Medical doctors, business people, politicians and leadership from the University of Missouri all gathered at Briarwood Angus Farms, near Butler, Mo., earlier this month.
The purpose? To learn more about agriculture, specifically quality beef and what it takes to get it to their tables.
Dr. Curtis Long, and his wife Ann, invited acquaintances and area leaders to the field day on Saturday, June 4. It kicked off with a Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand steak dinner.
“This brand is more than a great marketing program,” said Sara Scott, executive account manager for the company, who presented at the event. “It’s based on sound science. It’s defined by 10 quality-based specifications.”
Insufficient marbling is the No. 1 reason cattle don’t qualify.
She walked attendees through the ways CAB works with every segment of the industry, from seedstock producers like Briarwood to end users who sell to consumers.
“We’re interested in adding value for everybody along the supply chain,” she said. The company doesn’t own a single pound of product, so it protects the logo it does own by tracking every pound sold. “It’s all based on pull-through demand. Consumers will pay more for our product, because they recognize the brand stands for taste, juiciness and tenderness.”
Of course, meeting the CAB specifications is not an easy task.
“We had David Warfield, our farm manager, talk to them about what it takes to raise an animal and get them to qualify for Certified Angus Beef,” Long said. “He covered everything from the time they’re born and tattooed to weaning and then getting sent to the feedlot and eventually harvest.”
They know what it takes, too, because they’ve been shooting for a high-quality target for decades.
“If you’re a seedstock producer, you need to feed out some of your own cattle. You never know what you have until you do that for sure,” he said. “For years we’ve used that information to make improvement, to help select which breeding stock we keep back.”
Currently, cattle are being fed at Royal Beef near Scott City, Kan., where they’re reaching 60% to 80% CAB acceptance.
“It’s important to hit that target because it helps improve total consumption of beef and makes for a quality product. It also enhances the value of the Angus cattle we sell,” Long said. “We’ve always been end-product oriented.”
Perhaps that focus is what sparked the idea of a day at the farm.
“It’s not every day that you get to promote your product to the chancellor of the university,” he said, also noting that their senator and state representative both attended. “I think it’s important to reach out to these people so they know what high-quality beef is and what it takes to produce it.”
The 50 guests enjoyed a tour of the nearby native prairies on the farm as well.