At the Fall Focus Board meetings in Manhattan, KS, the ASA Board approved a set of revisions to the Performance Advocate Program that take effect starting with the 2018 fall and 2019 spring THE enrollment cycles.
There are three big changes to the Performance Advocate Program summarized here . . .
1. Among the traits included, the Performance Advocate Program requires records submitted on 90% of the contemporary group.
Requiring/encouraging 100% of the records is not realistic and could tempt breeders to submit measurements of a lower standard than ideal. By setting the threshold to be 90% of the contemporary group or birth group, allows for missed weights or other understandable instances where records weren’t collected yet still captures the bulk of the whole herd’s data.
2. A two-tier system to qualify.
Since additional traits are being added (see point 3) but some of these traits are difficult and/or expensive to collect, there will be a two-tier system for qualifying as a Performance Advocate. If THE herds submit 90% of the records on eight of the thirteen traits, they qualify for the first tier. THE herds with 90% of the records on ten out of the thirteen traits qualify for the higher tier system. If an existing performance advocate herd added two more traits to their qualifying records (example, mature cow weights and mature cow BCS) they would qualify as a performance advocate in the new system.
3. An additional seven traits have been added to the list of qualifying records in the program (see table).
The list of important phenotypic and genomic data collected by breeders has grown extensively. The new Performance Advocate revisions can better acknowledge breeders focused on the growing list of economically important records. As ASA develops more traits (example, feet/leg scores), they may be added to the Performance Advocate Program.
*On mature cow traits, require one record as a two-year-old that expires once they are six years old. A performance Advocate report will pull a list of records that are “expiring” next season.
The Performance Advocate Program has a long history of recognizing breeders who focus on quality data collection. The new revisions to the Performance Advocate Program sets the bar for continued high-quality data from breeders committed to genetic improvement.