Member Services Matters

January 13, 2020 11:22 am

The Angus Australia Member Services staff are responsible for enabling Members to conduct all transactions with Angus Australia in a manner that is as streamlined and as efficient as possible.

Drought

“Scott, my neighbour has just left here…they tried to truck cows today, but they left it too long and a number just died in the yards after getting them in….”

Conversations like that punctuate the day and put a sombreness into your afternoon. The throw away remarks we hear through our phone calls brings the harsh reality of this strange season into our office on a daily basis. In that case it was a member apologising that he couldn’t attend one of our functions, really because he just couldn’t get away due to unrelenting circumstances.

It may seem that office staff “live in a bubble”, however nothing could be further from the truth. The constant communication from members and conversations such as the one I’ve described keep us very grounded. You will also find that several office staff also have cattle of their own and are dealing with their own “personal” drought, which subsequently makes the entire team very aware of the reality facing many of our members.

What that means is that we do understand what members are going through; we are here to assist in whatever way we can. If you need assistance completing records, please get in touch and a staff member will be able to either help or make other arrangements. I certainly understand that the current conditions are exceptional.

Fires

Several members have been affected by fires in NSW and QLD. On the back of the dry conditions it is a particularly cruel blow to those affected. Again, if there is anything that we can assist with or if you need to source agistment and/or fodder please let Angus Australia know and we can pass on the details of other members that may be able to help you.

Export heifers

One of the real bright spots for Angus Breeders in 2019 has been the sale of export heifers. Sales have been very strong, and we anticipate that this year will be a record year for export verification. Member Services Staff work with Exporters daily and all indications are that 2020 will again be a very strong year for sales of export heifers, particularly to China. The export of Angus heifers has given our Angus members another very significant market which has helped maintain the premium for Angus cattle.

Angus Australia provides the verification service to exporters seeking to supply these markets. A couple of tips if you are selling Angus heifers for live export:

  1. Ensure well before your sale that you are a current financial member of Angus Australia; and
  2. If you are a commercial member purchasing bulls, please ensure that the vendor whom you have purchased animals from requests that the Bulls be transferred into your ownership on the Angus Australia Please request those bulls to be transferred into your ownership on the Angus Australia database.

Angus heifers that are exported need to be verified to their sire, so it is important when buying bulls that you request that those bulls be transferred into your ownership. Please ask the vendor to make that request, it will make the verification process much easier.

Autumn Inventory

During January, Autumn calving members will receive their Autumn Inventory. The Herd Inventory system is the way that Angus Australia maintains the Herd Book. Essentially, all breeding females 2 years and older are split into either an Autumn Herd Inventory (for females calving January 1 – June 30) or the Spring Herd Inventory (for females calving July 1 – December 31). When a female turns 2 years of age it is subsequently nominated as either an Autumn or Spring calver depending on when they were born (eg. Autumn would be 1st January to 30th June).

It is very important to review your Herd Inventory and record any changes to that inventory by the due date (18th March 2019). Disposing of females from the inventory is called a Fate and it is important to use the correct disposal codes that are provided with your Herd Inventory. Members are billed for the Active females on their Herd Inventory, this autumn it will on the 24th of March. It is important to review your Herd Inventory and update your “Active” females before the due date for two reasons:

  • Firstly, members will not be billed unnecessarily for females that shouldn’t be on the Inventory; and
  • Secondly to include all females that you would like to register calves

Calves can be registered for a calving season after all Herd Inventory Fees are paid for that season, and the “Active” list of females for that season is finalised by the member.

The Female Inventory system can be confusing, particularly for new members. If you are unsure of how the inventory system works or need help completing your Herd Inventory, please call Angus Australia and we can certainly help explain what you need to do.

DNA Samples

DNA testing is always growing here at Angus Australia. To make sure the process is as smooth as possible there are a few helpful things to be aware of:

  • Firstly, before sending DNA samples please make sure the animal is registered – even if it is just If we don’t have an animal ID, we can’t submit a sample for testing;
  • Secondly, please use the correct Order Form and complete the form to the best of your ability – if you’re unsure please You can find the form on our website, or call and ask an MSO to email or post a copy to you. If there is no Order Form, we can’t process the DNA test.
  • Thirdly, please be aware of the time frame involved – just talking straight – it’s not a quick process, which is why we urge members to submit samples for testing well in advance of when results may be needed; particularly in the lead up to a sale or  when  parent

Our DNA coordinator, Nicky Carey, does a great job balancing all the DNA requirements and testing. To make both your life and hers easier, if you could remember those key points it would save a lot of time and hassle for all involved.

Tissue Sampling Units (TSU’s)

At Member Services we love TSU’s for DNA testing. They are fast in the field for collection, clean, have less contamination, they minimise retesting and are efficient for the breeder, Angus Australia and the DNA Laboratories. They save quite a lot of manual handling right through the chain.

In the Spring Bulletin, Allflex had a very helpful Advertorial featuring Greg and Sally Chappell near Glen Innes. If you haven’t used them before, have a read of that article – it is a great guide and an insight into the practicality of the technology from a breeders’ perspective. Recently we have invested in a “Bed scanner” here at Angus Australia to allow us to scan and process boxes of 96 TSU’s at a time. This will allow us to process greater quantities of DNA much faster.

I Would encourage all members to consider making the move to TSU’s. If you have any questions please call the office and speak to either Nicky Carey, myself or our extension officer Matt Reynolds.

A Final Word

I have just finished my first year as Member Services Manager here at Angus Australia and have thoroughly enjoyed this new chapter. I am very proud of our Member Services Team, they are a wonderful group of people doing a fantastic job. I have enjoyed getting to know many members and look forward to speaking with many more of you in the months and years ahead.

Please know that you can always be put through to me if you have any issue that you would like to talk through. At times issues arise that are difficult for members but please be assured that we are here to make your transactions as smooth and efficient as possible while also protecting the integrity of the Angus breed registry and database. Unfortunately, we can’t always fix every issue, but we do our best to find solutions wherever we can.

If you have an issue regarding anything affecting your membership, registrations, Performance Recording, DNA or any other Member Services matter please call and speak to one of our Member Service Officers or myself.

If you have any particularly difficult matters or grievances please don’t hesitate to contact me directly, either by email of phone 02 6773 4636.

Scott Wright, Member Services Manager

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