Aberdeen Excellence Program

Aberdeen cattle

American Aberdeen Association Excellence Program (AAEP) recognizes superior animals in the breed and the breeders who raise them. This program includes a Dam of Merit and Sire of Merit designation for those registered American Aberdeen cattle that meet the AAEP merit criteria. The AAEP also includes the various American Aberdeen crossbreeding program designations, allowing producers to utilize fullblood, purebred and percentage American Aberdeen cattle in their operations to the highest benefit. Additional designations and program enhancements to the AAEP will be added as deemed necessary and beneficial to American Aberdeen breeders and the AAA membership.

American Aberdeen Dam of Merit and Sire of Merit Designation

Dam of Merit badge

The American Aberdeen Merit designation was started to further solidify the importance of early puberty, fertility and productivity in the American Aberdeen cow herd and to reward those animals that continuously produce offspring worthy of registration. Ultimately, owners of these Dams of Merit and Sires of Merit benefit from the recognition that superior seedstock bring to each membership.

Dam of Merit Criteria:

  • Dams of Merit must have had a calf before they are 2.3 years of age and calve within a 395-day calving interval. (This calving interval allows heifers to calve earlier than the main cow herd.)
  • Dams of Merit must have a minimum of three natural (non-embryo) calves.
  • Dams of Merit must have at least two of the three qualifying progeny registered.
  • Dams of Merit must be owned by an American Aberdeen dues-paying adult or junior member.
  • Once a cow is designated a Dam of Merit, she is always a Dam of Merit, even though she might not qualify for the listing each year.

Sire of Merit Criteria

Sire of Merit badge
  • Sires of Merit must sire five or more Dams of Merit.

Dams of Merit and Sires of Merit will be identified in all future American Aberdeen pedigrees and registration papers.

For the Merit designation, all progeny information must be submitted by May 1 of each year. This progeny information will be processed, and a list of Dams of Merit and Sires of Merit will be published in early summer of each year.

Merit animals will be identified as such in the electronic herd book as well as on appropriate registration papers. Non-registered progeny information should be submitted through regular registry channels and can be entered for the nominal fee of $2 per animal. If the non-registered animals are fullblood, parent verification is not required unless the animal is upgraded to registered.

*Until May 1, 2022, producers can go back through their entire herd and back-register calves so their older cows who qualify for the program can be included.

American Aberdeen Breed Percentage Designations

Currently, the American Aberdeen Association provides four different programs to make it easy for commercial producers to achieve their cattle breeding goals and select the right tools for crossbreeding.

  • Fullblood cattle trace back to the Trangie Research Center and the original Angus purchased from Canada.
  • American Aberdeen Plus® cattle have 25 to 87.5 percent American Aberdeen blood, with the non-American Aberdeen portion coming from registered American Angus or American Red Angus.
  • Moderator® cattle have 50 to 87.499 percent American Aberdeen blood. Both the sire and dam of a Moderator must be registered with the American Aberdeen Association.
  • Moderator Plus® cattle have 25 to 50 percent American Aberdeen blood with American Aberdeen genetics on at least one side of the pedigree and must be registered with the American Aberdeen Association. Either the sire or dam or both of a Moderator Plus must be registered with the American Aberdeen Association.

Additional programs will be added to the American Aberdeen Excellence Program in order to continue to add value to the American Aberdeen breed.