American Angus Association announced today 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 CEO Allen Moczygemba says 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 says.
Cattle feeders need metrics that align with the traits most valuable to their business, specifically gain and grade, Moczygemba explains. The Angus feeder calf program will provide a simple tool that validates the genetic potential of feeder calves.
The Association 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 American Angus Association.
“We’re confident that as cattlemen better understand the overall performance of Angus genetics, they’ll replace other breeds in their bull battery with Angus bulls,” Moczygemba says.
According to Tim Watts, chief executive officer of Verified Beef, “Selling calves the old fashioned way, without genetic data, doesn’t work.”
“Top Angus calves are consistently undervalued by several dollars per cwt. or more,” Watt says. “Calves from several other popular breeds are often significantly over valued, and the only way to fix this broken marketplace is for the AAA 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 summer 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 says, “The index scores will help our ultimate customers, commercial cattle feeders and cattlemen, make informed decisions, even in the fast-paced sale barn.”