evaluating and communicating should be the goal of any performance program.
However, the BIF does not mandate that an organization follow these recommendations. There are situations where individual organizations may develop procedures and apply methodologies that are more suitable for their members. It is not the intent of the BIF to recommend one standard program for all segments of the industry or to discourage the development of improved procedures and methodologies when new information is available.
Annual Meetings and Genetic Prediction Workshops
The BIF holds an annual meeting and research symposium, bringing together industry professionals, producers, and researchers to discuss current issues facing the beef industry. Many of the issues covered lead to new research projects that benefit the beef industry as a whole. Proceedings from recent conventions are available on the BIF website. Older proceedings may be obtained from the BIF's Executive Secretary.
The BIF also holds a genetic prediction workshop approximately every five years. The workshops are designed to give academics, allied industry professionals, breed association staff, and cattle producers a more technical forum than the annual convention to discuss the latest developments in beef cattle genetic evaluation methodology.