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Certification programs drive beef business

Photo courtesy of the American Angus Association

U.S. cattle producers were shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, yet they overcame market disruptions caused by limited processing at meatpacking facilities. As we reflect on a challenging year, we look at how farmers managed to pull through.

Troy Marshall serves as director of commercial industry relations for the American Angus Association. Marshall says value added programs attributed to producers success in 2020.

“Despite all (of) the disruptions we had, high quality cattle with superior genetics that have documentation and verification, saw significant premiums in the marketplace. The takeaway for cow-calf producers is if you want to maximize profits and prices in today’s environment, you need to be able to document the genetic value of the cattle, as well as the management you’re putting in,” Marshall says.

The American Angus Association offers AngusLink, a USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) combined with an optional Genetic Merit Scored.

Marshall believes certification programs will continue to play an important role in the beef business, as witnessed over the past several years.

“We know consumers want a product that tastes good, but they want to know it’s good for them and their family, and good for the planet. I think certification programs are geared for those components and cattle fit those needs,” Marshall says.

“Ironically, disruptions in the marketplace taught us the value of supply chains and value of documentation. I think producers are going to be more consumer-oriented and we’re going to embrace things that will give us opportunities to be more profitable in the future,” Marshall says.