Thursday, September 22, 2016

Canadian Angus Registration Cards

We found some interesting mementos of Canadian Angus Association history while sorting through the Association’s archives. One of these interesting and long-retired artifacts is the registration card. In the absence of modern technology and our sophisticated registration and data storage system, small index cards were used for the enrollment and record-keeping of animals. Each membership/registration card listed the farm name, the breed, a farm address, a registration prefix, the herd letters used by the breeder, as well as in which ear the animal was tattooed and the date. The registrar wrote the animal’s registered ear tag number and registration number by hand on each card. As you can imagine, this would have been a time consuming process for large herds.

Samples of Canadian Angus registration cards

These cards are an antique of sorts when you consider how they date back to the early years of the Canadian Angus Association. It is very different from the electronic system that is in use today at Angus Central. The cards offer a way for us to get an idea of what the industry was like, and are evidence of how far technology and innovation have brought the Canadian Angus Association. Looking through the thousands of registration cards, although a time consuming task, was enlightening for me, as I was able to see how far some herds have come. I was able to look at the registrations for breeders such as Orrin Hart, with registrations from at least as far back as 1942. I was also able to find registration cards for three generations of the Matthews family, which speaks volumes for the legacy of Highland Stock Farms. These are only two examples that I plucked from the pile, leaving a great deal of history in boxes.

We are acknowledging these cards because not only do they have some historical value, we also recognize that they might hold some sentimental value for the farms and ranches to which they belong. As such, we would like to extend an invitation for any breeder who believes that we might have registration cards that belong to them to contact us so that we can send them to you. With an electronic registration system, these cards are no longer of any use to the Association, and there are simply too many to display them all. If you believe that your operation would have cards and you would like them back, please contact Tina Zakowsky.

Submitted by Megan Macleod