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.
In addition, bulls that have sired a minimum of five or more Pathfinder Cows are listed as Pathfinder Sires in this report.
Stress Breed Advantages
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:
365 Days + ( 30 Days / Number of Calving Intervals )
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. 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.
A Pathfinder Report is issued each spring and made a part of the Angus Journal. Outstanding females and bulls are listed in the report and, more importantly, the breeders who are keeping AHIR records of performance are identified as owners of Pathfinder Cows and Pathfinder Sires.
Studying the Pathfinder Report is fairly simple. An effort has been made to list important information about the Pathfinder Cow, her owner and the performance information that has qualified her as a top female. The cows are listed by owner in alphabetical order. All qualifying cows in a herd are listed following the owner's name. At the end of the report is a list of bulls that have sired five or more Pathfinder Cows. A sire that qualifies with five or more daughters becomes a Pathfinder Sire.
Angus breeders who have qualifying cows in the report are listed in alphabetical order. All cows in a herd that qualify are reported following the owner's name.
The qualifying Pathfinder Cow is listed along with her registration number and the number of calves she has produced with the average weaning weight ratio of calves. In some situations, AHIR information from two or more herds are used in determining a Pathfinder status. This situation occurs when cows are transferred from one AHIR performance herd to another.