History of Evaluation

A solid foundation was laid more than a century ago for the improvement of U.S. dairy cattle through genetics, reproduction and herd management. The adoption of milk recording, unique animal identification and early genetic analysis was led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmer-founded cooperatives and associations, and visionary innovators. Through the decades, genetic innovations improved the livelihood for dairy farms worldwide with the ability to store and distribute frozen bovine semen from genetically superior sires. U.S. scientists pioneered methods and traits that became adopted globally and led efforts to revolutionize breeding through genomics in the early 21st century. 

2021

5 million genotypes in CDCB database; female genomic testing is common management tool

2015

1 million genotypes recorded in National Cooperators Database managed by CDCB

2013

Calculation and distribution of U.S. genetic evaluations transferred from USDA to CDCB

2012

50 million units of semen produced annually

2009

Genomic selection implemented in U.S. genetic evaluations

2008

First $100 million total export value for U.S. frozen semen

1994

Introduction of Net Merit index, Productive Life and Somatic Cell Score traits

1990

Development of sexed semen

1989

USDA implemented animal model, using familial relationships for more accurate evaluations

1988

First year of 20 million-unit semen production by U.S. A.I.s

1977

Protein and solid-not-fat evaluations calculated by USDA

1976

Founding of Certified Semen Services (CSS)

1971

USDA published first U.S. genetic index, Predicted Difference Dollars, combining milk and fat

1960

Export of U.S. frozen cattle semen begins

1953

First U.S. calf born from frozen semen

1950

First 100 recognized A.I. operating units

1949

Entrance of frozen semen as new technology

1946

Founding of National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB)

1940

First commercial use of A.I. ampules

1938

Entrance of A.I. as reproductive technology in cattle

1936

USDA uses DHIA records to compute daughter-dam comparison and equal parent index

1905

First Cow Testing Association organized; renamed Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) in 1927

1895

USDA began collecting milk and fat records of individual cows