AMERICAN ANGUS ASSOCIATION - THE BUSINESS BREED

News

Contemporary Groups: Learn the Basics

By Briley Richard | American Angus Association
4/22/2022

An animal’s performance is the combination of its genetics + environment. The use of proper contemporary groups is necessary to separate the effects of genetics from environment. Contemporary groups serve as a cornerstone of genetic evaluation, account for the effects of environment and management and allow fair comparisons based on genetic merit.  

 

What is a contemporary group? 

A contemporary group is a set of cattle that have had equal opportunity to perform starting from birth. 

 

Cattle in the same birth contemporary group must be: 

  • the same sex 
  • of similar age (90-day birth window) 
  • the same birth type (natural vs. embryo-transfer) 
  • managed alike with the same group code 
  • within similar environmental conditions 
  • fed the same resources (grain, mineral, roughage, etc.) 

Remember: 

  • Only two animals are needed for a contemporary group for most traits, but the more cattle properly grouped together, the better.  
  • Contemporary groups start from birth and a group will never be larger than the birth group. 
  • When and how data is submitted matters when creating contemporary groups. 
  • Good, robust EPDs depend on accurate contemporary groups. 

 

Esther McCabe, American Angus Association® director of performance programs, was featured on a recent Angus University webinar to discuss contemporary groups. To listen to Esther elaborate about the value of contemporary groups and how to implement them, watch the webinar recording below.  

 

Recording | https://youtu.be/kATpqYoeLlc 

 

If any questions arise, call the Association at 816-383-5100. The staff is happy to help and guide you to resources to aid in your success.

American Angus Association | 3201 Frederick Ave, Saint Joseph, MO 64506 | 816-383-5100 | ©Copyright 2022, All rights reserved.