UNL professor receives Beef Improvement Federation award

Dr. Steve Kachman
Craig Chandler |

The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Steve Kachman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln statistics professor, a BIF Continuing Service Award June 15 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium in Manhattan, Kansas.

Continuing Service Award winners have made major contributions to the BIF organization. This includes serving on the board of directors, speaking at BIF conventions, working on BIF guidelines and other behind-the-scenes activities. As BIF is a volunteer organization, it is this contribution of time and passion for the beef cattle industry that moves BIF forward.

Kachman received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Illinois. He earned a doctorate in statistics at Montana State University and then completed post-doctorate work at Cornell University in animal breeding and genetics.

Kachman began his faculty career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in what was then the Department of Biometry. He has ascended to the rank of full professor, having served as the interim chair for the statistics department for more than two years.

“I believe it certain that there would not exist genomic-enhanced EPD in the U.S. beef industry without Steve Kachman.” Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

He has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles spanning a plethora of topics and species in both plants and animals, including a manuscript in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,” as well as numerous abstracts and proceedings papers.

Most critical to national cattle evaluation (NCE) are two contributions. The first is a proceeding paper from the 2008 BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop that first proposed the correlated trait approach for including genomic information into NCE, a method still used today by Angus Genetics Inc. The second is a proof available online that shows the blending method of augmenting molecular breeding values (MBVs) and expected progeny differences (EPDs), a method also used today by the majority of other beef breed associations.

“I believe it certain that there would not exist genomic-enhanced EPD in the U.S. beef industry without Steve Kachman,” said Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Other notable contributions include his extension of the Multiple Trait Derivative Free Restricted Maximum Likelihood (MTDFREML) software, short courses related to ASReml, and the development of a haplotype-based model for genomic selection, all of which have benefited numerous graduate students and faculty members alike.

Kachman continues to serve the U.S. beef cattle industry by developing and applying theory that greatly enhances NCE and by helping to train the next generation of scientists and industry breeders.

More than 600 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the organization’s 48th annual convention. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting and tours, visit For more information about BIF, visit

–K-State Department of ASI