Every number has a story: 12.1 million
Like many writers, I find large numbers (or large numbers of numbers) a little overwhelming. Mama tried, as the song says, but I didn’t inherit her gift for mathematics.
So when asked to write about the 12.1 million pounds of Certified Angus Beef® brand Prime sold in fiscal year 2015, I had to do a little visualization. But how do you visualize 12.1 million pounds? If you’re me, you turn to Google and spend a little too much time finding out what a whole bunch of random items weigh.
The best comparison I found? 480 school buses weigh approximately 12 million pounds. Imagine 480 school buses worth of the most luxurious beef available.
Mark tells me it’s no accident, either.
“Historically, cattle feeders were pleasantly surprised when they got their kill sheet and saw some cattle graded Prime,” he says. “It was like pennies from heaven. Today, those feeding high quality genetics know it’s not uncommon to get 5- to 10- percent or more hitting Prime, and the dollars associated with those cattle can be the difference in making a pen of cattle profitable.”
For years, the USDA Prime percentage lingered around 2 or 3%. Most just accepted those were the outliers that randomly occurred in our cattle mix but few probably thought we could make more.
Now we have genetics that reach the Prime grade at a high and predictable rate, Mark says.
Here’s to many more school busses in the coming years.
Katrina Huffstutler is a freelance writer based in Electra, Texas. She’s a frequent contributor to the Black Ink team and lover of functional cattle and quality beef.
Read our whole, “Every number has a story” series:
Day one: $6.93
Day two: 2.5 million
Day three: $204.10
Day four: 12.1 million
Day five: 11/13
Day six: 8 million
Day seven: 139
Day eight: $39
Day nine: 30.1%
Day 10: 120 million
Day 11: -2.26
Day 12: 12 to 15 minutes
Day 13: 30%
Day 14: 32 million
Day 15: $154,000