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World Angus Evaluation works to improve EPDs across U.S., Australia and Canada 

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On Oct. 13, 2023, the American Angus Association (AAA), Canadian Angus Association (CAA) and Angus Australia launched the World Angus Evaluation (WAE), a globally-focused genetic analysis of Angus cattle with the goal of eliminating hurdles for cattlemen participating in international commerce of the breed’s genetics. 

WAE combines data from the three participating entities to improve accuracies for 13 specific expected progeny differences (EPDs). 

“Putting all of the data together leverages each association’s database really well,” says Kelli Retallick-Riley, president of Angus Genetics, Inc. in an Oct. 11, 2023 press release. “We want to make sure when Angus producers – no matter what country they’re in – go to sell a bull or go to purchase genetics, they have access to comparable EPDs.”

New EPDs

According to the AAA, WAE is an expansion of the foot score evaluation, which was released in 2020 by the three organizations. 

Therefore, the claw set EPD and foot angle EPD are already available in the three-country evaluation. 

Now, 11 additional traits are available through WAE, including calving ease direct, calving ease maternal, birthweight, weaning weight, yearling weight, maternal milk, scrotal circumference, marbling, carcass weight, ribeye area and fat thickness. 

Benefits of WAE 

Although the U.S., Canada and Australia have been engaged in the trade of beef cattle genetics for many years, it hasn’t always been easy for Angus breeders to translate how an animal from one country scores under another country’s evaluation system. 

The common currency created through WAE will make it much easier to compare EPD values across country lines. 

“There’s a huge efficiency created by us being on the same evaluation,” says CAA Chief Executive Officer Myles Immerkear. “If we can do a better job in our evaluations to describe those animals, especially for countries doing a lot of trade, I think producers are going to be in much better shape.”

Additionally, information sharing between the three countries through WAE will help Angus associations gather data on traits which have been historically difficult and expensive to collect, especially carcass merit traits.

“Combining forces allows genetic evaluation for carcass traits to become more robust while avoiding additional costs for data collection,” the AAA notes.

WAE has also created a venue for valuable teamwork between international entities.

“It’s really fun to be able to work with partners you trust, you enjoy working with and who all have similar objectives when it comes to the success of Angus cattle around the world,” says Retallick-Riley. 

Ongoing outreach

As with any new change, some producers have voiced their concerns about the launch of WAE. 

However, the AAA assures Angus breeders across the U.S., Canada and Australia, WAE will not change members’ data collection or reporting procedures and their data submissions will be treated with the same care they would be for any other tool or research project. 

Additionally, the AAA notes member education and outreach will be ongoing. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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