Value-added programs are on the rise in the beef industry as input costs increase and margins remain tight. Enterprising beef producers are exploring new ways to improve their return on investment and open doors to new marketing avenues.
The Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program, the oldest tagging program in the industry, is expanding and helping more producers than ever before earn premiums on their calves. In fact, during the 2018-19 fiscal year, more than 210,000 calves were enrolled in the FCCP; a testament to the program’s growing popularity and proven track record of returning dollars to producers’ pockets.
“The value of the FCCP to commercial ranchers across the country has been nothing short of tremendous. The success we have seen in the number of calves enrolled in the past fiscal year directly correlates to the program’s creation of extra dollars for Red Angus-influenced calf crops,” said Chessie Mitchell, RAAA tag programs coordinator.
Tom Brink, RAAA CEO, added, “What we’re most excited about is how this program is generating a solid return for commercial cattle producers, and that is evident by the growing number of ranchers who utilize the FCCP to expand their marketing options and improve their bottom line.”
The FCCP combines three important components into a single value-added program: genetics, source and age verification. Red Angus producers recognize the value of the yellow FCCP tag and continue to see market-topping premiums for a minimal investment by enrolling their Red Angus-sired calves. The $0.99 tag returns, on average, a $2.98 per hundredweight premium, which equates to nearly $18 on a 600-pound feeder calf and more than $1,400 on a truckload of tagged calves. Compound that figure in terms of truckloads of calves, and beef producers are quick to realize the value of verified Red Angus genetics. Producers who enroll in the FCCP are able to capitalize on demand from feedlots and packers to fill various Angus product lines.
The FCCP was first established in 1995 and to date nearly 2.75 million head of Red Angus-influenced calves have worn the profitable yellow tag. Despite the program’s age, several innovative changes were made during the past year, including an EID-only option and China export eligibility. To enroll, producers must answer a few breeding and management questions such as, verifying traceability to at least 50 percent Red Angus breed influence, to enroll in the program and can do so by contacting Mitchell at 940-226-4762.
For more information on Red Angus marketing programs and the FCCP, visit RedAngus.org.