Total Herd Enrollment – 4 Options Available

Did you know that there are now four Options offered to members participating in Total Herd Enrollment?  Each Option is unique and how you enroll/pay for your dams determines how data will be delivered and reported on the yearly calf crop.  It is highly recommended to evaluate your individual herd goals to better select the Option that will best suit your operation’s needs. Whether you are a seedstock or commercial producer, one of the Options below is bound to be a fit for you!

Key Points about THE

  • Once you enroll your dams and select an Option, they remain in the Option you have chosen until the following year when you submit a new inventory and are able to select a different Option.
  • Participating in any of the four Options requires every dam to be enrolled on inventory and a calf/productivity code to be reported every year.
  • All Simmental registered dams have to be enrolled in the SAME Option, you may not pick and choose Options when it comes to the registered Simmental dams.  Dams of other breeds and commercial cows may be enrolled in any of the Options, regardless of how the registered Simmental dams are enrolled.
  • Concerning ET calves raised in cooperator herds. Since the recip dam is not listed on a THE inventory, when you register the ET calf you will leave the recip dam information blank, record the donor dam and sire of the calf and it will invoice your account per ET calf registered based on which Option your herd is enrolled in. For example, if your herd is enrolled in Option A, you will be invoiced $15.00/ET calf registered.
  • Donor dams need to be enrolled on inventory as long as they are alive and being managed within your herd.  If the donor dam is deceased or has been sold, she needs to be removed from inventory with the appropriate code.  You will still be able to register frozen embryos in the future if need be.

Option A

  • Every dam enrolled on inventory for $15.00/dam/year
  • Calves born in enrollment year and meeting all registration requirements are registered for FREE
  • Performance based EPDs returned on all calves, regardless if they are registered or reported
  • This Option fits herds where the majority of the calf crop is registered(>40%) and EPDs are utilized in selection decisions

Option B

  • Every dam enrolled on inventory for FREE
  • Age dependent calf registration fees
    • Under 10 months of age = $30.00
    • 10 to 15 months of age = $40.00
    • Over 15 months of age = $50.00
  • Performance based EPDs returned on registered calves only
  • This Option fits herds where less than 40% of the calf crop is registered and EPDs are NOT utilized in selection decisions

Option C

  • Every dam enrolled on inventory for $7.50/dam/year
  • Age dependent calf registration fees(same as Option B)
    • Under 10 months of age = $30.00
    • 10 to 15 months of age = $40.00
    • Over 15 months of age = $50.00
  • Performance based EPDs returned on all calves, regardless if they are registered or reported
  • This Option fits herds where EPDs are utilized in selection decisions but registration papers are not necessary on the calves. If you start registering more than 5% of the calf crop each year, take a look at Option A, it might suit your operation better.

Option D(CM)

  • Every dam is enrolled on inventory for a *$500 whole herd fee. *This yearly enrollment fee does not include any costs associated with entering your herd data in to the ASA database.
  • Age dependent calf registration fees(same as non-THE members)
    • Under 10 months of age = $42.00
    • 10 to 15 months of age = $52.00
    • Over 15 months of age = $62.00
  • Performance based EPDs returned on heifers, regardless if they are registered or reported.  There will also be average group EPDs reported on the steers. NO EPDs will be displayed on bull calves.
  • This Option fits herds where commercial producers are interested in receiving EPDs on their replacement heifers. Commercial producers must also be willing/able to collect and submit individual data along with identifying a sire for each calf, either through parental validation, single sire pasture exposures or AI records.

If you have questions or wish to discuss your specific herd goals please call ASA at 406.587.4531 or email



DNA Parentage Results – What if animal doesn’t qualify to the Parent(s)?

For some breeders the DNA process is similar to waiting for a present to arrive.  The DNA sample is submitted to the lab and from that moment forward, the anticipation starts to build.  Will the animal submitted qualify to the parents? Will it test homo polled? Homo black? Free of genetic defects?  The not knowing, it’s absolutely heart wrenching, stressful and can just about drive you crazy during the 3-4 week wait.  However, whether the results leave you feeling excited or let down, it’s important to understand the process so lets take a moment and walk through how DNA parentage results are reported from the lab to ASA, uploaded and then emailed/mailed to the member.

Lab Reports Results to ASA

Every business day the lab uploads results that are ready to their online information system named LIMS.  Each day ASA checks LIMS and downloads any results that are available.  Results are uploaded to Herdbook Services and the membership account is invoiced for the testing.  If the sire/dam of the animal being tested has DNA on file with ASA, the lab will run a comparison to the parent(s) and determine whether the animal verifies to sire/dam. There are three critical pieces on the parentage report: sire qualify, dam qualify and sire/dam qualify as a mated pair.

There are 4 possible outcomes if both the sire and the dam have DNA on file with ASA

  • the animal qualifies to both sire/dam
  • the animal does not qualify to sire/dam (result is an exclusion)
  • the animal qualifies to dam but does not qualify to sire – (result is an exclusion)
  • the animal qualifies to sire but does not qualify to dam – (result is an exclusion)

Once the records are uploaded/submitted, an animal that is registered/on file and marked as an exclusion, is automatically suspended pending DNA verification or a pedigree update.

If only one or the other(sire/dam) has DNA on file, the animal is only compared to that parent. If the parent animal does not qualify, the exclusion procedure is followed as described above.

If neither parent has DNA on file, the animal’s DNA parentage is simply placed on file and uploaded.

Member notification

If the member has an email address on the account, an automated email is sent out displaying the invoicing information. These automated notifications do not contain any parentage result information, they simply display the amount invoiced to the account.  If your animal is registered/on file in the database you can go in to Herdbook Services, view the animal pedigree and look for the results designation on the animal record.  For an explanation on what to look for, please view the blog post on DNA results.

DNA parentage reports are then generated and emailed to members as attachments or mailed out the following business day.

What happens if the parentage report says the animal did not qualify to the parent(s)?

  1. If it’s an ET animal, we’re going to ask for other mating possibilities.
  2. If it’s a single birth animal we’re going to ask if there are any other sire/dam possibilities.

If you’re the breeder on this animal, go back and double check your records and if your response is, “no, there are no other possibilities” then you do have the option to submit a *second sample on the animal.  If you submitted a blood sample the first time, we recommend sending in a hair collector card for the second submission or vice-versa.

If there are other sire/dam possibilities, those will be forwarded to the lab for comparison, this process is called a re-check.  Re-checks typically take 24-48 hours to complete, depending on lab workload. If animal qualifies to the sire/dam on the re-check, the pedigree is updated and unsuspended.

If the animal/ET was purchased, you will need to check with the seller/breeder/sales management team and ask them if there are other possible matings.  If they respond as mentioned above, you have the option to submit a *second sample on the animal.

*Please note – If you submit a second sample and the animal tests the same way it did the first time, i.e. does not qualify to parent(s), you will be invoiced for both DNA parentage tests.  If the second sample qualifies to parent(s) as originally stated we will refund the amount invoiced for the second set of results.

Keep in mind, each exclusion case is unique and in certain cases, forces us to leave our comfort zones and consider even the most remote of possibilities.  For some people it’s helpful to think of DNA as a giant puzzle and with that in mind, it often takes more than one person to sort out how all the pieces fit together. Take a moment and consider all the people involved in the process of flushing a donor dam or AI breeding a dam.  The wrong semen straw gets pulled for the flush, the petri dishes on the flushed donors get switched, the ET straws get mis-labeled, the dam gets bred with two straws and it doesn’t get written down, the wrong dam loads in the chute first and it doesn’t get written down or caught.  The list goes on and on. None of us ever like to admit that we are all human and mistakes do happen(me least of all) but I can make you a promise that as issues arise,  ASA will work diligently with you each step of the way  to resolve and try to make real world sense of the situation.

If you have any questions/concerns on a particular DNA case please do not hesitate to email or call 406.587.4531.