Source: American Angus Assn news release

The American Angus Association® is now offering a cash-back incentive for members enrolled in the MaternalPlus program. Members will receive an introductory 5 percent cash-back rebate on Association fees on their first re-enrollment and an additional 2.5 percent cash-back every subsequent year they re-enroll.

“At the Association, we understand that our members’ time is valuable,” said Kelli Retallick, genetic services director at Angus Genetics, Inc. “We want to reward members who take time out of their busy lives to be a part of the program and build a database. The Angus breed was determined to be a maternal trait leader. We want to reaffirm that and make sure the Angus cow remains the queen of the beef industry.”

The American Angus Association and Angus Genetics, Inc. (AGI) are working hard to create a comprehensive database to serve as the foundation for a cow longevity or stayability-type selection tool. But first, more data needs to be collected to make sure the sample size accurately represents the Angus breed.

“The MaternalPlus program is strategically designed for our Association to collect performance data from our membership to allow us to predict a stayability-type EPD,” said Jerry Cassady, member services director at the American Angus Association. “That kind of tool is in high demand from our commercial customers.”

Fees eligible for cash-back rebate include membership, registration, transfer and Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR) fees submitted and paid for in the previous 12 months. The incentive will sunset once 150,000 females are enrolled in the MaternalPlus program. Members who enroll after April 1, 2018, will be eligible for the introductory cash-back rebate after their first re-enrollment. Those enrolled prior to April 1, 2018, are eligible to receive the introductory cash-back rebate on their upcoming re-enrollment date.

Developed in 2012, MaternalPlus is a whole-herd, inventory-based reporting system that requires individual herds to submit data on the entire cow herd inventory each year. Participants receive calving ease, birth weight and weaning weight EPDs at birth or weaning weight processing time. In addition, MaternalPlus users can take advantage of the exclusive genetic trend reports, weaning weight sire summaries, calf death loss, body condition score summaries and dam disposal reports.

To participate in MaternalPlus, producers must provide heifer breeding records and, for mature inventoried females, calf records including weaning weight, pre-weaning or dam disposal codes. If a cow remained in the herd but did not report a calf, producers need to record a reason code for each female. Breeders can enroll in the program at any time and will have a corresponding re-enrollment date each year thereafter.