Mark McCully

(Cyndee) Extremely high-grading cattle used to be an anomaly in the data, not anymore. (McCully) We are seeing cattle that are 20-30% Prime—those numbers that we really didn’t think were possible 10 years ago. We are finding they are quite possible and quite predictable and it is pretty exciting and I think the cattlemen of what might be down the road in terms of putting more quality product out there, at the same time, making a better mother cow, making cattle that have better feed efficiency, being able to make all of these improvements and these other economic relevant trades all at the same time while producing a higher quality product for the consumer. (Cyndee) The marbling recipe combines genetics and management, so McCully says each segment of the beef community must work together. (McCully) We have to start with the genetics and we can only manage cattle to their genetic potential and if there is not the genetic potential there to grade into a CAB or prime, no amount of management, and we could feed them forever, and they are certainly not going to get there. It’s a two-step thought process, we have to first build that genetic base to get the genetic potential of these cattle and then we have to manage them in such a way that we were able to express that genetic potential. (Cyndee) Although change does take time, real-world examples show improvement can come in a relatively short period. (McCully) So in fact cattlemen that say, I have missed the boat on this, I have waited too long, in fact genetics are so powerful today and so predictable today and we have the tools using a registered Angus bull and the EPDs that are available with that bull, that in fact, we can make some pretty incredible progress just in one generation and set that calf crop up to really take advantage of these market signals that are out there today. (Cyndee) Those who want to take it to the next level should look more closely at replacement heifers, McCully says. Stacking quality genetics on both sides of the family tree complete the recipe for regularly producing a bigger share of Prime-grading beef. (McCully) So I really think that female selection is the next realm is where I think our progressive cattlemen can really see they can reap a lot of benefit from. (Cyndee) I’m Cyndee Campbell.

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