Angus growth reflects true demand
The nation’s cattle producers are answering the call from consumers for high quality beef, as reflected in recently released figures from the American Angus Association. Registrations for Angus cattle grew by 4.5% and totaled 334,607 head in fiscal year 2016, which ended Sept. 30. That’s the 15th largest number of registrations in the Association’s 133-year history.
Also during fiscal year 2016, Angus breeders increased their sale offerings and participation in performance programs, and the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand achieved a major milestone following more than a decade of consecutive sales records.
“2016 was another outstanding year for the American Angus Association and its members,” says Allen Moczygemba, Association CEO. “The past year was a story of growth and unprecedented success for the Angus breed and its leadership position within the beef industry.”
The membership organization reports registered Angus bulls averaged $5,605 per head in fiscal year 2016, from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016. Sales of registered Angus females reported to the Association averaged $5,036 per head.
Angus genetics remained highly valued in spite of almost 10,000 more animals marketed by members vs. the prior year. Average prices in fiscal year 2016 remained 12% higher for registered Angus bulls and nearly 40% higher for registered Angus females than average prices received in 2014, for example.
“It’s important to keep the cattle market in perspective, following the record-setting prices of 2015,” Moczygemba says. “Angus cattle sales have remained strong despite market fluctuations. That signals a growing demand for quality genetics, and quality beef, worldwide.”
The Association and its four entities experienced outstanding growth across all business metrics, and total assets for the organization reached more than $60 million.
Commitment to progress
Of the nearly 335,000 calves registered with the Association in fiscal year 2016, more than 53% were produced by artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer (ET) calves represented 11% of total registrations.
Total females in the MaternalPlus program are up more than 56% at 37,895 head enrolled in the Association’s inventory-based reporting system designed to capture reproductive trait data.
The organization also witnessed an across-the-board increase in weight records submitted in fiscal year 2016, including birth weights, weaning weights and yearling weights. Carcass records are also up 26%, year over year.
Performance records and phenotypic data help pave the way for genomic technologies.
At Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), genomic profile testing for Angus seedstock increased by 45% in fiscal year 2016, and uptake exceeded 100,000 tests annually for the first time. Cattle that have been genomically tested represent about 33% of total Angus registrations.
The team of AGI scientists and researchers are also well positioned for the future. With the addition of AGI Genetic Research Director Stephen Miller and AGI Genetic Services Director Kelli Retallick, the organization now has the most talented education, research and customer service team in the beef genetics business, Moczygemba says.
Promoting and growing the breed
A for-profit entity of the American Angus Association, Angus Productions Inc. (API) is home to Angus Media and an extensive offering of communications and marketing capabilities. The company posted strong growth in audience engagement in fiscal year 2016, an indicator of thriving interest in registered Angus animals and pertinent news and information.
Digital sale books, produced and hosted by Angus Media, attracted 620,000 users who viewed almost 28 million online pages promoting cattle for sale by Association members — an increase of 65%.
Angus Journal and the Angus Beef Bulletin continue to lead the industry for both quality editorial content and advertising value.
The Angus Report celebrated its five-year anniversary on RFD-TV in September 2016 and, during that span, has reached more than 11.5 million viewers nationwide. The 30-minute news program is the only one of its kind to share weekly breed information applicable to the entire beef business.
As the nonprofit arm of the American Angus Association, the Angus Foundation generates support for the future of Angus education, youth and research.
In fiscal year 2016, the Angus Foundation awarded more than $265,000 in scholarships for Angus youth, and outstanding educational and leadership-based programs were hosted for both adults and junior members. These included sessions for both beginners and advanced producers in Cattlemen’s Boot Camps, the Beef Leaders Institute (BLI), Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD), Raising the Bar and Women Connected conferences. In addition, the nonprofit invested in key research conducted with industry partners on heat tolerance, product tenderness, environmental adaptability and reproductive performance.
1 billion, and counting
Perhaps the greatest headline for the Angus breed in fiscal year 2016 is this: Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) surpasses 1 billion lb. of CAB brand product sold.
The world’s largest branded beef program recorded its first 90-million-lb. month in July, only to have sales exceed that mark in both August and September. Fueled by growing demand for quality beef both domestically and abroad, producers responded to growing incentives for raising quality Angus calves sired by registered Angus genetics.
Higher acceptance rates allowed graders to certify a record of more than 75,000 carcasses per week, totaling 12.6% higher, or 3.92 million for the year to set an annual CAB acceptance rate of 28.9%. That record is more than double the rate of 10 years ago when it was barely above 14%.
“The increase in carcasses qualifying for the brand is a true testament to the value ranchers receive for their Angus-sired calves and the unending commitment of our members toward continuous genetic improvement,” Moczygemba says.
More news and information from the American Angus Association is available at www.angus.org. For more year-end highlights from CAB, access the news release online.