Understanding how to use EPD’s in a livestock judging contest

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Livestock judging provides an opportunity for the next generation of livestock producers and industry leaders to learn how to identify, evaluate and rank superior genetics.

This year, 4-H youth will learn how to utilize Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) Data to help place breeding livestock classes.

“While EPD data could be placed on any breeding stock class, this information can be used to understand the acronyms and their meaning to prepare for evaluating breeding beef classes,” said Tacy Langemeier, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor.

How EPDs work

EPD data is the prediction of how future progeny of animals are expected to perform in relation to the progeny of other animals listed in the database. Many breeds have their own database for comparison. EPDs are expressed in units of measure for the trait, plus means above breed average or minus, which means below breed average.

To see examples of EPDs and to learn more about how they will be used in livestock judging contests, visit