Jersey breed revamps its animal ID


Recording system for Jersey-influenced animals restructured

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio  — The American Jersey Cattle Association is restructuring the Jersey Expansion identification program, and amending rules for Genetic Recovery.

Genetic Recovery was created by the association in 1975 to record unregistered but purebred Jersey females and has been adopted by other dairy cattle associations across the world. Jersey Expansion was implemented in 1999 to identify animals with both Jersey and other-breed genetics in their pedigrees, allowing offspring of first-generation females sired by registered Jersey bulls to be recorded through Genetic Recovery.

Now separated

The association’s board action on March 14 separated Jersey Expansion from the Genetic Recovery program retroactive to program implementation January 1, 1999. Under the revised rules, six continuous generations sired by registered Jersey bulls starting with the first-generation female (J1) will result in an animal eligible for the American Jersey Cattle Association Herd Register.

The descendants of J1 females now recorded by the association will be assigned a new prefix according to their status in this recording system and replacement certificates issued to owners.

Females will be recorded at all levels (J1 through J6). Males are only eligible at the J4, J5 and J6 levels, and only when the bull and both parents are genotyped.

Genetic Recovery tweaks

“Genetic Recovery continues to serve the original intent of bringing purebred but grade Jerseys into the AJCA database,” said association President Chris Sorenson, of Pine River, Wisconsin.

“The changes made by the board of directors make it even stronger by adding another level of pedigree information or applying genomic testing tools. The result will be more complete pedigrees earlier and more accurate genetic evaluations.”

These changes, effective March 14, 2015, now require an Original Animal (OA prefix) to have a Herd Register status parent (sire or dam) or else be qualified by genotyping.

Males can now be recorded only at the third program level (GR), provided that the bull and both parents are genotyped.

Green Book changed

Actions were also taken regarding genetic evaluation reports published in the Jersey Genetic Summary (aka “Green Book”) and eligibility of cows for national awards.

Starting with the April 2015 official genetic evaluations, “Green Book” reports for males and elite females will be split into two groups. One will list only animals with Herd Register status (no prefix). The second will combine the eligible animals that are recorded through the Genetic Recovery and Jersey Expansion programs.

In addition, a reference list will be generated after each official summary listing A.I. bulls (codes A, F and G) with an ancestor of other-breed origin in their seven-generation pedigree.

Also, effective March 14, 2015, only HR and GR cows will be eligible for Honor Roll, Hall of Fame, and National Class Leader recognition, and the President’s Trophy, Hilmar Cheese Award, Living Lifetime Production Contest and National Jersey Youth Production Contest.

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