GenEval is a major player in the breeding genetic world, in charge of the genetic evaluations for all the breeding societies in France and develops it for more traits, more breeds or more species.
Beginnings of GenEval
GenEval is an association, established by Allice and Races de France in October 2017, responding to the wishes of the French breeders community to keep all genetic evaluations mutual and comparable. Because of the implementation of the European Zootechnical Regulation (UE 2016/1012), the French genetic system has been reorganized and GenEval created. Our team of experts in genetic data processing is in charge of ensuring genetic evaluations of ruminants mainly (cattle, sheep and goats) since November 2018, working for all the French Breed Societies.
Missions and team
As defined by the RZUE, GenEval is now in charge of the genetic evaluations. We are a back-office tool for all the Breed Societies and we develop genetic evaluations for new traits, new breeds or new species. Our team consists of fourteen workers: a director, seven geneticists and six computer scientists. We provide indicators and statistics for genetic selection programs and animal population management. Improving evaluations, adding new traits, and adapting the existing to future developments are our daily work. We also ensure technical assistance about evaluation to all the organizations taking part in genetic improvement programs
GenEval implements the proven procedures of INRA (formely responsible for the genetic evaluations). Looking for efficiency and improvment of our methods, we take the opportunity to secure and optimize the process of evaluation. Accordingly, to each breed specificities, we aim to establish appropriate processes of genetic evaluations taking into account some particular customer requests. After each evaluation, internal checkings are made before transferring results to IDELE, the institute appointed to communicate GEBV to Breed Societies. Moreover, GenEval follows the recommendations of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) about Quality Policy Statement. This certificate and the reliability of our results give us recognition in France, in Europe and internationally.
Close relationships with our partners as INRA or IDELE, allow us to be performant and produce a high quality of services for our clients. All these narrow relationships keep us connected with the scientific world. We work continuously on new projects, mixing science and field life. Meetings with our partners and Breed Societies involved, are planed throughout the year between each evaluation. Technical procedures and parameters are defined and updated. Each user is aware about changes and developments. Pooling the evaluations is one of our specificity in France: communication and common decision-making.
For more than 50 years, researchers, geneticists, technicians and professionals, work together to produce reliable results, statistics, and give breeders the best tools. From the breeding law (1966), we can rely on widespread data collection in farms (since 1950), essential to calculate EBV. All these records (relatedness, genealogy, performances on milk production, meat, insemination, conformation and more) are gathered in the National Genetic Database. Reliability of records and amount of data impact the quality of EBV. All the French organization is granted by ICAR Certificate of quality under France Genetique Elevage umbrella.
GenEval works throughout the year with the international genetic community. We are in charge of international evaluations for France: three times a year for dairy cattle and twice a year for beef cattle.
We operate in close collaboration with Interbull (the International Bull Evaluation Service), Interbeef (a working group specialized in beef cattle), Eurogenomics and Intergenomics. We represent France by sitting in international conferences to follow research on topics related to animal genetic. We also attend working groups in these organizations, being involved in the European decisions about breeding genetic tools improvement.