Capture premiums with Gateway

Jan 15, 2010
by WLJ

The American Angus Association’s Gateway program helps producers capture the value of age- and source-verified cattle.

Age and source verification is becoming increasingly important, at least according to Don Graham, a cattle buyer based in northeast Oklahoma.

He should know. Graham travels throughout 10 states including the Plains, Arkansas, New Mexico and parts of Colorado for Crossroads Cattle Co., a buying firm based in Austin, TX.

“Between shrinking cattle numbers and increasing exports, we’re seeing more demand for source- and ageverified cattle,” Graham says. “We have several customers where that’s all they’ll take.”

The American Angus Association is serving more of those customers with Gateway.

A second-tier program of the AngusSource Process Verified Program, Gateway offers a cost-effective option for producers wishing to verify only the source and age of their calves.

Once enrolled, Gateway calves are identified with program-compliant ID tags and issued a customizable verification certificate—accompanied by the same customer service and marketing support for which AngusSource has become known.

“Gateway calves are also included as part of our online cattle listing,” says Sara Snider, AngusSource director. “More than 600 potential buyers currently receive the weekly e-mails that promote cattle on the listing site. This, combined with the relatively low cost of Gateway, means more producers will be able to develop new value-added marketing opportunities for their cattle.”

Graham says the program works well. He bought 82 Gateway calves in early December for an Oklahoma stocker who turned them out on wheat. Premiums for age- and source-verified calves will usually bring between $1 to $3 per cwt., he estimates.

“Eventually, we’ll see it be more of a discount if they’re not source and aged. I can definitely see an increase in demand coming,” he said.

Producers enrolled in Gateway or AngusSource have several tagging options, a short turnaround on orders, customization capa bilities,

and a radio frequency identification (RFID) Program Compliant Tag (PCT) option.

There is a $50 fee for each group of calves enrolled in Gateway. Cost-effective tag options offered through Gateway include:

1) RFID PCT—The RFID PCT provides an opportunity for producers to capitalize on the efficiencies of RFID and meet the RFID requirements of certain marketing outlets with just one tag. The RFID PCT button costs $3.

2) RFID ChoiceSet—Like the RFID PCT option, the RFID ChoiceSet provides producers with the convenience of RFID, but pairs it with a visual tag for superior identification. The Gateway ChoiceSet costs $5.

3) Visual tag—The Gateway visual tag cost has been lowered to $2.

All tag options are available with a traditional 15-digit unique animal number or a National Animal Identification System “840” option.

Producers may customprint a management number on each visual tag free of charge. For a small additional fee, producers may also custom-print their logo, brand, name and/or phone number on the back of visual tags. Customization is not expected to cause any delays in the manufacturing process.

“Gateway calves are also eligible for enrollment in the AngusSource Feedyard umbrella,” Snider adds.

For more information, visit Source or call 816/383-5100. — WLJ