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NBCEC is committed to:

  • Advancing U.S. beef genetics
  • Increasing the sustainability and competitiveness of the beef industry
  • Providing consumers with affordable, healthy beef products

These efforts involve six core areas of activity:


NBCEC members are passionate about conducting comprehensive, innovative and science-based beef cattle genetic research.

  • Colorado State University, Cornell University, University of Georgia and Iowa State University are the four core universities that pioneered beef-genetic evaluation and have provided objective, quantitative genetics to the beef industry for more than three decades.
  • Through NBCEC, these core universities serve as the nucleus for developing the methodology and collaboration for beef-genetic evaluation. They work with other universities, DNA companies, breed associations and beef producers on multi-disciplinary projects.
  • NBCEC is committed to conducting meaningful research that economically benefits beef producers and helps them produce affordable, healthy beef products for consumers.
  • On the forefront of emerging technologies, NBCEC is the industry leader in developing discovery populations, validation and the incorporation of genomics information.
  • A variety of researchers from animal sciences, statistics, veterinary sciences and human nutrition contribute to NBCEC research projects. These industry leaders also write science journal articles and participate in national and international presentations.
  • NBCEC has coordinated a successful grants program, generating investments in the beef industry from both competitive and industry partner grants.


Animal Evaluation

NBCEC is the global leader in developing, licensing and facilitating world-class cattle evaluation technology.

  • NBCEC’s primary contribution to the beef industry is producing expected progeny differences (EPDs). NBCEC researchers have developed the methodologies used in computing EPDs for U.S. beef breeds and the industry.
  • NBCEC also collaborates with international organizations on projects that advance global beef genetics.
  • Genetic evaluation software developed by NBCEC is used in national and international genetic evaluations. The genetic merit of more than 500,000 beef cattle is predicted annually using data collected and analyzed by NBCEC-developed software.
  • NBCEC also develops statistical analysis of genomics data for animal evaluation
  • NBCEC research seeks to integrate two technologies – EPDs and DNA information – that maximize the reliability and probability of selection decisions.  


Genetic Test Validation

NBCEC is an independent provider of DNA test validation in North America.

  • NBCEC provides independent, unbiased, third-party assessment of diagnostic tests and serves as a “safeguard” for appropriate use of genomics information.
  • The consortium identifies and develops resource populations for DNA test validation.



NBCEC is committed to industry and producer outreach so that new information tools and technologies are adopted and positively influence the U.S. beef industry.

  • NBCEC is focused on helping producers make decisions that economically benefit their farms and ranches and that increase the affordability and nutrition of beef products for consumers.
  • Outreach programs featuring comprehensive topics focused on the application of research and technology on industry and producer levels are hosted by consortium partners.
  • The “Beef Sire Selection Manual” was created to help producers apply NBCEC’s research and genetic technology to their operations.
  • NBCEC helps producers by optimizing the use of information and developing Web-based decision-support tools.
  • NBCEC is closely aligned with the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), which represents over 40 state and national beef cattle associations. Through this affiliation and participation in BIF’s annual conference, NBCEC is able to reach hundreds of seed stock and commercial breeders, as well as beef-industry leaders.


Professional Development

NBCEC invests in the future of the beef industry by providing educational programs for students, educators, researchers and industry leaders.

  • NBCEC hosts a variety of professional development programs for the next generation of industry researchers and leaders who will be committed to the values and work of NBCEC.
  • In a “train-the-trainer” format, NBCEC hosts “Brown Bagger” workshops for extension and collegiate educators, as well as breed association and industry representatives.
  • NBCEC partners with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to offer students an online graduate curriculum for animal breeding and genetics.
  • NBCEC supports students by sponsoring collegiate animal science events.


Leadership and Collaboration

As a leader in the beef industry, NBCEC collaborates with industry organizations to establish and coordinate priorities for beef cattle genetics.

  • The Board of Directors provides oversight and leadership for NBCEC and is represented by leading animal breeding researchers and educators.
  • The NBCEC Advisory Council guides Consortium activities and is comprised of producers and a cross section of industry organizations and leaders.
  • NBCEC generates input from diverse segments of the beef industry, including national organizations, breed associations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state Extension specialists, and the seed stock, cow-calf and cattle feeding industries.