Maybe I am missing somethiing here. Was not the $100 fee only for rush registrations? To me that sounds like a very good incentive for breeders to get their registrations in, rather than sending them in at the last minute and wanting them done IMMEDIATELY.From what I have been told, it has become normal for the office to become dumped on with a huge number of registrations and transfers before each major show. I think the $100 fee is a very fair charge that allows any breeder to move to the front of the line, so to speak. I am sure if they had put a $25 or $50 fee for this rush service, we would not see many comments about this, on here or anywhere else...... and little would have changed. The $100 fee should be an incentive for you to send in your work in an orderly,timely fashion... and it still permits for the occasional items to move to the front of the line. I would think that should also result in fewer registration errors as the most mistakes happen when the staff is literally swamped. I appears that the $100 fee has done part of what it was intended for... it has got your attention.
This rush service fee was not imposed as a method to fleece the membership. I think it was imposed with the intention of spreading out the workload and allowing the staff to do their work properly without losing their sanity. I happen to think this is a very, very good idea!
I will admit that the ASA has seen some turmoil and major changes in the last year, but it appears to me that these are gradually working themselves out. Not only did they have major staff changes but they also had new registry programs and computers to deal with. The new programs also will allow for registrations online, and I know there have been some glitches that have had to be resolved. I have found the present employees at the ASA and Shorthorn Country to be very cordial and willing to help whenever I have called. I recently received registration papers on 3 head that I wanted to get registered in the ASA. I still have the envelop that they came in, and from the post mark it took 6 days to arrive here ( including a weekend). It was just under 3 weeks earlier that I sent the work to the ASA so if it took the same amount of time to get it to them, they did have the work completed and mailed back to me in less than two weeks. I kinda doubt that I have any extra pull with the ASA employees!! I do think that this was much worse a few months ago, but I do see major improvements.
I just looked at the fees for registration and transfer services at the ASA and I happen to think they are quite reasonable for a smaller association. Of course, larger associations can provide services a a little less cost, as their costs are spread over more members and more items processed. It costs $15 to register a calf up to 12 months of age. Surely you can tell if a calf is good enough to register prior to it reaching one year of age. If it is an AI calf, there is an additional $5 fee. A transfer is $11 if done within 60 days of the sale. An annual membership can be purchased for $35. To me, these fees are very reasonable. You cannot licence your dog for $35!They are " comparable" to most any other breed I can think of, and if your calves are not worth the $15 to register them, well, I would suggest that you should consider crossbreeding most of your cows .After all, heterosis is probably the only free thing I can think of in this business. These fees are very reasonable in the world we live in. I filled my truck with gas yesterday and it cost over $100.
In regards to some people having more "pull" in the ASA than others, I think this happens in EVERY breed. I have been involved in quite a few breeds over the years and this has been a major problem in EVERY ONE OF THEM. A major league sales manager in a major breed, told me that he would only manage my production sale if I purchased my herd bulls from a select set of breeders that he was involved with. He also told me that he could not assist me in marketing any animals I consigned to sales he managed.... if I " played the game" and regularly purchased breeding stock in his sales. I do not like this stuff any more than any one else... and I will assure you that no one tells me where I buy and sell my cattle. I buy a herd sire when I find the one I am looking for, whether it be from a small unknown breeder, or from a national breed sale. Personally the politics I have seen in several breeds other than Shorts is far more advanced than anything I have ever experienced in this breed. I have never had anyone in the Shorthorn breed tell me where I should buy my breeding stock.
I can think of no breed where the " small breeder" can play a major role than in the Shorthorn breed. I guess it depends on what you mean by the term" small breeder". If it only means the size of your herd, I can think of numerous breeders with less than 20 cows that have had considerable impact and success. I know of one breeder with 8 cows that consistently sells 3 or 4 bulls each year for more a $4000 average. Not too many " Big breeders' can match his success in this regard. I know of a very small breeder with less than 15 cows that has shown at Louisville on two occasions. He has two divisional heifer calf champions and has had people lined up at his stall trying to buy his animals. Each year he has sold all the animals he has taken to the show, out of his stall at prices he has set. Why does he have success? The main reason is he brings out good cattle... and good cattle will get noticed no matter how many cows you have at home. He also treats people in a fair and friendly manner and does not get involved in any politics. I don't think it is the number of cows one has that matters as much as it is the quality of the cattle you produce, the image you have developed for your product ( the last time I checked there was no cow herd size requirement for buying advertising) and the reputation you have developed for yourself and your program. All of these items have an affect on how much success you will have as a breeder... in any breed.
When BSE hit Canada, I learned a very valuable lesson. For several months, it was hard to sell any cattle as virtually all cattle markets stalled. After the first year of this, I realized that in my operation, 7 cows has generated over 60% of the income received from my cattle. This proved to me that the number of cows you have is not the issue... it is what cows you have... and how you market and promote them. A small breeder can have as much impact as any large breeder.
One of my herd sires came from a herd of 11 cows. He is now being marketed in over 100 countries. I found one of my donor females in a herd that had had 6 purebred cows and a couple of crossbreds. I tried to buy her as a heifer calf and didn't get it done. I urged this breeder to get her fit and take her out to a few shows. He did this and she won a National Championship. I was able to get her purchased as a bred heifer. She has now generated many many times what I paid for her in offspring and embryos. Embryos from her have sold to 6 countries in the past 3 years. Several years ago, we imported a bull from Ireland named IDS Duke of Dublin. Duke came from a breeder who had 1 cow that he kept in his back yard. Each year the breeder would lead this cow 7 miles to the Quane's to get her bred... and then lead her back home. It is hard to be a smaller breeder than this guy was. We purchased him and paid him a hefty price, because this bull was the best bull we could find.
One more comment then I will quit. From time to time, issues will appear that you don't agree with, in the ASA or any other organization you are involved in. If you feel strongly enough about them, you certainly have the right to try to change them. The so called few who run everything, have no more clout than you do when it comes to voting than you do. Each delegate has only as a certain number of votes based on the membership in their area. I am sure that if you are upset with any program, that there will be others of like mind. It may take some of your time, but if it is important enough, you can make changes. If you feel strongly enough about what is happening you can work to become a delegate yourself or work to get someone else elected that is of like mind. You have to decide whether you are going to become part of the problem... or part of the solution.