So many factors all along the chain can impact beef quality.
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Every number has a story: 31

You probably know the Certified Angus Beef® brand doesn’t own cattle, feedlots or packing plants. But with a lot at stake (steak if you’re into puns), the brand is super connected to each segment of the industry.

On the packing side, you might be surprised to learn we even employ a director of packing in our Wooster office. Clint Walenciak, who grew up on his family’s cattle operation before completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oklahoma State University, serves as a liaison between the brand and packers, as well as USDA.

Clint 2

Clint Walenciak, director of packing for CAB, doing a little carcass 101 education in our meats lab.

He monitors CAB certification trends on Angus- and Angus- cross cattle, looking at things like how increasing carcass weights impact brand availability. He also links packer sales teams with CAB staff and licensed end users to identify opportunities and understand availability of individual cuts, to increase sales and drive carcass utilization.

And it’s a big job. That’s because the brand works with 31 packing plants representing 14 companies; 27 of them are in the U.S. while the remaining 4 are in Canada.

These licensed packing partners provide us access to roughly 85% of the U.S. fed steer and heifer harvest. In Canada, the percentage is similar, between 80% and 85%.

And they aren’t just the major players. While some plants have a capacity of several thousand head per day, some only run a few dozen head per day.

That means there aren’t many cattle out there that could qualify for the brand but aren’t getting the opportunity. And more importantly, there aren’t many producers who aren’t getting a shot at the premiums.


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-Have you been following along this month? “Every number has a story,” and we’re telling them all right here:

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

Day 16: 118

Day 17: .51

Day 18: 105

Day 19: 1650

Day 20: 36,575

Day 21: 603

Day 22: 23%

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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