In order to utilize the "Virginia's Finest" trademark, all proposed Purebred Performance Tested Bulls must meet the performance criteria and evaluation standards as listed below. Bulls that attempt to meet the standard must have been born in Virginia or tested in Virginia, must have been fed together as a contemporary group, and there must have been a minimum of 15 head. All must have been on a post weaning gain test, on a feed ration designed to provide a three pound per day gain, for a minimum of 112 days, and must pass an official visual and ultrasound evaluation. Bulls that meet the standard will qualify as a Virginia's Finest Performance Tested Bull. Bulls may be freeze branded and certificates will be given to each buyer listing the bull's actual performance.
Performance Criteria and Evaluation Standards
- A copy of registration papers must accompany each bull and be kept on file by test station management.
- All bulls must have all available official EPD's (Expected Progeny Difference's) provided by the appropriate breed association with at least the EPD's for the following traits: birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, and maternal. Exception: Some embryo transplant bulls may not have individual EPD's available on sale day but may have EPD's based on pedigree estimates.
- Bulls delivered to the test station must weigh a minimum of 2.5 pounds per day of age to be eligible for sale.
- Actual birth weight and in herd birth weight ratio will be provided by the producer, if available, and will become part of the official record.
- Minimum adjusted weaning weight will be 550 pounds, with a minimum weaning weight ratio of 95.
- Bulls must meet established health requirements. They will be TB and Bangs tested.
- Bulls will be fed a minimum of 112 days on a ration formulated to provide an energy level to allow at least a three pound per day gain.
- The minimum adjusted yearling weight will be 1050 pounds, with a minimum yearling weight ratio of 95 within the test group.
- The minimum test gain ratio will be 95.
- The overall index will be calculated with one-half credit given to yearling weight ratio and one-half credit given to test gain ratio.
- Only bulls with a frame score of between 5.0 and 7.9 will qualify.
- Only bulls with a minimum muscling score of 3 or 4 will qualify. All bulls will be officially evaluated for muscling and structural soundness by Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Livestock Marketing personnel. Any structurally unsound bulls will not qualify.
- All bulls will have passed a thorough Reproductive Soundness Exam to qualify, including scrotal measurement and palpation. Bulls over sixteen months of age will have a semen evaluation.
- Ultrasound examination will be made at the end of the test for backfat, ribeye size and intramuscular fat. This information will be included on the official certificate.
- Carcass EPD's, based on availability from breed associations for BF (backfat), RE (ribeye), and MARB (marbling), will be required and will be included on the official certificate.
- The test station manager will observe and record the disposition of each bull during the test period. Any bulls deemed to be of bad disposition will not qualify.
- The test and sale committee working with the sale manager will determine the sale order. They will have the authority to further screen the bulls at the sale site and eliminate any unsound, unfit, and unmanageable bulls.
- All bulls will sell under the terms and conditions as agreed to by consignors, test and sale committee, and sale manager. Terms and conditions will be printed in the sale catalog.
- A Virginia's Finest Certificate, signed by the Virginia test station manager, or a Virginia owner who is participating in a central test station, or an individual Virginia owner conducting their own test, will be given to each buyer of each bull and will list the following information: herd and tattoo number, breed registration number, test and station number, all performance test data, and EPD's. All certification and/or performance data is the responsibility of the issuing party.
Any Virginia central test station, or an individual Virginia owner participating in or conducting a feed test that meets the approved policy standards, must make an application to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, identifying how, when and where the trademark will be used on the product. In addition, each trademark applicant must sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, thereby consummating a guarantee of quality. Benefits and privileges of the "Virginia's Finest" trademark program will then be afforded the identified trademark participant.
Ultrasound test and visual evaluations should be completed at the end of the feed test. Each trademark applicant will issue a fully completed and signed Virginia's Finest Performance Tested Bull certificate to the purchaser of each bull.
G & E FARMS
P.O. Box 955
Gretna, VA 24557
VIRGINIA HEREFORD ASSOCIATION
197 Broadview Avenue
Warrenton, VA 20186