Multi-breed EPDs and record-setting FCCP enrollment, registrations and GridMaster Awards are focus of convention
New multi-breed EPDs, record Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) enrollment, increased registration growth and record-high GridMaster Awards are positive indicators of Red Angus’ status in the industry. Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) members convened in Springfield, Mo., Sept. 16 – 17, at the Association’s 57th annual convention to conduct business, socialize and celebrate the breed’s milestones.
“Providing genetic and marketing solutions to industry challenges is how we expanded market share,” said RAAA CEO Greg Comstock in his State of the Association address. “Our commercial producers’ increased demand indicates their success using Red Angus genetics and using our FCCP program to market their product.”
Comstock explained that this growth is even more impressive considering the industry lost well over a million beef cows in the U.S. over the past two years, reducing bull needs by 9,000 head. “Competition is fierce,” said Comstock, “yet Red Angus continues to gain market share.”
While other major breeds are experiencing declines in their registration numbers, Red Angus exhibited 3.1 percent annual growth in registrations, continuing RAAA’s growth trend over the past decade.
In addition to registration growth, RAAA reached milestones in their commercial marketing program for the second year in a row. The FCCP – the industry’s most experienced marketing program – reached an all-time record by selling 117,500 tags in one year. Since the programs inception 17 years ago, RAAA has enrolled 1,250,000 calves into the FCCP program.
"The FCCP delivers real-world solutions to add value to Red Angus bull customers’ calf crops while remaining the beef industry's most user-friendly & least expensive age- and source-verified program,” said RAAA Commercial Marketing Director Clint Berry. “Feeders love the program for the same reasons coupled with the assurance that they're purchasing cattle with the ability to convert, gain and grade; and packers are assured a minimum 50 percent Angus makeup that is genetically verified, providing a more consistent end product."
The FCCP program is USDA approved for genetic, age and source verification, offers value-based marketing options and includes free feeder and fed cattle marketing services through the Association.
RAAA presented a record-setting 39 GridMaster Awards for both conventional- and natural-fed cattle harvested through the industry's major packers as well as Meyer Natural Angus. To earn the GridMaster, cattle must be enrolled in the FCCP, harvested in near-load-lot sizes and reach required carcass quality specifications ranking them in the top percentiles amongst all cattle harvested.
Multi-breed EPDs, New Fee Structure and Red Angus Foundation
RAAA celebrated an industry milestone with the release of multi-breed EPDs between RAAA and the American Simmental Association (ASA) this past summer. Growth and carcass EPDs are now calculated on the same model for both breeds, increasing the accuracy of the EPD numbers because of the increased herd database.
By working together, both breeds are better positioned to evaluate emerging technologies and advance the value and accuracy of EPDs. These enhancements will be guided by a joint Technical Advancement Committee (TAC), which will prioritize projects and make budget requests to the respective breeds. TAC will be made up of an appropriate mix of industry, academic and leadership from the respective breeds.
RAAA also changed their fee structure this past year by eliminating A.I. certificates and transfer fees. “Producers can spend less time on paperwork and more time focusing on breeding and raising their cattle,” said Comstock. By registering and transferring seedstock to the new buyers, Red Angus breeders are enabling their customers to participate in the FCCP program and enhance their marketing options and bottom line.
The enhanced and revised Red Angus Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) debuted at RAAA National Convention with a new set of by-laws and special fundraisers to kick off the RAFI’s goals. Among the highlights was the auction of seven limited-edition, signed prints of Tim Cox’s “Where Change Comes Slowly,” that featured Red Angus cattle. The custom-framed prints garnered $28,000 for the general RAFI fund to support juniors, breed improvement or education.
The Junior Red Angus Association (JRA) also auctioned off a bronze of a Red Angus bull and Mont-Vue Farms of Lenoir City, Tenn., donated a heifer during the “Red Angus in the Ozarks” sale held in conjunction with convention. Proceeds of both fundraisers will benefit the JRA.
Board of Director Elections
Joe Mushrush of Strong City, Kan., was elected to serve as RAAA’s President.
Tom Woodward of Decatur, Texas, will serve as First Vice President and director for Region 4 – Southwest.
Tommy Coley of Birmingham, Iowa, was elected to serve as Second Vice President and director for Region C.
Bob Morton of Three Forks, Mont., was elected as director of Region A.
Kevin Miller of Briggsdale, Colo., will serve as director for District 3 – Rocky Mountains.
Barry Horsley, Soper, Okla., was elected as director for District 6 – Great Plains.
Morgan Martin, Leicester, N.C., was re-elected as director for District 7 – Northeast.
Larry Ellison of Fair Grove, Mo., was re-elected as director for District 9 – Midwest.
Next year’s Red Angus convention will be held in Durham, N.C., Sept. 15 – 16. For more information about the Association, visit redangus.org or call the national office at (940) 387-3502.