Mesa De Maya Ranch of Branson, Colo., earned the prestigious GridMaster Award at the National Red Angus Convention in Cheyenne, Wyo., Sept. 17-19. The GridMaster Award recognizes producers and feeders whose cattle achieved carcass excellence when harvested.
Mesa De Maya Ranch's cattle scored 94 percent Choice and earned 58 percent Premium Products on their lot of cattle harvested through the Cargill plant at Fort Morgan, Colo., on the Angus America Grid. The cattle were fed at Century Feeders in Goodland, Kan.
Fourteen producers and feeders were recognized as GridMaster winners. “2008 will go down as the year Red Angus cattle put high-priced corn to good use by setting new records for the number of GridMaster award winners,” said Greg Comstock, executive secretary of the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). “Carcass excellence at this level requires the combination of superior Red Angus genetics with skilled management and timely marketing.”
In order to achieve GridMaster status, Red Angus or Red Angus-influenced cattle that are enrolled in the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) must be harvested through the Angus America or Meyer Natural Angus grids; or through Tyson's Pasco, Wash., plant providing they meet either the conventional- or natural-fed GridMaster specifications.
The Grid Score balances high percentages of Premium Products, Yield Grade 1s and 2s and USDA Choice-Grade cattle with minimal percentages of Yield Grade 4s.
Conventional-fed cattle must meet the following requirements: minimum of 30-head lot size, minimum 80 percent Choice or higher, maximum 7.5 percent Yield Grade 4 and minimum Grid Score of 100.
To account for the different finishing characteristics of Natural-fed cattle, they must meet the following criteria: minimum of 30-head lot size, minimum 85 percent Choice or higher, maximum 15 percent Yield Grade 4 and minimum Grid Score of 100.
“It has been truly incredible to see this number of GridMaster winners – from both established and new programs – at a time when the price of corn and the Choice-Select spread has not inspired folks to feed for this type of carcass performance,” said Comstock.
If you would like to know more about the GridMaster or Feeder Calf Certification Programs, contact Mikalena Randazzo or Clint Berry at the RAAA national office at (940) 387-3502.