August was a big month for announcements from the American Angus Association (AAA). The world's largest cattle registry announced the following:

  • AAA's AngusSource®, an age, source and genetic USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) for Angus-sired cattle, is pairing up with SelectVAC®, Pfizer's certified preconditioning program.

    The AngusSource program, with more than 145,000 calves enrolled since the program's inception in October 2005, documents genetics, source and age. Its collaboration with Pfizer's SelectVac program completes the total-value picture, says AngusSource director Sara Moyer. More than 2.5 million calves have been enrolled in SelectVAC (www.selectvac.com) in its 12-year history.

    “Our goal is to give our customers the opportunity to maximize their marketing options and profit potential,” Moyer says. “While we aren't requiring them to participate in SelectVAC in order to enroll in AngusSource, we highly recommend it for the added benefits of better health and the opportunity for health verification premiums.”

  • AAA signed a cooperative agreement with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for premises registration education. Under the agreement, educational efforts will include on-site educational discussions through AAA outreach seminars and other educational programs, print advertising and direct mail, as well as e-mail communications. Online training programs also will be available to cattle producers nationwide. The online program will describe the value and benefits of registering premises and the steps necessary to complete an enrollment.

    The goal, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight tells BEEF, is to register 15,000 AAA premises in the coming year or so. He estimated that about half of AAA members have already registered their premises as part of the National Animal Identification System, and called the USDA/AAA partnership on premise registration “a significant stamp of approval.”

    In a release, John Crouch, AAA executive vice president, said: “This collective effort of livestock organizations and state and federal authorities is the first step in protecting the health of America's livestock industry. AAA is pleased to have the opportunity to assist livestock producers register their premises.”

  • And Tyson, the nation's largest beef packer, announced it is offering Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) brand premiums for AngusSource-tagged calves that qualify.

“This is great news for commercial producers who are working to raise high-quality calves, but color kept them from getting CAB premiums,” says Mark McCully, CAB LLC. “Now that we know their genetics, they'll also be considered for the brand.”