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New feedyard verification program predicts genetic value

Verified Beef, a PVP certification company, is setting the bar higher with a new, revolutionary verification program. Feedyards can now rely on the “Reputation Feeder Cattle®” (RFC) program which consists of three parts: 1) Genetic Merit Scorecard®, 2) Calf Management, and 3) Age and Source to aid in their procurement decisions.

The Genetic Merit Scorecard® evaluates commercial calves based on a producers’ bull battery, historical average weaning weight, and cowherd size. The Scorecard (in $/cwt) estimates the added genetic value of a ranch’s feeder calves when compared to another set of calves using these same metrics.

The Calf Management component of the RFC program certifies steps taken by the ranch to prepare calves for the next owner, specifically the administration and timing of vaccinations, deworming, and other pre/post weaning management. “We search far and wide for quality feeder cattle and work hard to feed them right and even harder to sell them at the highest value we can,” says Craig Uden, Darr Feedlot, Inc. near Cozad, Nebraska. “The cattle most valuable to us are the ones where we know there is a strong nutritional foundation, a solid health history and who have the genetics to perform; both in the yard and on the rail.”

Age and Source will continue be a foundational element of the RFC program. An increasing number of domestic and global consumers are demanding to know the origins of their food. This component of the program will provide producers the necessary documentation for certain downstream market channel partners.

Additionally, as public awareness of animal care and handling increases, Verified Beef is also introducing a certificate for Cattle Care and Handling (CCH). This program is based on the Beef Quality Assurance standard and will involve an on-site audit. This certification can be combined with any of the current on-site audits Verified Beef offers (NHTC, NE3, and Grassfed).



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