This Month > Jersey Jargon

Type Advisory Committee

February 2017 - The type program of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) is among its oldest and most widely-used programs. The predecessor of the AJCA—the American Jersey Cattle Club (AJCC)—initiated the first official type program in 1932 with a purpose to “take the show ring to the farm.” The program has evolved into today’s Functional Type Traits Appraisal Program.

Over the past eight-and-a-half decades, the desired type of the Jersey cow and the type program of the national Jersey organizations have been directed by the Type Advisory Committee (TAC), which acts as a liaison between Jersey breeders and the AJCA Board. The committee provides recommendations to the AJCA Board, which ultimately mandates the workings of the program and approves changes.

In this month’s Jersey Jargon column, we’ll further explain the TAC and its role in the type appraisal program.

Type Advisory Committee
Early on, the TAC was comprised of official classifiers who scored cows for the AJCC. The make-up of the committee changed when opportunities to capitalize on commercial cattle markets began to emerge in the 1950s. In December 1959, the AJCC Board appointed a TAC that included five Jersey breeders from across the country.

Today, the TAC is comprised of six Jersey breeders, the AJCA president, the chair of the AJCA Breed Improvement Committee, an A.I. representative and a technical advisor. Breeders and the A.I. representative serve five-year terms. Committee members are appointed by the AJCA Board and commence their terms on January 1.

Currently, the committee is chaired by Ted DeMent, Kenney, Ill. Other Jersey breeders sitting on the committee are Brett A. Barlass, Hilmar, Calif., Buster Goff, Hobbs, N.M., Kip Keller, Byron, N.Y., Bradley Taylor, Booneville, Miss., AJCA President Chris Sorenson, Pine River, Wis., and AJCA Breed Improvement Committee Chair Corey Lutz, Lincolnton, N.C. The A.I. industry representative is Aaron Hurst, ABS Global, and the technical advisor is Dr. John C. Wilk, Raleigh, N.C.

Among the duties of the TAC is to develop and maintain a concept of the desired type of the Jersey breed and make recommendations to the AJCA Board. The committee is charged with implementing this desired type not only in the appraisal program, but also the show ring.

This is accomplished by working with AJCA appraisers and other staff members, breeders, judges, the A.I. industry and other interested parties to maintain uniformity in the application of the desired type. Members of the TAC review scientific information gathered on traits, discuss industry trends and guide the board in defining traits of a profitable Jersey cow. The committee influences what traits are evaluated, including supplemental traits and those that are adopted as official traits, such as the newly added rear teat placement side view and rear teat placement rear view.

The TAC also recommends to the AJCA Board a slate of judges to be considered for the open and junior shows at The All American Jersey Show and the National Jersey Jug Futurity.

To ensure uniformity, AJCA appraisers and TAC members meet once a year at a Registered Jersey farm to establish appraisal standards and obtain maximum uniformity in the manner in which cows are appraised. As well, changes in rules and policy are addressed at the meeting. Each year, a different Jersey farm hosts the workshop to allow appraisers and committee members to work hands-on with a variety of cattle phenotypes.

If you’d like more information on the appraisal program or the TAC, contact Cari Wolfe, Director of Research and Genetic Program Development, by phone at 614-322-4453 or email at