Add this to the possible ways of adding value to the calves and feeder cattle you’re trading: verified carbon credits.

According to IMI Global, the first such calves and carbon credits were marketed at last week’s Superior Livestock Video Royal XVII sale at Winnemucca, NV. Carbon credits attached to the calves were verified by IMI Global’s VerifiedGreen program.

Mayfield Ranch of Hidalgo, NM, sold the calves. Buyers paid one price for both the cattle purchased at auction and the carbon credits associated with the sustainable activities of the ranch.

"We are very excited to be participating in the carbon market with IMI Global and VerifiedGreen. It has been hard to determine the actual value of carbon credits, but this program ensures the benefit of our credits will stay in the beef industry and not be sold to benefit another industry,” says Butch Mayfield, owner of Mayfield Ranch. “One group of the cattle we sold brought $1.36/lb. and topped the market that day so we are very pleased with the results."

According to John Saunders, IMI Global CEO, the company developed VerifiedGreen to address sustainability programs such as the initiative recently introduced by Wal-Mart.

"The benefit of marketing carbon credits attached to cattle or other commodities is that it simplifies the process for farmers and ranchers," Saunders explains. "Instead of having to develop new markets and customers for the credits they have to sell, farmers and ranchers can provide additional value to their current customers already buying the cattle. As cattle move through the production process, subsequent owners will be able to bank these credits and offset their own emissions. Eventually, consumers who buy the sustainably produced food products at retail will be the primary drivers pulling these products through the process."