Fall Focus Donation Heifer Selling at Virginia Beef Expo

McDonald Farms is donating a “pick of the lot” for the Virginia Beef Expo, April 17, in Harrisonburg. The buyer will get to pick from McDonald Farms 2019-born Simmental and SimAngusTM heifers.

Proceeds of the sale will go to the American Simmental-SimbrahFoundation and the Virginia Simmental Association to support the 2020 Fall Focus this August in Roanoke, VA. McDonald Farms will supply a list of the heifers’ registration numbers to choose from. Buyer must select their female by April 30, 2020.

Bill McDonald, owner and manager of McDonald Farms, says, "We are glad to support the American Simmental-Simbrah Foundation in its efforts to promote and fund educational programs for cattle producers. By donating this 'Pick of our 2019 Simmental or SimAngus Heifers' we are helping to make this a reality. McDonald Farms has supported Fall Focus since it started and is very honored to help the Virginia Simmental Association host this event in our great state. This will be the first time in 15 years that anyone has had the opportunity to purchase one of our females at a public Simmental sale." For more information about the donation lot contact Bill McDonald at or DP Sales at Interested in learning more about this year’s Fall Focus, head to

Email Bill

Education Session

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.


Board Meeting and Events

Interactive Committee Meetings

Join the ASA staff and Board of Trustees at Fall Focus 2021. 

The schedule and registration information will be posted when available in 2021.   





Hotel and Area Information

Fall Focus 2021

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
110 Shenandoah Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24016

Direct 540-853-8254 | Fax 540-853-8264

Jay Lush Endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics

Iowa State University

Dorian Garrick was appointed to the Jay Lush Endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics at Iowa State University in August 2007, following five years at Colorado State University and 15 years at Massey University in New Zealand, where he has held the A.L. Rae Chair since 1994. He received a First Class Honors degree in Agricultural Science from Massey University and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Dr. Garrick has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of national animal evaluation programs, performance recording databases and breeding schemes. He has worked in the design of experiments to detect major genes and to exploit them in breeding programs. His recent work has focused on theoretical and applied aspects of using genomic information to predict performance. Dorian views animal breeding in a systems context, involving the integration of knowledge and understanding of business goals, production systems, processing and marketing, in concert with quantitative and molecular genetics. He has worked with a variety of genetic improvement programs, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, dual-purpose sheep, fine-wooled sheep, pigs, elk, salmon and tree breeding.

Dr. Garrick also works with other researchers and equally enjoys working with enthusiastic producer and industry groups that seek to include animal breeding approaches in the attainment of their farm or ranch business goals. He also serves as a Director of the US National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium which focuses on the development and application of methods using genomic information to predict genetic merit in beef cattle.


Assistant Professor and Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

University of Missouri

In addition to Dr. Decker’s faculty position in the Division of Animal Sciences, he is a member of the Genetics Area Program and University of Missouri Informatics Institute. Decker received his B.S. from New Mexico State University, graduating with top honors. He majored in Animal Science with a minor in Biology. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri in Genetics, with a Ph.D. minor in Statistics.
Jared grew up on a small farm in northwest New Mexico where his family raised registered cattle. He now owns a small farm in Mid-Missouri to teach his kids the value of hard work. He is working to help stakeholders in the beef industry better understand the rapidly changing genetic
technologies. His research focuses on understanding the history and selection of cattle breeds and improving the cost and accuracy of genomic tests. He is active on social media and his website A Steak in Genomics.

Click here for Fall Focus 2016 Meeting Brochure for schedules, speaker bios, and agenda.

Jared Decker, Ph.D. Mahdi Saatchi, Ph.D. Dorian Garick, Ph.D. Wade Shafer, Ph.D.
Speakers PowerPoint  VIDEO 
Program Schedule coming soon    

Welcome Message:  Dale Miller, Chairman

Patrick Hatfield, PhD., Chair of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University PowerPoint  

Dorian Garrick, Ph.D., Jay Lush endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Iowa State University

PowerPoint Session III: Dr. Bruce Golden, Theta Solutions LLC and Dr. Dorian Garrick, Iowa State University 
Bruce Golden, PhD., CEO and President, Theta Solutions, LLC PowerPoint Session III: Dr. Bruce Golden, Theta Solutions LLC and Dr. Dorian Garrick, Iowa State University 
Jared Decker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Missouri PowerPoint  Session IV: Dr. Jared Decker, University of Missouri 
Wade Shafer, Ph.D., EVP, American Simmental Association PowerPoint  Session I :  Drs. Lauren Hyde, Jackie Atkins, and Wade Shafer  American Simmental Association
Mahdi Saatchi, PhD.,  Lead Genomicist, International Genetic Solutions PDF Session II:  Dr. Mahdi Saatchi, IGS
Lauren Hyde, Ph.D.,   Lead Geneticist International Genetic Solutions PowerPoint Session I :  Drs. Lauren Hyde, Jackie Atkins, and Wade Shafer  American Simmental Association
Jackie Atkins, Ph.D., Director of Science and Education, ASA              PowerPoint  Session I :  Drs. Lauren Hyde, Jackie Atkins, and Wade Shafer  American Simmental Association
Patrick Hatfield, Ph.D. Bruce Golden, Ph.D. Jackie Atkins, Ph.D. Lauren Hyde, Ph.D.


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank you AgriClear Thank you Tom Brothers Ranch
   Accellerated Genetics  
 Mark Barnell  Wade & Kathy Shafer  



American Simmental Association Headquarters:    One Genetics Way, Bozeman, MT 59718


Executive Vice President

American Simmental Association

Wade Shafer grew up in Detroit Lakes, MN, on Shoestring Ranch, a small seedstock operation. Shafer completed his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at North Dakota State University, followed by a Master’s and Doctorate in Animal Breeding and Genetics from Colorado State University.

While at Colorado State, Shafer did extensive work in the area of bio-economic simulation modeling. Following his formal education, he expanded Shoestring Ranch to more than 500 cows, with cooperator herds representing another 500+ cows. The ranch sold up to 200 bulls annually.

After selling his cow herd, Shafer joined the Simmental team as the Director of Breed Improvement for the American Simmental Association (ASA) in 2003; in 2011, he accepted the position of ASA’s Chief Operations Officer. Since 2013, Dr. Shafer has served as Executive Vice President of the American Simmental Association.

Thank You to Our 2019 Sponsors 


  Fred Smith Company 


    Bill and Penny Zimmerman Mark Barnell Cattle Company   Kansas Simmental Association