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State Heifer Validation

 2014-2015 Texas 4-H/FFA Heifer Validation Program
Texas is privileged to have the largest junior breeding heifer program in the nation. However,
the sheer size of Texas, diversity in counties and beef breed associations has created some
challenges for effectively and fairly managing the program. Because of numerous breed
divisions offered, there are inconsistencies in how breed associations record purchase and
transfer information. Heifer validation is being initiated to ensure a level playing field for all
junior breeding beef heifer exhibitors and to present a unified approach to verifying breeding
beef heifer registration papers, ownership and physical possession. Further, history has proven
collecting DNA hair samples during validation has added integrity to market animal divisions.
Therefore, we are implementing a statewide electronic verification process in addition to
requiring the physical validation of breeding beef heifers. An electronic verification process will
ensure that ownership has been transferred by the respective ownership deadlines. The
verification process along with the added physical validation component will allow for certifying
exhibitor ownership, possession, heifer identification (tattoo/band) far in advance of each
respective major livestock show. Full and part-time personnel will be required to effectively
review and validate all submitted heifer registration papers and to enforce rules during the
participating major livestock shows.

An electronic verification for heifer registration papers would serve four primary purposes:
1) Ensure ownership has been transferred by the respective ownership deadline
2) Eliminate backdating of junior heifer ownership
3) Allow heifer verification chair and co-chair to communicate any disqualifications
prior to arrival to show
4) Allow for a more efficient check-in process

Physical Validation would serve four primary objectives:
1) Ensure ownership and physical possession of heifer in designated county on validation day(s).
2) Physical viewing of tattoos/brands allows for verification tattoos/brands match the
registration paper reducing disqualifications at major livestock shows.
3) DNA collection provides a robust system to authenticate that the heifer presented at
physical validation is the same heifer exhibiting at major livestock shows.
4) Allow County Extension Agents and Ag Science Teachers to continue building positive
relationships with breeding heifer exhibitors.


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