Grid Masters exceed carcass specifications, break record

Posted October 25, 2011

Red Angus producers meet the challenge to producer higher carcass quality

Red Angus ranches and feeders achieved a new level of excellence this year as an outstanding 64 loads of cattle – over 2,500 head – reached tremendous yield and quality combinations to earn Grid Master status.

The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) presented 47 producers with the Grid Master Award at the Red Angus National Convention held in Durham, N.C., in September. This is the largest number of Grid Masters ever recognized in the eight-year history of the award.

“The RAAA presented a challenge to breeders, commercial ranches and feed yards to harvest Red Angus cattle at tighter quality and yield specifications than ever before,” said RAAA Director of Value Added Programs Myron Edelman. “Not only did Red Angus producers hit a more difficult target, they exceeded the Grid Master record for the third consecutive year.”

To increase the challenge, RAAA raised the threshold by increasing the percentage of cattle that grade Choice or better, while lowering the percentage of Yield Grade 4 carcasses.

Red Angus cattle not only produce valuable carcasses, but they are very good at meeting grid specs that increase the profit margin on the rail, said Edelman. Producers who enroll their Red Angus-influenced cattle in the Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) and apply the yellow Red Angus tag are eligible to submit harvest data for Grid Master consideration.

Conventional-fed cattle meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum of 30-head lot size
  • Minimum 85 percent Choice or higher
  • Maximum 5 percent Yield Grade 4
  • Minimum Grid Score of 100

To account for the different finishing characteristics of natural-fed cattle, lots must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of 30-head lot size
  • Minimum 90 percent Choice or higher
  • Maximum 10 percent Yield Grade 4
  • Minimum Grid Score of 100

All four major packers – U.S. Premium Beef, JBS USA, Tyson and Cargill  –harvested Red Angus Grid Master qualifiers in 10 different plant locations. Myer Natural Angus reported the largest number of Grid Master winners with 30 lots, and the Painted Hills Natural Program also harvested award-winning Red Angus cattle.

“Challenging those who produce and feed Red Angus cattle has proven to only make them rise to the level of the task,” said Edelman. “This has strengthened the value of Red Angus by building reputations of cattle that we know have proven maternal traits, the ability to efficiently convert feed and produce a valuable end product.”

The following producers and feeders were awarded 2011 Grid Master Awards. Several received more than one award.

  • Anderson Land & Cattle Co. of Oberlin, Kan.; Feedyard: Anderson Land & Cattle Co. of Oberlin, Kan.
  • Bill Blauw of Strausburg, Colo.; Feedyard: Yankton Land and Cattle Co. of Yankton, S.D.
  • Bull Hill Ranch of Gray Court, S.C.; Feedyard: Ranger Feeders of Dighton, Kan.
  • Christensen Bros. of Weldona, Colo.; Feedyard: Christensen Bros. of Weldona, Colo.
  • Croissant Red Angus of Briggsdale, Colo.; Feedyard: Croissant Red Angus of Briggsdale, Colo.
  • DeLong Ranches of Winnemucca, Nev.; Feedyard: Kuenning & Son, Inc. of Imperial, Neb.
  • DeLong Ranches of Winnemucca, Nev.; Feeder: Frank Wedel of Leoti, Kan.; Feedyard: Decatur County Feed Yard of Oberlin, Kan.
  • Durheim Ranch of Ellendale, N.D.; Feedyard: Dana Dennert of Columbia, S.D.
  • Robert Gibbs of Jordan, Mont.; Feedyard: Circle G Farms of Waco, Neb.
  • Robert Gibbs of Jordan, Mont.; Anthony Ranch of Jal, N.M.; Chip Fischer of Rhame, N.D.; Feedyard: Circle G of Waco, Neb.
  • H&F Heifer Developement of Abilene, Kan.; Feedyard: Royal Beef of Scott City, Kan.
  • Heart River Ranch of Belfield, N.D.; Feedyard: Century Feeders of Goodland, Kan.
  • Kerry Holscher of Waubay, S.D.; Feedyard: Brent Thompson of Elkhorn, S.D.
  • Mike Kokesch of Stewart, Minn.; Feedyard: Mike Kokesch of Stewart, Minn.
  • John Lancaster of Glendo, Wyo.; Feedyard: Magnum Feeders of Wiggins, Colo.
  • Leland Cattle Co. (Butch Grandy) of Farson, Wyo.; Feedyard: Royal Beef of Scott City, Kan.
  • Joe Lindsey of Byers, Colo.; Feedyard: Kuenning & Son Inc. of Imperial, Neb.
  • Lorenzen Ranches of Pendleton, Ore.; Feedyard: Beef North West of North Powder, Ore.
  • Meyer Company Ranchof Helmville, Mont.; Feedyard: HBF of Haxton, Colo.
  • Veril & Barbara Nelson of Oakland, Ore.; Feedyard: Simplot Feeders Limited of Pasco, Wash.
  • Pelton Red Angus of Burdett, Kan.; Feedyard: High Choice Feeders of Scott City, Kan.
  • Ranches, Inc. (Brian Downey) of Fort Morgan, Colo.; Feedyard: Kuenning & Son, Inc. of Imperial, Neb.
  • Sargent Cattle Co. of San Ardo, Calif.; Feedyard: Kuenning & Son, Inc. of Imperial, Neb.
  • Skinner Ranches of Jordan Valley, Ore.; Feedyard: Kuenning & Son, Inc. of Imperial, Neb.
  • Spreutels Farm of Koshkonong, Mo.; Feedyard: Spreutels Farm of Koshkonong, Mo.
  • Yancy Sowers of Oberlin, Kan.; Feedyard: Anderson Land & Cattle Co. of Oberlin, Kan.
  • Leon Tuttle of Gove, Kan.; Feedyard: Century Feeders of Goodland, Kan.
  • Michael Wasson of Dresden, Kan.; Feedyard: Prairie Dog Creek Cattle Co. of Dresden, Kan.

For more information about enrolling your cattle in the Feeder Calf Certification Program, contact the RAAA office at (940) 387-3502 or visit



For more information, contact:
Myron Edelman, director of value added programs
(307) 351-6032 •
Clint Berry, commercial marketing director
(417) 84-1009 •



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2011 Grid Master winners

Producers were honored at the National Red Angus Convention in Durham, N.C., for meeting specific quality and yield specifications on Red Angus feeder cattle. (Left to right) Wilbur and Elsie Spruetels, Spruetels Farm, Koshkonong, Mo.; Frank and Susan Wedel, Wedel Red Angus, Leoti, Kan.; Blake Angell, Meyer Natural Angus; Myron Edelman, RAAA director of value added programs; Annette and Chuck Steffan, Heart River Ranch, Belfield, N.D.; Dick Short, Century Feeders, Goodland, Kan.; Lynette and Bruce Durheim, Durheim Ranch, Ellendale, N.D.; Sallie and Kevin Miller and their daughter Alisa, Croissant Red Angus, Briggsdale, Colo.; Sue and Lynn Pelton, Pelton Red Angus, Burdett, Kan.; and Raymond Prescott, Bull Hill Ranch, Gray Court, S.C.



Note to Editors:

Photos and press releases on individual winners are available on the Red Angus Media Room.

Bull Hill Ranch (Raymond Prescott)
Century Feeders (Dick Short)
Durheim Ranch (Bruce and Lynette Durheim)
Heart River Ranch (Chuck and Annette Steffan)
Meyer Natural Angus (Blake Angell)
Croissant Red Angus (Kevin and Sallie Miller)
Pelton Red Angus (Lynn and Sue Pelton)
Spreutels Farms (Wilbur and Elsie Spreutels)
Wedel Red Angus (Frank and Susan Wedel)


More coverage from the 58th Red Angus National Convention is also available on the Red Angus Media Room.