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Angus Cattle Certification Changes Could Benefit Producers

The Agriculture Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture facilitates the marketing of U.S. agricultural products in the domestic and international markets. 

The department ensures fair trading practices and promotes a competitive and efficient market place. According to the USDA, changes in the certifications for angus cattle will take effect in July.

Bucky Gwartney, an international marketing specialist said these changes will benefit producers, traders and consumers of U.S food products.

“What the data was showing was that we wanted to exclude any white markings behind the shoulder and above the flank and just strengthen the phenotypic description of angus cattle,” Gwartney said. 

The goal is to cater to what consumers want, but Gwartney said the consumer won’t notice any major changes when buying certified angus products.

Brett Bowman, a professor of agricultural science at Utah State University, said there is one main chicken breed and just a few swine breeds, but there are many different types of cattle breeds throughout the world.  Any advantage over the competition can make a difference.

“We have less consistency in having a pleasurable eating experience, if you will, consistently,” Bowman said. “That’s where I applaud the angus industry because they have started a lot of certification programs to where it helps the consumer buying power as well as the producer in purchasing animals with consistency due to genetics.”

Bowman said if you have certifications it just helps the beef industry to increase sales in protein meat against other competitors in the poultry and the pork markets.

“I think they’re going to better the industry by having the certifications of whatever they’re selecting for,” Bowman said. “I don’t see it to impede but rather benefit most producers that would use genetics that way.”

The entire beef industry needs to work together to improve their products, according to Bowman, not just those involved with angus cattle.

“As beef producers, whether we’re in angus, charolais, simmental, we’ve got to get more on the same page,” Bowman said. “We’re a very proud industry and we’re very independent. I think that communication could really benefit everybody. By so doing we will be able to put out a product that our consumer will be able to be more happy because of the consistency.”