Value-added programs in the area |

Value-added programs in the area

AngusLink combines USDA Process Verified Programs with an optional Genetic Merit Scorecard that gives buyers confidence in your calves. From age and source verification, to cattle care and handling, you choose which programs make the most sense for you.

Genetic Merit Scorecard gives producers the ability to effectively communicate the genetic merit of their calves to potential buyers and differentiate their calves from others’ on sale day. The program also serves as a platform to track genetic progress to make sure the next calf crop is better than the last.

Genetic Merit Scorecard helps raise awareness of the genetic potential of your calves. The scoring system conveys a genetic snapshot utilizing the breeding history of your herd into three specific scores. Those scores range from 0 to 200. The higher the score, the better the genetic potential of the group of calves. The GM Scorecard allows buyers, year in and year out, to consistently choose cattle that have documented information on how your calves can potentially gain and grade.

Age & Source certifies the group age and source of your calves. Animals must be traceable to the ranch of origin and have records documenting the first calf born on the operation. A program compliant RFID or Matched Pair Set AngusLink℠ tag will be required for enrollment.

Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC)

This program requires cattle to not receive any added hormones for their entire life cycle. An onsite review must be conducted prior to the calves leaving the ranch of origin. Hormone growth promotants (HGP) may not be used at any time in the cattle being verified. HGPs include MGA or other products used for estrus synchronization, implants such as Ralgro®, Synovex® and Compudose®. If HGPs are used or purchased (even for cattle not being enrolled) on the operation, documentation must be maintained detailing purchases and which animals receive HGPs.

AL-NeverEver3 (NE3)

This is not a stand-alone verification. Enrollment is in conjunction with NHTC verification issued by AngusLink℠. Animals may not receive any antibiotics, HGPs or animal by-products during their life cycle to be in compliance. Fish products are allowed but must be documented. If HGPs, animal byproducts or antibiotics are purchased, documentation must be maintained for purchases and usage on all cattle on the farm or ranch. Enrolled calves that become non-compliant must use the AngusLink℠ fall-out procedure to ensure calves are not marketed as AL-NE-3.

AL-Angus-Sired Genetics

This program documents and verifies, at minimum, the enrolled calves are 50% Angus. Enrolled calves must have been sired by a registered and properly transferred Angus bull, used naturally or by artificial insemination.

AL-Calf Management

This program improves confidence of the buyers. Participating cattle producers will document their preventative animal health program prior to delivery. This is an optional certification and will not be offered as a stand-alone program.

AL-Cattle Care & Handling

This program raises consumer confidence by documenting proper management techniques and showing a commitment to quality within the beef industry. Age and Source verification through AngusLink℠ is a requirement. Your initial enrollment in Cattle Care and Handling will require an onsite review. This is an optional verification and you will need to be current on your BQA certification.

Genetic Merit Scores* are an excellent way to convey to potential buyers the genetic quality of your feeder calf enrollment group. The scores are derived from your previous and current bull battery. Enrollment is optional and free with the Angus-sired Genetic PVP claim. There are three scores that range from 0-200 with 100 representing the industry average feeder calf. Beef Score predicts genetic potential in carcass value and feedlot performance. Feedlot Score takes into account ADG and dry matter intake EPDs in addition to the groups’ potential post-weaning performance. Grid Score is a predictor of carcass merit by utilizing EPD information for marbling, fat and ribeye area.*Genetic Merit Scores are not part of the AngusLink℠ PVP claims.

To earn the Certified Angus Beef ® brand name, cattle must first be Angus-influenced, with a predominantly solid black coat. Then, beef must pass our 10 quality standards:

Marbling and Maturity

1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction

2. Medium or fine marbling texture – the white “flecks of flavor” in the beef that ensure consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite

3. Only cattle harvested younger than 30 months of age qualify as “A” maturity – for superior color, texture and tenderness

Consistent Sizing

4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area

5. 1,050-pound hot carcass weight or less

6. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

Quality Appearance and Tenderness

7. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)

8. Practically free of capillary ruptures (ensures the most visually appealing steak)

9. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)

10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches (safeguards against cattle with more variability in tenderness).

The Red Angus FCCP & Allied Access programs are the industry’s best value in Age and Source Verification. With over 2 million head enrolled, the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) has seen many years of growth as a Genetic, Source and Age Program. The FCCP’s “Yellow Tag” is recognized as the symbol of guaranteed “Angus” genetics and a trusted source for both feeders and packers filling “Angus” product lines. Enhancing the value of Red Angus genetics since 1995, the FCCP builds a reputation through source verification to the ranch of origin and, coupled with group age verification, provides access to export market premiums.

From 2013-2018, producers who used the FCCP tag reaped an average premium of $2.98 per hundredweight (cwt) in comparison to producers selling Red Angus sired calves without the yellow tag. On calves averaging 600 lbs, this advantage would calculate to nearly $18 per head and $1,430 per pot load! Given this, the choice to tag your calves through the FCCP seems obvious with a minimal initial investment of just $0.99 per tag and no enrollment fee. (Source: Superior Livestock Auction Analysis: Kansas State University, Merck Animal Health, and Superior Livestock). Buyers of yellow-tagged calves can capture more downstream value through two grid programs that are open exclusively to FCCP-tagged calves. The Tyson Choice Plus Grid, or Verified Red Angus grid as Tyson cattle buyers know it, pays premiums on upper 2/3rds Choice cattle. There are additional premiums for cattle grading Prime, and a 15% allowance for “out cattle” (heavies, Yield Grade 4 and 5, etc.), with no discounts up to that threshold. The G.O. RED, through Greater Omaha Packing in Omaha, NE, pays premiums for Yield Grade 1 and 2 cattle.

Tyson’s Choice+ Premium Red Angus Grid focuses on the strengths of Red Angus cattle verified through the FCCP ‘yellow tag’ program by rewarding cattle that marble well. Premiums are rewarded for cattle grading choice, upper 2/3 choice and premium. To learn more about the Tyson Choice+ Red Angus Grid, contact Harold Bertz at 940-387-3502 EXT 19.

Meyer Natural Foods (MNF) is one of the largest Natural and Organic beef companies in the US today. The flagship brand of MNF is Meyer Natural Angus (MNA). Started in the mid-1990, the MNA brand has grown to be recognized as one of the superior beef products on the market today. Concentrating their efforts on superior Angus genetics and management practices, the MNA brand is sold to retailers and foodservice outlets across the US. As demand for high-quality beef continues to grow, the MNA program is continually looking for additional cattle to bring into the system. MNA has developed an extensive feedlot base throughout the central U.S. and can assist in connecting cow/calf producers and feeders. To learn more about the MNA program, please review the links listed below. If you still have questions or would like to try to market your cattle through the Meyer system, you can contact our corporate office in Loveland, Colo. at 970-292-5006 or go to our website at

US Premium Beef, LLC, Kansas City, MO, (USPB) is a producer-owned, beef marketing company. USPB is an owner of National Beef Packing Company, LLC, which is the nation’s fourth largest beef processor. USPB is the only large scale company that enables producers to retain ownership of their cattle through producer owned value-added processing in the United States. The beef our members produce is the cornerstone for many of our processing company’s branded product lines including Black Canyon ® Premium Reserve, Certified Premium Beef®, Black Canyon® Angus Beef, Naturewell® Natural Beef, and NatureSource® Natural Angus Beef. In addition, our company also produces Certified Angus Beef® and Certified Hereford Beef®. USPB’s more than 2,100 producers come from 36 states and represent all segments of the beef industry including seedstock producers, commercial cow-calf producers, stocker operators as well as farmer-feeders and custom cattle feeders. All share a common desire to earn greater profits for producing beef designed for today’s consumers. We continue to work with new producers who want to get paid for the value of the beef they produce. USPB recognizes the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) as verification of Angus parentage for inclusion in our Naturewell® Natural Beef and NatureSource™ Natural Angus Beef branded programs. For more information on how you can market your cattle through U.S. Premium Beef, please visit our website or contact Tracy Thomas at (866) 877-2525 or by email at