An agreement between the Red Angus Association of America and IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc., will provide convenient access into natural and non-hormone treated cattle programs to producers who utilize the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program.

Gary Fike, RAAA director of commercial marketing, said, “IMI Global has long been recognized for its industry-leading work in verifying cattle for Verified Natural and NHTC programs in beef cattle operations. These designations allow producers to market their cattle to feedyards and packers with the assurance that all USDA requirements have been fully satisfied through enrollment and audit processes. Consumers are demanding more information from the production chain about the beef they are eating. This often includes source, age, genetics, humane handling and how cattle are fed and managed.”

Fike added that because the FCCP tag is already USDA compliant for age, source and genetically verified cattle (at least 50 percent Red Angus bloodlines), producers who enroll calves in the FCCP can use the yellow tag as the identifier for Red Angus and IMI Global programs. In the past, FCCP users who wished to enroll their calves into a Verified Natural or NHTC program often needed an additional identifier from IMI. However, with this new partnership, cattlemen and women can be assured that the FCCP tag itself can be the qualified identifier.

“Many, if not all, natural and NHTC programs are now requiring electronic identification tags to be used rather than just a panel, or visual tag. The ‘nested’ set of both the visual FCCP tag with EID is $3.00 per head,” said Chessie Mitchell, RAAA tag programs coordinator. “Those who wish to enroll in these NHTC and Verified Natural programs will still need to complete the enrollment paperwork through IMI Global. The RAAA does not enroll and audit cattle for that part of the program – IMI Global is the expert in that area.”

Superior Livestock Auction data collected from video markets over the past eight years (2010-2017) shows that Red Angus calves enrolled in the FCCP bring a $2.80-per-hundredweight premium, on average, over Red Angus calves not enrolled in the program. The average weight of calves in the data set was 600 pounds, which equates to $16.80 per head in added value. Combined with premiums paid for Verified Natural or NHTC verified calves, the FCCP can add a lot of value to a producer’s calf crop.

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