The American Angus Assn. has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Verified Beef, including its proprietary Reputation Feeder Cattle program. The deal underscores the association’s commitment to programs that increase the use of registered Angus bulls in the commercial segment, growing value for the Angus breed and the entire membership.
Association chief executive officer Allen Moczygemba said establishing a feeder calf program built on the use of registered Angus bulls that ties calves back to superior Angus genetics was a strategic priority set by the board in 2016.
“By marrying the advanced technology platform and proprietary software from Verified Beef with the strength and scale of the Angus brand, the association will deliver a feeder calf program that is not only invaluable to commercial cattlemen but is unmatched in the industry,” he said.
Cattle feeders need metrics that align with the traits most valuable to their business, specifically gain and grade, Moczygemba said. The Angus feeder calf program will provide a simple tool that validates the genetic potential of feeder calves.
The association said it will build on the Reputation Feeder Cattle program. While the current offering is based on a dollar scoring system, its underlying data analysis methodologies and computer modeling can be adapted to alternative scoring systems, such as the indexing system envisioned by the American Angus Assn.
“We’re confident that as (cattle producers) better understand the overall performance of Angus genetics, they’ll replace other breeds in their bull battery with Angus bulls,” Moczygemba said.
“Selling calves the old-fashioned way, without genetic data, doesn't work,” according to Tim Watts, CEO of Verified Beef.
“Top Angus calves are consistently undervalued by several dollars per hundredweight or more,” Watt said. “Calves from several other popular breeds are often significantly over valued, and the only way to fix this broken marketplace is for the American Angus Assn. to implement an industry-changing feeder calf program.”
The program, which will be configured and integrated with existing Angus systems, is expected to be available in the summer of 2018. An index scoring system will replace the estimated dollar values currently offered. Herds will receive three genetic indexes: average daily gain, quality grade and a score for replacement heifers.
Moczygemba said, “The index scores will help our ultimate customers -- commercial cattle feeders and (cattle producers) -- make informed decisions, even in the fast-paced sale barn.”
The American Angus Assn. is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving nearly 25,000 members across the U.S. and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.
Verified Beef, founded in 2007, is a Montana-based company that provides animal identification, traceability and process verification to help cattle producers market cattle. Verified Beef offers several U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, such as Age & Source Verification, Non-Hormone Treated Cattle, Never Ever 3, Grass-fed, Calf Management and Cattle Care & Handling, to help producers sell into niche markets. Its proprietary Reputation Feeder Cattle program evaluates calf group inherent genetic merit, documents its calf management history and then predicts its performance potential both in the feedyard and as carcasses on the rail.