Angus University Webinar: Functional Longevity research EPD

By Sarah Kocher | American Angus Association
The profitability and sustainability of beef cattle production depend on many factors, and cow longevity is certainly one of them. The Functional Longevity (FL) research expected progeny difference (EPD) was released by the American Angus Association® for breeders on October 25, and the trait’s purpose is to help further characterize relevant maternal traits, increasing the long-term success of breeders and profitability of cow-calf herds.

An Angus University Webinar about the FL research EPD was held on Tuesday, December 5 at 7 p.m. central. View the webinar recording on YouTube at

A research EPD is a prelude to a production EPD. A research EPD does not get updated weekly but can be updated periodically as more data flows into the database. Once more data is collected, the evaluation will become even more robust, and the research EPD can be moved to production. 

The webinar was be presented by Esther Tarpoff and André Garcia.

  • Esther Tarpoff, director of performance programs for the Association, holds a doctorate in Animal Science from Kansas State University, with a research emphasis in beef cattle data analytics. In her role, she works to assist breeders and Angus members in data submissions, herd management and recordkeeping and evaluating EPDs. Tarpoff has a passion for genetic selection and breed improvement and says she enjoys the opportunity to support members.
  • André Garcia has been a Geneticist for the Association since 2021, where he works with the Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI®) team on research and development, as well as interfacing with the information systems team to guarantee quality and efficiency of routine genetic evaluation services provided by AGI. He also assists AGI and the Association on educational efforts to help the membership understanding and utilizing technology to improve their herds.

During the webinar, a question-and-answer session was held after a presentation.The following are some frequently asked questions breeders and others might have:

  • How is the FL research EPD interpreted?  The unit of the trait is number of calves produced by 6 years of age, with a higher EPD meaning that on average sires’ daughters are predicted to produce more calves by 6 years of age, compared to a lower EPD. 
  • Which animals have research EPDs?  Herds enrolled in Inventory Reporting will have access to the FL research EPD on eligible females enrolled in the program as of October 25, 2023. In addition, a list of AI sires born after 2010 with an accuracy of 0.50 or greater will be available on Herds that enroll in Inventory Reporting prior to the release of the production EPD will also have access to the research EPD.  
  • What is the heritability of this trait?  The heritability estimate of FL is 0.09. 

Read more about the FL research EPD at

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