GridMaster Grid Award winners recognized for excellent Red Angus product
A reco record-setting 17 pro- ducers and feeders received the prest prestigious GridMaster Award at the National Red Angus Convention in Mah- nomen, MN, Sept. 16-19. The GridMaster Gri Award rec- ognizes producers and feed- ers owning cattle that meet and exceed ex strict carcass quality specifications.
“These are the cream of the crop—the elite percentile—of Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) yellow-tagged cattle that set the standard in carcass quality,” said Clint Berry, commercial marketing director for the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA).
In order to achieve Grid- Master status, Red Angus or Red Angus-influenced cattle enrolled in the FCCP program must achieve a speci- fied level of carcass excellence. Both conventional- and natural-fed cattle are eligible for GridMaster consideration.
“We used all four major packers this year,” said My- ron Edelman, director of value-added value programs, regarding the diversity of environments
and harvest facilities associated with the program. “We’re excited for the growth of the program and the number of cattle reaching GridMaster status.” This year, GridMaster winners fed over 1,000 head that met the program’s criteria.
Four of the 17 load lots graded 100 percent Choice, four lots had zero Yield Grade 4s and 5s, and six lots harvested 50 percent or greater Yield Grade 1s and 2s. “That’s an incredible accomplishment,” said Edelman. “We don’t see cattle grade like that very often.”
Thirteen load lots of conventionally fed cattle achieved GridMaster status. They were harvested at the Cargill plant at Schuyler, NE, on either the Angus America or Tyson grid; the Cargill plant at Fort Morgan, CO, on the Angus America grid; JBS plants at Grand Island, NE, and Greeley, CO, on the 70/70 or GeneNet grids; and National Beef plant at Liberal, KS, on the U.S. Premium Beef grid.
The conventional-fed lots graded 93 percent Choice or better with only 4 percent averaging Yield Grade 4s.
Conventional-fed cattle must meet the following requirements:
• Minimum of 30-head lot size
• Minimum 80 percent Choice or higher
• Maximum 7.5 percent Yield Grade 4s and 5s
• Minimum Grid Score of 100
Four load lots of natural cattle earned GridMaster awards. They were harvested at the Greater Omaha Packing Plant of Omaha, NE, and Tyson’s plant at Pasco, WA. The natural cattle qualified on the Meyer Natural Angus and Painted Hills Natural grids.
The natural lots averaged 96 percent Choice or better with only 5.25 percent Yield Grade 4s.
To account for the different finishing characteristics of natural-fed cattle, they must meet the following criteria:
• Minimum of 30-head lot size
• Minimum 85 percent Choice or higher
• Maximum 15 percent Yield Grade 4s or 5s
Minimum Grid Score of 100 The Grid Score on either conventional- or natural-fed cattle balances high percentages of Premium Products, Yield Grade 1s and 2s and USDA Choice-Grade cattle with minimal percentages of Yield Grade 4s.
The Pinnacle Ranch of Wolf Point, MT, harvested their natural cattle at Greater Omaha Packing on the Meyer Natural Angus grid. The Meyer Natural program garnered an additional $15-per-head FCCP tag reimbursement plus $13.50 per cwt. that was dressed for Natural designation. Their cattle graded a phenomenal 100 percent Choice. Kuenning & Sons, LLC, of Imperial, NE, fed the cattle. Grid score: 104.21.
Butch and Darrell Schuler, Schuler-Olsen Ranch of Bridgeport, NE, turned in the largest number of head this year. Three different lots totaling 199 head harvested on the Angus America grid at the Cargill plant in Fort Morgan, CO. The cattle averaged 60 percent Yield Grade 1s and 2s and over 90 percent Choice and Prime. They fed the cattle in their own yard. Grid scores: 127.87, 126.59 and 100.09.
Skinner Ranch, Inc.
Skinner Ranch, Inc. of Jordan Valley, OR, reported carcass data on two load lots, totaling 197 head. They averaged only 4.5 percent Yield Grade 4s or 5s and 94 percent graded Choice. They marketed the cattle on the Painted Hills Natural Grid at Tyson’s Pasco, WA, plant. Y-1 Farms of Vale, OR, fed the cattle. Grid Scores: 174.66 and 160.03.
Summers Cattle Co.
Summers Cattle Co. of Gibbons, NE, harvested two load lots at Cargill’s Schuyler, NE, plant on the Angus America grid. One lot had a remarkable zero Yield Grade 4s and 5s while the other had only 4.1 percent. The 106 head of cattle averaged 56 percent Yield Grade 1s or 2s, 94 percent Choice and 78 percent Premium Product. Schroeder Corn and Cattle of Shelton, NE, fed the cattle. Grid Scores: 138.90 and 128.11.
Lorenzen Ranches of Pendleton, OR, graded 95 percent Choice on their cattle that they fed themselves. The cattle had a minimal number of Yield Grade 4s and 5s at only 2.4 percent, but achieved 61 percent Yield Grade 1s and 2s. Lorenzens harvested their cattle at the Tyson plant in Pasco, WA, on the Tyson grid. The cattle were fed at Beef North West in the Boardman, OR, yard. Grid score: 115.15.
Prairie Dog Creek Cattle Co.
Prairie Dog Creek Cattle Co. of Oberlin, KS, turned in carcass data on their cattle that were harvested at JBS’s Grand Island plant on the GeneNet grid. They graded 100 percent Choice and had nearly 92 percent Premium Product. They fed the cattle themselves. Grid score: 123.08.
Spreutels Farms of Koshkonong, MO, marketed their naturally fed cattle on the Meyer Natural Angus grid through the Greater Omaha Packing plant in Omaha, NE. The Meyer Natural program garnered an additional $15-per-head FCCP tag reimbursement plus $13.50 per cwt. that was dressed for Natural designation. Zero percent yield graded 4 or 5 with 54 percent yield grading 1s or 2s. Ninety-seven percent graded Choice. They fed the cattle themselves. Grid score: 144.28.
Croissant Red Angus
Croissant Red Angus of Briggsdale, CO, harvested their lot at JBS’s plant in Greeley, CO, on the GeneNet grid. They averaged 95 percent Choice with zero Yield Grade 4s or 5s. Croissants fed the cattle themselves. Grid score: 102.61.
Pelton’s Red Angus
Pelton’s Red Angus of Burdett, KS, harvested their cattle at National Beef’s Liberal, KS, plant on the U.S. Premium Beef grid. The 107-head lot reported only 1.7 percent Yield Grade 4s and 5s, with 67 percent yield grading 1s or 2s. The lot graded 83 percent Choice with 60 percent Premium Product. The cattle were fed at Harkness Cattle and Land, Inc. of Scott City, KS. Grid score: 130.80.
Shuey Stock Farms
Shuey Stock Farms of Corning, IA, and their feeder, C-Bar-D of Gravity, IA, achieved GridMaster status for the first time. The cattle harvested at Tyson’s plant in Denison, IA, on the Tyson grid. The 84-head lot graded 93 percent Choice. Grid score: 113.12.
5L Ranch of Sheridan, MT, and Century Feeders of Goodland, KS, teamed up on two load lots of 89 head of cattle to grade 100 percent Choice on both lots, one of which had zero Yield Grade 4s or 5s. The lots had an average 87 percent Premium Product. They harvested the cattle at Cargill’s Fort Morgan, CO, plant on the Angus America grid. This was Century Feeders 15th GridMaster Award. Grid scores: 123.57 and 115.74.
Christiansen Brothers, Inc.
Christensen Brothers, Inc. of Weldona, CO, fed their load lot of 53 head themselves. They achieved 96 percent Choice with 68 percent Premium Product. They harvested their cattle at Cargills’ Fort Morgan, CO, plant on the Angus America grid. Grid score: 109.22.
“Earning the GridMaster takes more than just great cattle,” said Berry. “It requires a partnership between the rancher and the feeder and the combined components of superior Red Angus genetics, skilled management and timely marketing.”
For more information about the Feeder Calf Certification Program, contact the RAAA office at 940/387-3502. — WLJ