When marketing a set of calves, simply saying they are bred to perform isn’t enough. Potential buyers need documented proof that a group of calves are of certain genetics, and that they are expected to accomplish certain goals.
That’s the rationale behind AngusSource® Genetic. The improved program, implemented by the American Angus Association®, documents Angus genetics, source and age, while also incorporating valuable information from the Association’s vast performance database. Once enrolled, AngusSource Genetic calves are identified in two ways: the official marketing document, and a bright, neon-green ear tag.
“The marketing document is really the centerpiece of the AngusSource Genetic program,” says Ginette Kurtz, AngusSource Genetic quality manager. “The ear tags easily identify the animals, but the marketing document provides the specific details and information buyers want to see before investing in a group of calves.”
The AngusSource Genetic marketing document authenticates a calf’s genetic integrity and potential worth. Each producer is responsible for completing the document with the date and place they plan to sell, along with any management, carcass or vaccination records they wish to provide.
When a group of calves are enrolled, they are given a Lot Number that can be searched online via the Association website, where the marketing documents are housed. The information is also emailed to approximately 600 feed yards and buyers who have expressed interest in verified Angus cattle.
Recent updates to the marketing document include replacement female and feeder carcass values, which are calculated using the Association’s dollar-value indexes.
The replacement female value is the sires’ average weaned calf value index, known as $W, for the group enrolled. Expressed in dollars per head, the $W value is associated with preweaning performance in a cow-calf operation, including both revenue and the cost adjustments associated with calving ease, weaning direct growth, maternal milk and mature cow size.
On the feeder calf side, the feeder carcass value consists of the average of all enrolled calves sires’ beef value index, or $B. Also expressed in dollars per head, $B relates to postweaning gain performance in the feedlot and is combined with value differences in carcass merit.
“Including the replacement female and feeder calf values is a huge benefit to both the producers and buyers,” Kurtz says. “This is the first time we have been able to offer the Association’s trusted performance data alongside documentation for source and group age.”
Also listed on the marketing document is a percentile rank for each value. This number ranks the sires represented on a percentile basis, from 1 to 100, according to the Association’s breed genetic index values. The lower the number, the better the ranking. An easy example is this: if the percentile rank is 10% that means the average sire value is in the top 10% of the Angus breed.
In addition, the marketing document lists the source and group age, which is verified by the Association.
Start looking for the bright, neon-green AngusSource Genetic ear tags to recognize calves enrolled in the program. The Destron Fearing tamper-evident tag is available in three options: visual, e.Tag and ChoiceSet.These fade-resistant, laser-engraved tags have superior readability and retention and include a 15-digit animal identification number (AIN).
For more information about enrolling in the AngusSource Genetic program, contact the Association at 816.383.5100 or visit www.ANGUS.org.