We have three pathfinder cows this year:
BK Eve 117, a daughter of BK Equinox 507 and out of an EXAR Expand 1241 daughter. She is also the sister to Kaine’s 2016 show heifer, “Winter.” This is also Kaine’s cow.
Meacham Better 2002, a daughter of BK Danny Boy 908 and out of a daughter of BK Equinox 507. This is Kade’s cow, Buckley.
BK Ms Blackcap 210, a daughter of BK Equinox 507 and out of a SAF Connection daughter.
The Pathfinder Angus program was started in 1978 in an effort to identify superior cows in the breed based on their records of performance from Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR). In identifying these superior cows, emphasis was placed on early puberty, breeding and early calving, followed by regularity of calving and above-average performance of the offspring.
While outstanding cows can be identified after their first or second calves, the Pathfinder Report requires a minimum of three calves from a cow to determine her regularity of calving and ability to produce superior calves for weaning weight year after year. In addition, an important part of the report is the list of bulls that have sired five or more qualifying females.
The Angus Pathfinder Report identifies cows that have excelled in production based on AHIR records of performance. To qualify for the report, a cow must have produced a calf measured through AHIR in the past 18 months.
The program identifies Pathfinder Cows in herds actively involved in AHIR. First, the female must produce her first calf near the herd’s average age for first calving. More specifically, the maximum age accepted for first calving of a Pathfinder Cow is the within-herd average for first calving plus 30 days. The within-herd average is determined separately for each herd on AHIR.
As a second criteria, the Pathfinder Cow must maintain a regular calving interval. The maximum calving interval is:
Next, the Pathfinder Cow must produce at least three calves with an average weaning weight ratio of 105 to qualify for the report. A minimum of 10 herdmates or contemporaries must be evaluated together each year to determine the weight ratio. Additionally, her calves must be sired by registered Angus bulls. To continue to qualify each consecutive year, the cow must produce regularly and wean a calf that helps maintain the average weaning ratio of 105 or above. It is pointed out that once a cow is designated Pathfinder, she is always a Pathfinder, even though she might not qualify for listing each year.