aAa® Animal Analysis originated in the United States in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Created and developed by William A. “Bill” Weeks of North Clarendon, Vermont, this dairy cattle breeding guide is also sometimes known as “Weeks Analysis”, “Triple A” or “Round and Sharp Analysis”. Bill became fascinated with dairy pedigrees while working for Austin Backus Pedigree Company, and his photographic memory allowed him to recall detailed pedigrees from memory for the rest of his life. From 1947 to 1950, Bill Weeks was a classification inspector with the Holstein Friesian Association of America, and during those years he developed a keen eye and an interest in the physical form and function of dairy cattle.
While working as a classifier, Bill observed that all too often, when a bull bred a cow, the resulting offspring was not as good as the mother. He searched for a way to better understand and explain the breeding results he encountered every day. Why are offspring often not of acceptable quality when an acceptable quality cow is mated with a high quality bull? And why do good quality animals sometimes come from below average parents? He found that the pairing of animals in a mating is important.
During Bill’s years as a classifier, dairy breeders were primarily using bulls by natural service and Bill was often able to see the sire and dam of the animals he classified. Bill noticed the sharp bull sired his best offspring when he was mated with cows that were more round and the sharp cow produced her best offspring when she was mated with a rounder bull. Based upon this realization, Bill created “round and sharp” analysis.
The development of the round and sharp analysis concept was, in the beginning, an attempt by Bill to improve his own dairy herd based on his observations and knowledge. Bill and his father, Amherst Weeks, both Vermont Master Breeders, bred and developed an exceptional herd of registered Holsteins under the Skyway prefix. Many leading breeder farms of that era purchased Skyway cattle. Skyway Valla Vista Double is the sire of Holstein legend, Paclamar Bootmaker. When dairymen saw the results of Bill’s “round and sharp” analysis method in his own herd, he was asked by others to do the same for them. This is how aAa® Analysis grew as a service to help breed better cows for dairy producers.
Bill Weeks began providing analysis of dairy cattle to farmers in 1950 under the name “Analyzed Holstein Friesian Cows”. It was quickly adopted by leading breeders of all dairy breeds and used within other species as well. In 1953, this breeding guide was identified by the registered trademark aAa®, which stands for Animal Analysis Associates. By that time other individuals, enthusiastic about the results they saw, had joined Weeks as aAa® Approved Analyzers, providing his breeding guide to dairy producers throughout the U.S.