By Jessie Topp-Becker, Managing Editor, Santa Gertrudis USA
On May 1, 2017, three Alabama Santa Gertrudis breeders – Grandview Farms, Tinney Farms and Quail Valley Farms – donated 54 embryos to Auburn University to help establish a purebred Santa Gertrudis herd.
The donation is the result of a conversation during the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Convention earlier this year. SGBI Executive Director John Ford asked Auburn University Research and Extension Centers Director Robert Britton how SGBI and Santa Gertrudis breeders could help Auburn University promote Santa Gertrudis cattle. “Putting high-quality Santa Gertrudis embryos into recip females that we have here would probably be the fastest way,” Britton says he told Ford. This conversation got the ball rolling, and the embryo transfer will take place later this year.
Today, Auburn’s herd is predominantly Angus with some Beefmaster cattle as well. Britton is excited to add diversity to their herd. “Eared cattle have a tremendous advantage here in the south because of the amount of rainfall, humidity, insects and things like that,” he says. “[Alabama] is a very diverse state and a tremendous amount of breeds are represented, so there’s definitely an attraction for us to be able to do some research on eared cattle too.” Ford agrees, “SGBI looks forward to collaborating with Auburn University on both applied research and research projects that will strengthen the cattle industry, especially related to the use of Bos indicus-influenced genetics in the southeast.”