Ranchers add value, marketing options with Red Angus 'Yellow Tag'

Feb 3, 2012
by WLJ
Ranchers are taking advantage of value-added programs to increase the profitability of their calf crop, and each year more producers are enrolling their Red Angus-influenced calves in the Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP).

For the past three years, the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) has enrolled over 100,000 head of Red Angus-influenced calves in FCCP—last year exceeding 125,000 head. The Association is on track to continue that recordbreaking trend this year as program enrollment and tag sales have continued to be strong going into calving season.

Enrollment in the FCCP program entitles producers to tag their Red Angus-influenced calves with the yellow tag, satisfying USDA age, source and genetic verification requirements for all four major packing plants—Cargill, Tyson, JBS and U.S. Premium Beef.

“Traceability to age, source and genetics continues to be important for cattle markets,” said Myron Edelman, RAAA director of added-value programs. “Feeder cattle are reaching new highs and marketready cattle are capable of generating more dollars than ever before. However, cattle that have age and source verification maximize revenue for all classifications of cattle, making them the most profitable.”

FCCP is the beef industry’s oldest USDA-verified genetic, age and source program, originating 18 years ago.

“Since 1993, the FCCP ‘Yellow Tag’ has been adding value to Red Angus customers’ calves and granting access to branded product lines for Red Angus fed cattle,” said Clint Berry, RAAA commercial marketing director. “By verifying Red Angus bloodlines, producers are providing a more consistent end-product than cattle selected for a simple hair coat color.”

USDA age and source verification also adds marketing options to FCCPtagged cattle, making them eligible for U.S. export markets.

“Experience pays off,” added Berry. “We are working on two decades of adding value to Red Angus-sired cattle and we’ve learned that to be successful, a program must be user-friendly and inexpensive.”

Red Angus producers do not have to pay an enrollment fee for FCCP. The only cost is the tag itself. “We focus our efforts into keeping the program as simple as possible,” said Berry, “and assisting our commercial cattlemen in achieving the highest possible value for their Red Angus calves.”

The FCCP “Yellow Tag” is available in two options: as the traditional visual tag at only 99 cents each, or as a combination visual and Radio Frequency Identification tag for $3 each.

Calves must have at least one registered Red Angus parent and ranchers need to answer a few calving and breeding management questions. Producers can enroll their calves at any time in the FCCP program as long they are tagged before they leave the ranch of origin.

Producers can call the RAAA office at 940/387-3502 to enroll in FCCP, making them eligible to purchase the Red Angus “Yellow Tags.” The enrollment process is simple and easy, taking less than 15 minutes.

For additional information on Red Angus marketing programs, visit RedAngus. org. — WLJ