The nation's largest beef packer now offers Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand premiums for AngusSource-tagged calves that qualify.
The Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Lexington, Neb., rails off these Angus-based cattle for certified Angus program evaluation by the USDA.
Historically, “Angus-type” was defined only by a phenotypic, 51 percent black-hided criterion. In April, Tyson became the second packing company to accept this form of genotypic verification as well.
“This is great news for commercial producers who are working to raise high-quality calves, but color kept them from getting any CAB premiums,” says Mark McCully, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB). “Now that we know their genetics, they'll also be considered for the brand.”
“Adding another packer just increases the scope of this opportunity,” the CAB supply development director says.
AngusSource is a leader in the Angus genetic-, source- and age-verified arena. The USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) requires calves to be at least 50% Angus—sired by a registered and transferred Angus bull. Cattle are enrolled at the ranch of origin and group age is documented as the month, day and year of birth for the firstborn calf in the group.
John Butler, CEO of the Beef Marketing Group (BMG), is excited about this new option.
“It makes more cattle available to our program,” he says. “Cattle with good genetics, cattle with good feeding performance and cattle with excellent carcass performance as well. That's a huge advantage for us.”
BMG is a marketing cooperative consisting of 14 feedyards in Kansas and Nebraska and markets cattle in its five natural-focused yards on in cooperation with Tyson.
“We're heavily involved in a program where Certified Angus Beef is our target. It's not an unintended consequence,” he says. Until this spring, they only accepted black-hided, Angus-based calves into this program.
BMG recently purchased and fed a group of 150 smoky Charolais-Angus crossed calves from North Carolina. With Angus Source verification, some loads earned more than 50 percent CAB acceptance.
“They were preconditioned and weaned, which is excellent preparatory work to ensure a high level of CAB,” Butler says. “There are other cattle that normally would not be eligible for our program that could be if the producer participates in AngusSource.”
Sara Moyer, director of Angus Source, says the PVP has enrolled more than 132,000 cattle since it began in October 2005. More than 12 million cattle were evaluated for the CAB brand in 2006
Since 1995 packers have paid producers more than $200 million in value-based grid premiums for cattle accepted into the brand. For more information on the CAB products and programs, visit CABpartners.com.