Nelson Ranch of Richland, Mont., won the prestigious Grid Master Award for raising and feeding Red Angus cattle that meet and exceed strict carcass quality specifications. The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) announced its 2013 Grid Master awards during the 60th National Convention in Lewiston, Mont., this fall.
Nelson Ranch raised one load lot of 48 head that were fed conventionally at Century Feeders, Inc., of Goodland, Kan., and harvested on the grid at National Beef in Dodge City, Kan. The Nelson cattle achieved 92 percent Choice, with 48 percent Yield Grade 1s and 2s, and 2 percent Yield Grade 4. Grid Score: 101.
To become Grid Masters, conventionally fed Red Angus cattle must be marketed in at least 30-head load lots, reach a minimum of 85 percent Choice and Prime, have a maximum of 5 percent Yield Grade 4s and a minimum grid score of 100.
According to Myron Edelman, RAAA director of added-value programs, drought, feed cost and availability challenged feeders in 2013 to identify cattle that have potential for profitability in premium markets. “Cattle that are efficient in the feed yards and still meet the hard-to-achieve specifications as Grid Masters are valuable at every stage of the beef supply chain,” he explained. “We are extremely proud of the producers, feed yards and packers who worked together to achieve Grid Master status and who reported the data.”
Nelson Ranch’s cattle contributed to 758 head of Red Angus cattle that earned Grid Master status. The 12 national-award-winning lots were fed at nine separate feed yards and harvested by six major packers, including Cargill, Meyer Natural Angus, National Beef, Painted Hills Natural Beef, JBS Swift & Co. and Tyson Foods. Cargill reported harvesting the most Grid Master cattle - 186 head - followed by Painted Hills Natural Beef with 141 head and Tyson Foods with 137 head of award-winners.
For more information about enrolling your cattle in the Feeder Calf Certification Program or reporting your harvest data, contact the RAAA office at (940) 387-3502 or visit RedAngus.org.