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Every number has a story: 30.1%

15 years ago, the American Angus Association’s Board of Directors set a goal. By the year 2020, they wanted to see Certified Angus Beef® brand acceptance rates at the 30% mark. Along the way, there were times that number felt completely unattainable — like in 2006, for example, when rates hit an all-time low of 14%.

But something happened.

Cattle pic for 11-14 blogMore and more Angus producers started focusing on grid marketing and the profit-boosting premiums they could earn. They became more quality-focused and more critical of their genetic selection and culling decisions.

It paid off.

This summer, we saw two months in a row with 30.1% CAB acceptance rates. That means almost one-third of all identified black-hided, Angus-type cattle met the 10 specifications. It also means we were up 3 percentage points since one year prior. And while that doesn’t sound like a lot, it is.

As Larry Corah put it earlier this year, “Three points may seem small, but when applied to millions of cattle, a small number gets big. Really big.”

Meat Case for 11-14 blogThose 3 percentage points mean 390,000 additional head of cattle each year qualifying for the brand, generating 99 million pounds of product. That’s enough to add 500 new licensed grocery stores!

And it’s possible to grow that much again next year. After all, marbling traits are highly heritable, making it easy to improve one’s acceptance rates in a short time span.

Who knows how high that number could go by 2020.


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.


PS — You can follow along as we blog our way through November. Here’s what you may have missed in our “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

Ride along with the Certified Angus Beef supply development team as we work to help cattlemen put more black ink in their record books with cattle management news, tips and ideas to profitably improve quality. CAB is a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Angus Association. It was founded in 1978 as the first fresh beef brand based on specifications, and remains the largest in the world. We spend every day working with cattlemen and women across the country to help them better supply the CAB brand with high-quality beef. Join us for a view from many a pickups' passenger seat.
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