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Co-hosted by: Kansas Simmental Association & American Simmental Association











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Education Session


"Focus on You. Focus on Success. Focus on Profit"

Our Goal

To arm seedstock breeders and commercial cattlemen with information to confidently make genetic selection decisions, market their product, promote the beef industry, and plan for the security of future generations.

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Board Meeting and Events

Interactive Committee Meetings


Join the ASA staff and Board of Trustees at Fall Focus 2019.  Board meetings start Sunday, August 25 with a welcome from ASA Board Chairman, Gordon Hodges, and EVP, Dr. Wade Shafer.  Hear the "How are We Doing" stats and other staff reports on a number of key programs like the Cow Herd DNA Roundup, Carcass Expansion, Feeder Profit Calculator, and Progress Through Performance shows.  

Herdbook Tutorial at 2019 Fall Focus 

Members of ASA's Processing Team will again hold a Herdbook tutorial session during the 2019 Fall Focus event in Manhattan, KS. The tutorials will take place on August 23 from 2 pm to 4 pm, and will cover the best utilization of the reports function, creating groups, generating DNA reports, how to upload and download files, Active Herd, and more. Whether you are a seasoned professional with Herdbook, or just getting started, ASA Staff will be focused on helping everyone in attendance learn how to use Herdbook to its fullest potential. Additionally, if you attended last year's session in Bozeman, this year will be focused on more in-depth use of reports, which ASA believes to be vital for the best utilization of your data.




Hotel and Area Information

Fall Focus 2019

Manhattan, KS.

Hilton Garden Inn

410 South 3rd Street
Manhattan, Kansas 66502

Click here to reserve your room


Holiday Inn Expess & Suites

115 Blue Earth Place , Manhattan, Kansas 66502

call: 785-320-7454 or

Click here to reserve your room

Group Code:  ASA


Candlewood Suites

210 Blue Earth Place Manhattan, Kansas 66502

call: 785-320-7995 or

Click here to reserve your room

Group Code:  ASA

Chairman ASA Board of Trustees

Miller Simmentals

Dale and his wife, Paula, own and operate Miller Simmentals, located just a few miles from the Canadian border in North Central Montana. Miller’s roots run deep in the area where all of his great grandparents homesteaded in the early 1900s.

A Simmental breeder since 1970, and a member of the Bulls of Big Sky marketing group, the Miller farm focuses primarily on dry-land wheat with their Simmental herd utilizing that land which is not suitable for farming.  

Miller has served on the ASA Board of Trustees since 2011, and is currently the Chairman of the ASA Board of Trustees. He began his term as Chairman during ASA’s 48th Annual Meeting, January 17, 2016, in Denver, CO.  

Chair of the Animal and Range Science Department

Montana State University

Patrick Hatfield received a Bachelor of Science in range management from Montana State University (MSU) in 1983, a Master of Science in range science from New Mexico State University in 1985, and a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
in 1988. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Hatfield started his career as a research scientist at the U.S. Sheep Experiment
Station. After eight years at the sheep station, Patrick moved to MSU where he continued his research along with teaching five classes and advising students.

In addition to sheep nutrition and production research, Dr. Hatfield’s current research uses a team approach, incorporating expertise from agronomy, soil science, entomology, weed ecology, agricultural economics, and community development. All specialists focus on the profitable and environmentally sound incorporation of sheep into crop production systems.

Since joining MSU in 1997, Hatfield has secured more than $7.5 million dollars in extramural competitive funding.  His publications include more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles. In addition to research and teaching, Patrick developed a free, online sheep ration program that has over 2,000 active accounts in more than 60 countries.  He has served as major advisor or committee member on
25 graduate committees. Dr. Hatfield served as Western Section American Society Animal Science (WSASAS) President in 2003, and in 2013, was honored with the WSASAS distinguished service award. In 2015, Dr. Hatfield was appointed head of the MSU Animal and
Range Sciences Department.

Lead Genomicist

International Genetic Solutions

Mahdi Saatchi, who holds a B.S. degree in Animal Science, an M.S. degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics, and a Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics, joined the American Simmental Association (ASA) staff as Lead Genomicist for the International Genetics Solutions
(IGS) program. IGS is a collaborative effort focusing on multi-breed genetic evaluation involving 12 different beef breed associations.

During a three-and-a-half year period spanning 2010 to 2014, he studied and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Iowa State University (ISU). While at ISU, he developed and implemented genomic selection technology into genetic evaluations for several US beef cattle breed associations, including Simmental, Hereford, Red Angus, Gelbvieh and Limousin in collaboration with the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium.

Dr. Saatchi joined the ASA team and began his duties on January 1, 2016. The previous 18 months, he had been employed as a genomic research scientist for the Pork Improvement Company (PIC), located at Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Chief Executive Officer and President Theta Solutions, LLC

Bruce Golden is a co-founder of Theta Solutions, LLC, which specializes in the development of analytical methods and software for genetic/genomic data. He was a Professor and Head of the department for Dairy Science at California Polytechnic State University. Prior to
CalPoly, Dr. Golden was a full professor in animal breeding and genetics at Colorado State University for 19 years. Dr. Golden was the founder and CEO of a biomedical instrument technology company. He has served on the boards of directors for both private and not for profit organizations.

Through the years, Dr. Golden’s research and service to industry have resulted in numerous awards and publications including a series of patents related to animal identification and diagnostic instruments. His current and most-recent research emphasizes the use of high performance
computing methods to improve tractability of genomic evaluation methods.

 Dr. Golden attended Washington State University in Pullman, WA, where he received both Bachelor of Science and Master degrees in Animal Science. Dr. Golden received his Doctorate degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.


Focus on Board Meetings
Join the ASA staff and Board of Trustees at Fall Focus 2019.  Board meetings start Sunday, August 25 with a welcome from ASA Board Chairman, Gordon Hodges, and EVP, Dr. Wade Shafer.  Hear the "How are We Doing" stats and other staff reports on a number of key programs like the Cow Herd DNA Roundup, Carcass Expansion, Feeder Profit Calculator, and Progress Through Performance shows.  
Dr. Mike Heaton, USMARC scientist, will present an update on the Simmental Genome Assembly Project and Eric Grant from the Grant Marketing Company will give an update in the Growth and Development Committee meeting.
Herdbook Tutorial at 2019 Fall Focus 
August 23 2-4PM

Fall Focus Educational Day Agenda


Fall Focus 2019 offers a unique opportunity to capitalize on the plethora of beef cattle expertise in Manhattan, KS.   Here is the program for the educational day on Saturday, August 24, at the Manhattan Conference Center.   

Registration is free but required for meal counts.  Register for Fall Focus.



7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Packet pick-up and registration 


8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Welcome Gordon Hodges, ASA Chairman of the Board of Trustees


8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Opening Comments Dr. Michael Dikeman, Kansas State University


Session I: Moderated by Dr. Lauren Hyde

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  Genetics of Fertility 

Drs. Bob Weaber, Megan Rolf, and Jennifer Bormann, Kansas State University 


9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.  Novel Trait Advancements 

Drs. Bob Weaber, Megan Rolf, and Jennifer Bormann, Kansas State University 


10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break with sponsor spotlight from Allflex®


Session II: Moderated by Dr. Jackie Atkins

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. New developments in IGS Multi-breed Genetic Evaluation.  

ASA/IGS Science Team


12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch with sponsor highlight from GeneSeek® and guest speaker, Coach Bill Snyder, retired KSU football coach.


Session III: Moderated by Dr. Wade Shafer

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: The Showring’s Role in the Beef Industry

Panelists include: Dr. Bob Hough, Dr. Scott Shaake, Donnell Brown, Tim Smith, and John Griswold 


2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break


Session IV: Moderated by Chip Kemp

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Considerations for Seedstock Breeders to Help Commercial Cattle Operations be Successful, Charly Cummings, Superior Livestock Auctions 


3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Feedyard Perspectives, Recipe for a Profitable Feeder Calf.

Craig Uden, Darr Feedlots


4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Lessons Learned from Feeder Calf Market Data.

Dr. Ken Odde, Kansas State University 


5:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Wrap up


6:00 p.m. Evening Dinner and Social at the Flint Hills Discovery Center


Fall Focus 2019 Highlighting Local Expertise in Manhattan, KS.

Eisenhower Library  

Eisenhower Library


Flint Hills Discovery Center  

Flint Hills Discovery Center


Fall Focus 2019 is nestled in the heart of cattle country.  Surrounded by the Flint Hills of western Kansas, Manhattan is a beautiful town with many local attractions.  One of the main attractions for ASA members is the sheer number of Simmental seedstock operations headquartered nearby.  Several of these operations have opened their doors to tours this year on Friday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 27 (see the list of ranch tour directions and contact information).

Friday evening (August 23) the Kansas Simmental Association invites you to the Stanley Stout Center on the Kansas State University campus for dinner, conversation, and viewing cattle on display from breeders listed below.  Dinner has a nominal fee ($10) so bring some cash and an empty stomach.

See a selection of cattle on display Friday night from the following breeders:

  • Brooks Simmentals, Manhattan, KS
  • Cline Simmentals, Onaga, KS
  • Dikeman Simmentals, Manhattan, KS
  • Kansas State University Purebred Beef Unit, Manhattan, KS
  • Schaake Farms, Manhattan, KS

Manhattan is home to Kansas State University (KSU) and we will all benefit from the expertise of the KSU faculty.  Several of the speakers during the educational day are affiliated with KSU including Drs. Michael Dikeman, Bob Weaber, Megan Rolf, Jennifer Bormann, Ken Odde, and Scott Schaake. We are fortunate to have former K-State football coach Bill Snyder, the winningest coach in the history of K-State football, and Dr. Kenneth Burton from the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility as keynote speakers during lunch Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center, located next to the meeting headquarters, is a great place to learn about the area.  The Kansas Simmental Association will host dinner and a social here Saturday night (August 24) after the educational symposium.  Additionally, Manhattan and nearby communities have a laundry list of activities like the Eisenhower Presidential Library, wine tasting, shopping, and fine dining. For more local activities check out or


Manhattan promises a family-friendly and beef-centric 2019 Fall Focus. Register today for Fall Focus.



Fall Focus 2019 Highlighting Local Expertise in Manhattan, KS.

Fall Focus 2019 promises to deliver new and exciting information for seedstock breeders, commercial cattle producers, and allied industry partners.  This year’s speakers will cover the genetics of fertility, advancements made in novel trait predictions, a panel discussion on the show ring's role in the beef industry, and how seedstock breeders can help commercial cattle enterprises be successful with feedyard perspectives and data from feeder calf sales.  

Kansas Simmental Association has arranged special local flavor including tours of nearby Simmental breeders, a cattle display, dinner at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, and local guest speakers including Coach Bill Snyder, former Kansas State University football coach, and Dr. Kenneth Burton, Coordinator of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.  

 Speakers include:

Dr. Michael Dikeman, Kansas State University

Dr. Bob Weaber, Kansas State University

Dr. Megan Rolf, Kansas State University

Dr. Jennifer Bormann, Kansas State University

Craig Uden, Darr Feedlots

Charly Cummings, Superior Livestock Auctions

Dr. Ken Odde, Kansas State University

Various ASA Staff

Panelists include:  Dr. Bob Hough, Dr. Bob Weaber, Dr. Scott Schaake, Tim Smith, and John Griswold

Registration is free but required to help with meal counts.  You can register today at

The main meetings and conference headquarters are set at the Hilton Garden Inn and the attached Manhattan Conference Center.  A block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn is reserved for August 22 - August 27, 2019. The special room rate will be available until July 23 or until the group block is sold out.  Book your reservations at the Hilton Garden Inn by following this link.

Interested in sponsoring Fall Focus 2019?  Contact Bill McDonald at 540-230-6225 or email  To be included in the Fall Focus Program, you must commit by June 21.   

State associations interested in hosting Fall Focus 2020 should apply at  The application deadline for 2020 Fall Focus is August 1, 2019. The selected location will be announced at this year’s Fall Focus.

Thank You to Our 2019 Sponsors 


  Fred Smith Company 


    Bill and Penny Zimmerman Mark Barnell Cattle Company   Kansas Simmental Association