Thursday, August 28, 2014

Assistant Registrar (Summer Intern Edition)

When I was invited back as a member of the Canadian Angus team I could not believe my luck. The position of assistant registrar (summer intern edition) was a marvelous four-month opportunity I am so thankful for.

Being situated at Angus Central through the summer, I have had the opportunity to connect with members. I have a whole new perspective of what truly goes on to process paperwork regarding transfers, registrations and embryo recoveries. My summer was spent with hardworking professionals that serve our Angus members and developing my knowledge of my breed and the paperwork side of all that entails.

I had no idea what “the bin” referred to until April 25th when I learned that “the bin” is where all paperwork submitted to our national Angus headquarters is stored. When mail, e-mails, faxed or hand-delivered paperwork is dropped off, it is stamped with the date and the member number, entered into the database stating what it is (e.g. transfer, herd inventory), and then put into a folder for the date received. Everyone in the Registry Department then pulls paperwork in chronological order from the bin as they proceed through the day. We set goals for how many days should be left in the bin at the end of each month and I am proud to say we are quite caught up in August, especially in comparison to the backlog last summer.

I have also picked up a couple tricks which decrease the turnaround time and could earn you a Gold Star on your paperwork! First of all, e-storing papers makes transfers and filing very efficient. As a member you do not have to fret about misplacing a paper and having to get a duplicate certificate. It also means you can e-mail your sale transfers in from the spreadsheet or the Word document that you have saved on your computer. All that is needed is an e-mail or fax with the animal’s registration number and/or tattoo, the sale date and information on the purchaser. It saves on the time and cost of mailing. 

When it comes to transfers, the fact is, more information is better. Please include an address and a phone number if it’s possible. Spelling is also a concern, as if a transfer is submitted with someone we do not have in our database we create a new membership, and that is how the membership will remain unless the member expresses the correct information directly. Another trick I picked up is writing down the membership number of your buyers when the transfer papers are returned to you. That way in the next sale year, you will have this information for repeat buyers (the best kind) and can simply include their number and their name the next year. This simple effort makes less writing for you as a member each year, and less chance of mistakes from the Registry Department. 

A common misconception is what a registration number really is. First of all, some easy ways to narrow down what number you have for an animal is what is at the start of a number.  

A number such as ?181234 means that your animal is still pending with warning(s) and/or error(s). These warnings or errors could be a gestation concern, a mating clash, sire authorization and many other specific alerts that need to be addressed before the calf can be inputted into the system. When you receive a Request for Information (RFI), you must simply offer a correction or confirmation of the warning and/or error, and include the query number and/or tattoo if you are replying to the e-mail.

A number such as CM123456 pertains to an animal that is not being registered as a purebred animal, but is being inputted for performance data and/or to keep track of your herd’s history.

There are also alternate identification numbers from imported animals. These are harder to spot as many different countries have different registration systems than the Canadian Angus Association. This example below is a Red Angus animal imported from the United States.

Finally, a Canadian registration number is a collection of numbers, which when entered into our Canadian Angus database will present the information you are looking for.

Getting a bull AI approved is another process I was unaware of. Although members are welcome to use in-herd semen on their females, if any semen sales take place to another member, there must be further action than the standard sire verification. What is required to AI approve the bull in question is to be not only sire verified, but dam verified as well. Written permission from all members owning the bull is also required to obtain AI approval. Sires do not automatically become AI approved when they are parent verified.

Calls to Angus Central are always welcome if you have any questions or require further explanation on any of the questions I have mentioned along with anything else unknown. I was unaware of most of this until this summer, and I believe I am now much more prepared to complete my paperwork efficiently with fewer hiccups. Thank you to the Canadian Angus staff and all the members for all your support and insight this summer.

Posted by Katelyn Dietrich