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Looking At How the Best Feeders Do It

14 January 2014

Macpherson County Feeders talk with Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Brand about how they drove towards goals and become a CAB partner.

Sents was just getting started. Accumulated closeout data spanning those years verifies the McPherson crew has been hard at work. A 30.06 Program honor roll has been noting all harvest groups achieving at least 30 per cent CAB or USDA Prime, with no more than 6 per cent outliers for being too fat, heavy or light. 

The 10,000-head-capacity lot recently attained 30.06 Gold Level, only the third CAB partner yard across the U.S. to do so. It took seven years to achieve the 500-head Bronze Level; then in four more years came the 1,000-head Silver in 2010.

Doubling that level of on-target feeding in just three years, the records show McPherson County Feeders had enrolled and harvested more than 2,000 of the 30.06 cattle by early 2013.

Of the 1,950 CAB-eligible cattle in those groups, 45.9 per cent qualified for CAB and USDA Prime, with 83.8 per cent reaching USDA Choice or better.

“It’s been an inspiration to watch the transformation,” says Gary Fike, beef cattle specialist for CAB. He has worked closely with the feedyard for a decade and notes that 10 years ago, the first 19,716 cattle enrolled made almost 19 per cent CAB and Prime.

Fast forward to the past five years: Sents and cattle manager Landon Shaw worked with Angus customers to feed 18,048 enrolled cattle, qualifying more than 34 per cent CAB and Prime.

With virtually the same 760-pound carcass weight then and now, there has only been a slight increase in Yield Grade 4s, and Fike says that is understandable because grid allowances moved up. All numbers point to the quality increase in cattle coming out of the yard. Longtime partners of the brand in many ways, Sents and his wife Deanna have been feeding cattle since 1981.

Their commitment to quality grew over time as ranching customers responded to feedback and market signals. Positioning those cattle to realize their genetic potential and achieve top premiums requires sorting for quality and uniformity as they approach their final weight.

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