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Agricultural News

CAB's Justin Sexton Shares His Insight on How Quality Cattle Make the Certified Angus Beef Brand

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 11:16:23 CST

CAB's Justin Sexton Shares His Insight on How Quality Cattle Make the Certified Angus Beef Brand What can you do to increase the beef quality level in your herd? We talked with the Certified Angus Beef brand’s Director of Supply Development to gain insight on reaching their quality standards.

About three out of ten Angus-type cattle reach the quality standards set by the Certified Angus Beef brand. Any chance of qualifying starts with marketing to one of the brand’s many partners.

“To get cattle into the Certified Angus Beef brand, the first step is, they must be sold to a licensed packer,” said Justin Sexten, director of supply development for Certified Angus Beef. We work with about eighty-five percent of the packing industry today, and so once they’ve gone through a licensed packer, they’ll be identified as ‘Angus type’ and that’s predominately black-hided. And then after that, they’re evaluated by the USDA grading system to evaluate them for the ten carcass-based specifications.”

Watch a short video-clip featuring Justin Sexten, Director of Supply Development at the Certified Angus Beef brand, share his insight on how cattle make the quality standards required for the brand, by clicking or tapping the PLAYBOX in the window below.

Since most of them do not qualify, it’s important to understand what keeps them out.

“The factors limiting acceptance into the Certified Angus Beef brand is first and foremost inadequate marbling,” Sexton said. “Ninety-two percent of the cattle that don’t make it into the brand don’t have modest zero marbling or greater. After that, excessive ribeye area. Having more than sixteen square inches of ribeye results in about eleven percent of the cattle being excluded. And, third, over a thousand and fifty pounds. Nine percent of the cattle get excluded for that reason.”

In the bigger picture, it helps to have the cattle genetics and health management that contribute to success.

“The mantra that a calf should never really have a bad day to make it into the Certified Angus Beef brand still holds true,” he said. “The unique aspect of the stocker period is there is a tremendous amount of flexibility to ensure those good days occur. We can feed ’em a variety of different ingredients, we can manage them a variety of different ways. So long as they’re gaining over about two pounds a day, consistently, during that period from weaning to about 825 pounds.”

Why eight hundred and twenty-five pounds?

“Marbling development begins prior to weaning,” he explained, “but we really start to fill up those cells that we developed early on once those calves begin to hit about 800, 850 lb., or about 67 percent of mature weight.”

Most ranchers wean calves much lighter than that, sustaining a popular notion that it is up to the feedyard to add quality, but it’s more like passing the baton in a relay.

“The idea that we can just add marbling at the feedlot phase would not be true,” Sexton concluded. “But that calf’s genetic potential for marbling is set at conception and we provide adequate nutrition and management to allow that marbling to develop from the day it’s born all the way through to the feedyard.”

Source - Certified Angus Beef



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