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Ona White Angus Field Day set for Oct. 22

Ona White Angus 070615

Please see caption below

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Get ready to see the latest on a new breed of cattle, courtesy of research by scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

UF/IFAS scientists and administrators will host the field day Oct. 22. Activities will start at 8 a.m. at the Turner Agri-Civic Center, 2250 NE Roan St. in Arcadia and finish after lunch at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona.

“This Field Day will highlight topics related to the impacts of heat stress on beef cow/calf production – an important subject for Florida beef producers,” said John Arthington, director of the Range Cattle REC.

Several experts will speak in the morning including Arthington; Joao Vendramini, an associate professor of forage management at the Range Cattle REC; David Riley, associate professor of animal breeding and genetics at Texas A&M University and Pete Hansen, distinguished professor of physiology at the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences.

After lunch, interested parties can go to the Range Cattle REC for a question-and-answer session about the Ona White Angus auction, scheduled for Jan. 21, 2016. For individuals unable to attend, this portion of the Field Day will be available via webinar. To register for the webinar, to go: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5012828911941256705.

You must register by Oct. 20 to attend the field day. Register at http://whiteangusfd.eventbrite.com. The $15 fee includes lunch. For more information, visit the Range Cattle REC website at http://rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu.

After the Oct. 22 field day, the public will still have two more chances to see the new cattle breed – Nov. 20 and Dec. 8, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. either day.

The Ona White Angus was developed over two decades of cross-breeding various phenotypes, Arthington said.

“These cattle have established themselves as a distinct new breed,” Arthington said. They are genetically a “black angus” but have a white hair coat color and dark skin, he said. This is somewhat similar to the origins of the Red Angus breed, but with a white phenotype.

The Ona White Angus may be able to provide reproduction and meat quality advantages of the Angus, while retaining the environmental adaptation and longevity of the Zebu, Arthington said. Zebu breeds, such as Brahman, adapt well to tropical and subtropical environments, which make them ideal for Florida.

“As a breed, we feel that these cattle can provide significant value to beef production enterprises in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly in crossbreeding programs involving white phenotype cows,” Arthington said.

These breeds are often crossed with English breeds, such as Angus to introduce hybrid vigor. An offspring exhibits hybrid vigor if its traits are enhanced as a result of mixing the genetic contributions of its parents.

Angus cattle are known for their low maintenance, adaptability, superior milking capabilities and high fertility rates.

For more information about the public auction at the UF/IFAS Range Cattle REC, please call 863-735-1314 or email Arthington at jarth@ufl.edu. You can see the cattle by clicking here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRV-JNXsnv4

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Caption: UF/IFAS faculty will host an open house Oct. 22 for those interesting in seeing and hearing about the advantage of a new breed of cattle, the Ona White Angus, seen here.

Credit: UF/IFAS file.

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Source: John Arthington, 863-735-1314, ext. 202, jarth@ufl.edu