Producers to be paid grid premiums for AngusLink Beef Scores

The American Angus Association; National Beef Packing Co., LLC; IMI Global; and U.S. Premium Beef, LLC announces new grid premiums to take effect in August and December, based on genetic merit data.

May 20, 2024

4 Min Read

View our interview with Mark Gardiner and Troy Marshall.

For the first time, cattlemen can earn grid premiums based on the genetic merit of their cattle, stemming from their investment in superior genetics. National Beef Packing Co., LLC (NBP) announces the addition of new premiums on their U.S. Premium Beef, LLC (USPB) grid for qualified cattle based on their AngusLinkSM Genetic Merit ScorecardSM (GMS). AngusLinkSM value-added programs are administered by the American Angus Association® in partnership with IMI Global. 

Effective for cattle harvested Aug. 5, a grid premium of $5 per head will be paid for cattle with a Beef Score of 100 or greater on the AngusLinkSM GMS. This will be exclusively available for cattle marketed through USPB and delivered to NBP plant locations in Liberal and Dodge City, Kansas.

 On Dec. 1, a second grid premium, $10 per head for cattle with a GMS Beef Score of 150 or greater, will take effect. Those scoring 100-149 will continue to receive the $5/head premium. These premiums will be in addition to all other premiums and discounts available based on grading and carcass performance.

 “National Beef is pleased to offer U.S. Premium Beef members this grid premium and new program in cooperation with the American Angus Association,” said Chad Barker, vice president of cattle procurement with NBP. “We’re excited to be adding another chapter to our history of creating innovative ways to reward producers for high-quality cattle.”

 Mark Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch and chairman of the USPB board of directors said this announcement is revolutionary, and he hopes it will inspire others to feed better beef through supporting advancements in genetics.

 “This is revolutionary from the standpoint that there has never been a grid incentive based upon genetic merit,” Gardiner said. “We’re very thankful for National Beef and U.S. Premium Beef recognizing the value of genetics as identified by the AngusLink program.”

Brian Bertelsen, USPB vice president of field operations said, “For over 26 years, the USPB value-based grid has rewarded cattle that excel in carcass quality. This new program is an incentive for cattle feeders who market on the USPB grid to seek out and buy feeder cattle that are genetically designed to not only excel in carcass traits, but also growth and efficiency.”

The GMS objectively describes performance potential across four areas using a range from 0 to 200, with the industry average being 100. Beef Score predicts genetic potential for feedlot performance and carcass value and is calculated using the Association database and genetic information on sires and the cow herd.

“This is a significant step for the industry and speaks to the continued evolution of value-based marketing,” said Mark McCully, CEO of the Association. “National Beef understands the importance of genetics and is directly rewarding producers for their investment.” 

USPB also said the third-party verification provided by IMI Global was a key factor in the decision to move forward with these plans. 

Doug Stanton, senior vice president of sales and business development with IMI Global, said, “This new value-added opportunity rewards commercial cow-calf producers for the superior Angus genetics they have developed over the years in their operations. The Genetic Merit Scorecard values, along with third-party Age and Source verification, provide a complete package of product predictability and traceability to the beef industry and our loyal consumers.” 

Cattle will need to qualify with their GMS Beef Score at least two weeks before harvesting. Most cattle currently receive a GMS prior to leaving their ranch of origin.

 In addition, USPB is instituting a $1 per head premium, effective May 13, for each low-frequency EID tag that is read and assigned to a carcass ID number within each lot. No minimum number of tags will be required within a lot. 

There is no additional cost associated with the GMS program, aside from IMI Global's Age and Source verification enrollment, which includes an EID tag.

 Troy Marshall, director of commercial industry relations with the Association, said the timing of the announcement is beneficial for cow-calf producers.

 “Not only will previously enrolled cattle be eligible starting the first part of August; but as we enter the summer video sale season, it will also provide an additional incentive and additional buyers for those cattle selling with the GMS,” he said. “Cow-calf producers will have the opportunity to enroll and take advantage of this program with this year’s calf crop. The investment in time and money to enroll in AngusLink is extremely small and the ROI is growing exponentially as the market continues to embrace the scorecard.”

 To qualify for the GMS, sires must be predominantly (50% or more) registered Angus and 75% of the bull battery must be registered.

 “Obviously, this is a transformative change, but the real impact will be longer term,” Marshall said. “This is a big step forward in rewarding producers for investing in genetics and will help to facilitate information flow and feedback between the segments of our business.”

Bertelsen also said feeders can lease USPB delivery rights, when available, to market cattle through USPB. Those interested should please call USPB at 866-877-2525 or visit for more information.

 For questions about the GMS or AngusVerifiedSM, call 816-383-5100, or contact AngusLinkSM via email at [email protected]. IMI Global can also be reached to help start an enrollment at 303-895-3002, or producers can complete its contact form to get started at //

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