When every dollar counts, cow-calf producers take stock of what they have to offer. They look for ways to add value to their calves. For more than 21,000 of those calves, the owners decided the best way to add value was simply to document it.
During March, 84 Angus producers helped themselves by enrolling their calves in the AngusSource Process Verified Program.
“That was a monthly record,” says Sara Snider, director of AngusSource. “These calves from across the country, verified for source, group age and Angus genetics, represented a 50.7% increase compared to March 2008 enrollments.”
AngusSource became a USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) in October 2005. Since then nearly 320,000 calves have been enrolled by more than 1,300 Angus producers. “The growth of the program and the number of repeat customers is a testament of their confidence in AngusSource and the value the program adds to their calves,” she says.
“Our analysis of the 2008 Superior Livestock video auction data showed that calves enrolled in AngusSource brought $3.37 per cwt more than non-verified calves,” Snider says. “Calves that have sold so far in 2009 show those premiums are still being paid for good cattle that are verified.”
Premiums persist because the value persists. “The AngusSource program offers a way to add value at every step of the production chain,” says Jim Shirley, vice president of industry relations at the American Angus Association®. “The ranch program allows producers to capture additional value by verifying the source, age and genetics of their calves. Enrollment in AngusSource at the ranch means calves qualify for many branded beef export markets and meet the initial requirements for COOL.”
AngusSource also offers a feedyard program, initially designed to allow farmer feeders to meet requirements for marketing age-verified calves directly to a packer for export to Japan. Commercial feeders may also enroll. “Although still small, our feedyard program has been operating well,” Snider says. “Feeders enrolled in AngusSource have been able to garner age-verified packer premiums of up to $45 per head. For the modest cost to enroll, the potential returns are huge.”
Increasingly, packers are setting up their plants to accept AngusSource tagged calves – regardless of hide color – to supply Angus branded beef programs for both U.S. and export markets.
The AngusSource online listing site and weekly e-mails continue to provide strong marketing support for producers enrolled in the program. More than 600 order buyers and feeders receive the weekly e-mails by request, and use them to locate and take steps toward buying AngusSource calves.
“Calves promoted through the online listing site can be sold on the video, through an auction market or direct from the ranch,” explains Snider. “Our goal is to help producers document additional management, health and marketing information. We then use the web and weekly e-mail to circulate the listings to potential buyers.” Since the beginning of the PVP more than 123,000 calves have been promoted through this service.
In a slow economy and a cattle market that demands good management and aggressive marketing, AngusSource is a logical tool for producers to tap into additional profit potential for a small investment.
For more information about the AngusSource program or to locate AngusSource calves available for sale, visit www.angussource.com.