Bull Hill Ranch of Gray Court. S. C., won the prestigious Grid Master Award for raising and feeding Red Angus cattle that meet and exceed strict carcass quality specifications. The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) awarded a record-setting 47 Grid Master Awards to Red Angus breeders and feedlots at the RAAA's national convention in Durham, N.C., Sept. 15 – 16.

Bull Hill Ranch fed their cattle at Ranger Feeders of Dighton, Kan., and harvested them on the U.S. Premium Beef grid. The lot of 54 head graded 85 percent Choice with 70 percent Yield Grade 1 or 2 and no Yield Grade 4 carcasses. This is the first Grid Master Award on cattle from the eastern seaboard. Grid score: 112.

Red Angus ranches and feeders achieved a new level of excellence this year as an outstanding 64 loads of cattle – over 2,500 head – reached tremendous yield and quality combinations to earn Grid Master status. This is the largest number of Grid Masters ever awarded in the eight-year history of the award.

“The RAAA presented a challenge to breeders, commercial ranches and feed yards to harvest Red Angus cattle at tighter quality and yield specifications than ever before,” said RAAA Director of Value Added Programs Myron Edelman. “Not only did Red Angus producers hit a more difficult target, they exceeded the Grid Master record for the third consecutive year.”

In order to achieve Grid Master status, Red Angus or Red Angus-influenced cattle enrolled in the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) must achieve a specified level of carcass excellence. Both conventional- and natural-fed cattle are eligible for Grid Master consideration.

Conventional-fed cattle must meet the following requirements:

• Minimum of 30-head lot size

• Minimum 85 percent Choice or higher

• Maximum 5 percent Yield Grade 4

• 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 90 percent Choice or higher

• Maximum 10 percent Yield Grade 4

• Minimum Grid Score of 100

All four major packers – U.S. Premium Beef, JBS USA, Tyson and Cargill –harvested Red Angus Grid Master qualifiers in 10 different plant locations. Myer Natural Angus reported the largest number of Grid Master winners with 30 lots, and the Painted Hills Natural Program also harvested award-winning Red Angus cattle.

“Challenging those who produce and feed Red Angus cattle has proven to only make them rise to the level of the task,” said Edelman. “This has strengthened the value of Red Angus by building reputations of cattle that we know have proven maternal traits, the ability to efficiently convert feed and produce a valuable end product.”

For more information about enrolling your cattle in the Feeder Calf Certification Program, contact the RAAA office at (940) 387-3502 or visit RedAngus.org.

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