(1) Decision to use “aAa”
My grandfather and father used the early “aAa” method in their dairy herd from 1955 to 1963. I observed the last analyzation visit as a nine year old in 1963 on 33 cows.
My father worked for Curtiss Breeding Service first as an inseminator then as distributor to other inseminators. I got to ride along on annual bus tours to the Curtiss bull barns, and demonstrations of the “aAa” procedure were a usual part of the open house program.
Many of his customers utilized this service and as I often rode with him I could generally observe they had the better herds of cows in their neighborhood.
Four different “aAa” approved analyzers worked in my personal herd after we started our own dairy in 1980: George Reed, Albert Bingham, Ted Krueger, and Byron Bryant. All of these four were trained in the method by “aAa” founder William A Weeks of Vermont.
All had backgrounds either in farm and herd management and artificial insemination (in the case of Ted and Byron, as sire analysts for the Curtiss and Carnation companies).
(2) Decision to learn “aAa”
Because I knew from our business activity the location of most dairy farms in Michigan, I was allowed to ride with Ted and later Byron in their calls around the state, observe first-hand and ask questions pertinent to the procedure.
This typically meant a commitment of one week every other month, to maintain schedule against the calving of new cows into their breeding herds. Between visits I would study our cows at home to see if I could arrive at the same results as given by my mentors.
Both Mr Krueger (who passed away after two years of our travel together) and Mr Bryant (who followed him in Michigan) informed Mr Weeks I was ready to be tested for “aAa” competency. I was sent materials from Ed Hubbell, the “aAa” manager, including three photo characteristic tests, on which I scored 72%, 64% and 80% (60% was the minimum for initial approval). I then became an “approved” analyzer. This was 1995.
(2) Qualification for “aAa” bull committee
My years in active roles for marketing within major AI organizations brought me into the regular observation of the bulls being marketed in these organizations. Thus my lack of a formal agricultural education was replaced by immersion in the hands-on application of both genetic evaluation and qualitative analyzation methods. My name is known
I had my first AI bull schedule in 2005 and have been on regular schedules since 2010.