It’s the information age and cattle producers have more and better data available to them than ever before. Understanding and using this information, ranchers have been able to add value to their calf crop and reap the rewards the market has to offer.
In an effort to keep its customers on the cutting edge of this trend, Superior Livestock and Verified Beef, LLC are partnering to provide ranchers with the best value-based marketing system available for feeder cattle. Recognizing the emerging trend of selling feeder cattle based on their breeding and management history, the companies will jointly offer ranchers the option to certify their calves through Verified Beef’s Reputation Feeder Cattle (RFC) program and then market the calves on Superior Livestock.
Superior Livestock has pioneered value-added marketing of feeder calves. By providing a national marketplace that brought calves directly from the ranch to buyers, Superior Livestock set the standard for successful marketing of top-end feeder cattle. Over the years, ranchers further differentiated their calves through vaccination and weaning programs, again pioneered by Superior. More recently, Superior released their Superior Progress Genetics program that identified the genetic source behind the calves. Now, Superior customers can use the Reputation Feeder Cattle program as a third party verification of both management practices and genetic merit.
Verified Beef, LLC, an industry-leading third-party, verification company, developed the Reputation Feeder Cattle program. The program defines feeder calf value by verifying industry-leading genetics and best calf management practices. Verified Beef’s Reputation Feeder Cattle program differentiates calves based on three fundamental principles:
• Prediction of the performance potential of each herd’s unique genetic composition. Calves are ranked on six traits and assigned a relative market value that predicts their feedlot profitability.
• Documentation of the calves’ nutritional and vaccination history including the products used and the timing of use.
• Certification of the calves’ age and source, along with any other value based program that the producer desires to implement including NHTC, NE3, etc.
“Producers who have invested their time and money pursing best practices and high quality genetics should have their hard work and investments recognized when they sell at auction,” says Danny Jones, president of Superior Livestock Auctions. “We feel that the Reputation Feeder Cattle certification logo in the catalog and at point of sale will help buyers more accurately identify the calves they want.”
“Our mission is to verify, document and promote feeder cattle quality by certifying the merit of sale groups,” says Ralph Peterson, Verified Beef’s director of producer outreach. “Cattle feeders have long known that well-managed cattle with strong genetics for feedlot and carcass traits are worth more. The challenge has been to find and price these calves without having fed them historically. Now, the Reputation Feeder Cattle program changes all that.”
Reputation Feeder Cattle capitalizes on the industry-wide acceptance of expected progeny differences (EPDs) and their successful use to characterize economically important traits. The revolutionary Genetic Merit Scorecard, the core of the RFC program, determines genetic merit on a group basis. It accurately defines a sale group’s potential for gain, muscle, yield, quality grade, feed conversion and carcass weight. RFC then assigns a relative value to the group to allow buyers to compare the group to average calves. The scorecard displays the information in a format that is easy to interpret and understand for both buyers and sellers.
“We feel that the more certified information a buyer has on a set of cattle the more he will be willing to pay for them,” says Joe Lichtie, vice president at Superior. “We understand that this program will not fit everyone, however, this is a step in the right direction. This will be a helpful tool for progressive ranchers to be able to add to their bottom line by more accurately representing their calves to buyers. Likewise, buyers can find calves that have reliable documentation of genetics and management practices that will more consistently meet their expectations.”
“This is simple…Reputation Feeder Cattle is designed to make more money for ranchers who are buying better bulls and spending money on nutrition and health. At the same time, it makes more money for feedlots by identifying the cattle with better performance genetics and verifying cattle health and nutrition management,” says Tim Watts, CEO of Verified Beef.
Superior Livestock Auction and Reputation Feeder Cattle® are developing specific identification protocols that will be implemented in Superior’s sales and marketing programs. Learn more at www.superiorlivestock.com and www.reputationfeedercattle.com.