A value-based program that rewards commercial cattle producers for raising superior-performing cattle — but without the risk common to other value-added programs — is what the American Hereford Association (AHA) says it offers with its new Hereford Verified Network (HVN) program.

The new source-verification program from AHA and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC will engage all facets of the beef supply chain, AHA says. It creates an open-market supply of CHB-eligible cattle and pays real premiums to program participants. The organization says HVN will allow commercial cattle producers to receive traditional alliance benefits — such as an open market, information and quality-based premiums — without the risk of owning the livestock or feeding cattle.

Jim Williams, CHB vice president of supply, says HVN is about more than product traceability. It adds value up and down the line, and it will engage Hereford seedstock providers, commercial cattle producers and selected cooperating feedlots. The cattle will be harvested by National Beef Packing (NBP) LLC.

The program aims to deliver genetic-, source- and age-documented beef to the retailer's door in a pull-through demand system, Williams says. Two levels of involvement are offered. A Yellow Tag program tracks genetics, source and age, while a Green Tag program only accounts for source and age. Green Tag program participants qualify for $2-3/head bonus while the participants in the Yellow Tag program enjoy $2-$6/head.

All HVN program participants qualify for direct marketing to five CHB preferred feeders, receive carcass performance data and benchmarking, obtain feedlot performance data and benchmarking, and have the option of individual carcass data at a discounted price.

For more information, contact the AHA at 816/842-3758 or visit the Hereford Verified Web page at: www.herefordverified.com.