Invest in Answers

July 9, 2014 08:31 AM
Invest in Answers

AngusSource Genetic incorporates GeneMax DNA test results into marketing document.

Questions are plenty in the cattle business. Whether it’s an inquiry about a certain herd sire, a female’s pedigree or where calves were raised, cattle buyers are interested, now more than ever, about the details surrounding their investments. They want answers on how cattle perform, and the added value they could bring.

"I’m an order buyer. I buy cattle for a lot of people and they want them black," says Craig Verjaska, Omak, Wash. "But more and more, they are also wanting to certify that they are Angus. It’s the Angus – not the black hide – that makes them in such demand."

The American Angus Association® offers a program that gives potential buyers the reassurance they need when making those decisions. AngusSource® Genetic documents group age, source and a minimum 50% Angus genetics, while also incorporating valuable performance information from the Association database.

Now, AngusSource Genetic is joining forces with GeneMaxTM Focus to provide cattlemen with even more data on the marketing document. Available online, the document authenticates the calf’s genetic integrity and potential worth, and is emailed to a targeted group of buyers who have expressed interest in Angus cattle.

Producers who both test their calves using GeneMax Focus – a DNA-based evaluation of an animal’s gain and grade potential – and enroll in AngusSource Genetic can quickly provide those scores to their customer base. Overall GeneMax scores and components specific to marbling and gain are now highlighted in the marketing document, and designated with the GeneMax logo.

"Market trends show us that the demand for quality is only going to increase," says Ginette Kurtz, Association director of commercial programs. "By including GeneMax data into the official marketing document, we are essentially providing confidence that those calves are going to have the potential to perform and qualify for the Certified Angus Beef® brand."

In 2013, packers paid nearly $50 million in premiums for cattle that earned the Certified Angus Beef® brand. That’s according to a Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) Packer Premium Survey, which also found that nearly 30% of cumulative CAB grid premiums were paid in the last three years. Proof that quality beef has taken off in recent years, and Kurtz says the opportunities for cattlemen who document superior genetics have never been greater.

"With sale season on the horizon, we’d encourage producers to think about getting enrolled in the AngusSource Genetic program to recognize added value at market," Kurtz says. "Plus, the combined strength of GeneMax and AngusSource Genetic will provide you valuable information today that’s sure to pay dividends down the road."

It’s one thing to say cattle are bred to perform, it’s another to prove it using data.

Between high input costs and weather challenges, the stakes are high when raising cattle in today’s industry. The more performance information, backed by science, that producers have at their fingertips, the more likely they are to be happy with those investments. And return again for the next calf crop.

"I can put X-number of pounds of hay or corn silage into an animal that I don’t know the data on, or I can put it into one that I’m relatively confident is going to gain and improve in quality because the genetics tell me that he’s going to do that," Verjaska says. "You’ve already got that part of the equation ironed out. It’s no longer a guessing game."

Source: American Angus Association

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