Essential Reading

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The most successful students and practitioners of beef cattle breeding will be familiar with both historical and current scientific literature. While much of it is intended for researchers familiar with the highly technical methods involved in modern animal breeding, there are many works that translate this information into more generally accessible papers for beef cattle producers and other industry professionals. Many extension specialists and scientists have produced manuscripts that provide important insight.

This Essential Reading wiki is divided into two general categories, essential reading written for industry professionals and important technical papers written as part of the scientific literature. Readers and Guidelines wiki contributors are encouraged to add to the lists on this page. If you do not have authors' access to the wiki then please contact any member of the BIF Guidelines Drafting Committee to add your essential reading contributions.

For Industry Professionals

Beef sire selection manual, 3rd edition, NBCEC, 2021.

Bourdon, R. M. 1988. Bovine nirvana - from the perspective of a modeler and purebred breeder. J. Anim. Sci. 66:8 1892-1898.

Bourdon, R. M. 1999. Understanding animal breeding. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0130964492.

Cundiff, L. V. 1993. Breed comparisons adjusted to a 1991 basis using current EPDs. Proc. Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Annual Meeting, Asheville, NC. May 26-29, 1993. pp 114-123.

Golden, B.L., D.J. Garrick, S. Newman, and R.M. Enns. 2000. Economically Relevant Traits: A framework for the next generation of EPDs. Proceedings of the 32nd Research Symposium and Annual Meeting of the Beef Improvement Federation. Pp. 2-13.

Hohenboken, W. D. 1988. Bovine nirvana - from the perspective of an experimentalist. J. Anim. Sci. 66:1885-1891.

National beef quality audit. 2016. Beef Quality Assurance.

Scientific Literature

Bichard, M. 1971. Dissemination of genetic improvement through a livestock industry. Anim. Prod. 13:401–411

Bourdon, R. M. 1988. Bovine nirvana - from the perspective of a modeler and purebred breeder. J. Anim. Sci. 66:1892-1898.

Blasco, A. 2001. The Bayesian controversy in animal breeding. J. Anim. Sci. 79:2023-46.

Brascamp, E. W., 1978. Methods on economic optimization of animal breeding plans. Report B-134, Research Institute for Animal Husbandry “Schoonoord”, Zeist, The Netherlands

Bulmer, M. G. 1985. The mathematical theory of quantitative genetics. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 254pp.

Cameron, N. D., 1997. Selection Indices and Prediction of Genetic Merit in Animal Breeding. CAB International, Wallingford, UK

Crow, J. F., M. Kimura. 1970. An Introduction to Population Genetics Theory. New York: Harper & Row.

Darwin, C. 1859, 1964. On the origin of species (a facsimile of the First Edition). Harvard Univ. Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dickerson, G. E. 1970. Efficiency of animal production — molding the biological components. J. Anim. Sci. 30: 849–859.

Falconer, D., T. F. C. Mackay. 1996. Introduction to quantitative genetics. Longman. Edinburgh.

Fisher, R. A. 1918. The correlations between relatives on the supposition of Mendelian inheritance. Trans R Soc Edinb. 52:399–433.

Gianola, D. and R. L. Fernando. 1986. Bayesian methods in animal breeding theory. J. Anim. Sci. 63:217-244.

Guy, D. and C. Smith. 1981. Derivation of improvement lags in a livestock industry. Anim. Prod. 32:333-336.

Harris, D. L. 1970. Breeding for efficiency in livestock production: defining the economic objectives. Journal of Animal Science 30: 860–865.

Harris, D. L., S. Newman. 1994. Breeding for profit: synergism between genetic improvement and livestock production (a review). J. Anim. Sci. Aug;72(8):2178-200.

Harris, D.L., Stewart, T.S. and C.R. Arboleda. 1984. Animal breeding programs: A systematic approach to their design. Adv. Agric. Tech. AAT-NC-8. 14 pp.

Hazel, L. N. 1943. The genetic basis for constructing selection indexes. Genetics 28:476–490.

Henderson, C. R. 1964. Selection index and expected genetic advance. In: Hanson W.D., Robison, H.F. (eds) Statistical genetics and plant breeding. NAS, NRC, Washington, pp 141–163

Henderson, C. R. 1975. Best linear unbiased estimation and prediction under a selection model. Biometrics 31:423–49.

Henderson, C. R. 1976. A rapid method for computing the inverse of a relationship matrix. J Dairy Sci 58:1727–1730.

Henderson, C. R. 1984. Applications of linear models in animal breeding. Guelph: University of Guelph.

Hohenboken, W. D. 1988. Bovine nirvana - from the perspective of an experimentalist. J. Anim. Sci. 66:1885-1891.

Kennedy, B. W., J.H.J. Vanderwerf, and T.H.E. Meuwissen. 1993. Genetic and statistical properties of residual feed-intake J. Anim. Sci. 71:3239-3250.

Kinghorn, B.P. 2011. An algorithm for efficient constrained mate selection. Genetics Selection Evolution. 43:4.

Lerner, I M. 1958. The Genetic Basis of Selection. Wiley, New York.

Lush, J. L. 1937. Animal breeding plans. Collegiate Press, Ames.

Lynch, M. and B. Walsh. 1997. Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 980 pp.

Mendel, J. G. 1866. Versuche u¨ber Plflanzenhybriden Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereines in Bru¨nn, Bd. IV fu¨r das Jahr, 1865 Abhandlungen: 3–47. English translation at

Meuwissen, T.H.E., B. H. Hayes, M. E. Goddard. 2001. Prediction of total genetic value using genome-wide dense marker maps. Genetics 157:1819–1829.

Ponzoni, R. W., and S. Newman. 1989. Developing breeding objectives for Australian beef cattle production. Anim. Prod. 49:35–47

Quaas, R. L., and E. J. Pollak. 1980. Mixed model methodology for farm and ranch beef cattle testing programs. J. Anim. Sci. 52:1277-1287.

Quaas, R.L. and Z. Zhang. 2006. Multiple-breed genetic evaluation in the US beef industry: Methodology. Proc. 8th World Cong. Genet. Appl. Live. Prod. 12:24.

Robinson, H.F. 1965. Papers on quantitative genetics and related topics. North Carolina State University. 526pp.

Sanders, J.O., and Cartwright, T.C. 1979a. A general cattle production systems model. 1. Structure of the model. Agric. Syst. 4:217–227.

Sanders, J.O., and Cartwright, T.C. 1979b. A general cattle production systems model. 2. Procedures used for simulating animal performance. Agric. Syst. 4:289–309.

Schaeffer, L.R. 2009. Contemporary groups are always random.

Smith, C., 1964. The use of specialised sire and dam lines in selection for meat production. Anim. Prod. 6:337–344

Turner, H.N. and S.S.Y. Young. 1969. Quantitative genetics in sheep breeding. Cornell University Press. 332 pp. (good book on quantitative-genetic fundamentals using sheep studies for empirical examples)

Van Vleck, L.D. 1987. Contemporary groups for genetic evaluation. J. Dairy. Sci. 70:2456-64.

Van Vleck, L.D. 1993. Selection index and introduction to mixed model methods for genetic improvement of animals (the green book). CRC Press.

Walsh, B. and M. Lynch. 2018. Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits. Oxford University Press. 1496 pp.

Wei, M., and J.H.J. Van der Werf. 1994. Maximizing genetic response in crossbreds using both purebred and crossbred information. Anim. Prod. 59:401–413

Weller, J. I. 1994. Economic aspects of animal breeding. Chapman and Hall ISBN 0 412 5970 0.

Wilton, J., Quinton, M. and Quinton, C. 2013. Optimizing Animal Genetic Improvement. Centre for Genet. Imp. Lives. Guelph, Canada. 301 pp

Wright S. 1922. Coefficients of inbreeding and relationships. Am. Nat. 56:330–38.