Lobster Tail of Meat


June 21, 2017

Story provided by Certified Angus Beef and the American Angus Association.

In a competitive meat market, it’s important for high-quality beef products to stand out.

Sam Hands, a top cattle feeder, says, “If you’re going to be on the front line, you better be good,” speaking of Angus cattle and their keepers.

“The consumer is the one that says ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ as to our product. Our product will never be produced as efficiently as the pork and poultry, but it is the most highly sought after, most flavorful protein package out here, and we want to make sure it stays at the forefront of the consumer at the meat counter,” Hands explains. To do that he says, “think lobster,” as in lobster tail.

It’s all about differentiated quality; making decisions about cattle to get the best results and the most efficient returns.

“We want to make sure that we’re going to realize all the potential market that is there. We’re shooting for all the prime we can get. We certainly want to make Certified Angus Beef, and we’ve been fortunate to make those adjustment changes in our breeding programing,” continues Hands.

Thanks to genetics and grid marketing that lifted cattle above load-lot anonymity, the lobster-tail connection is within reach for beef as it reaches beyond choice.

“But now, where the benchmark is at 70%, the challenge is even tougher. But for those that are using good genetics, that not only have the performance capabilities but also the carcass traits, that are not only CAB, but maybe pushing higher in prime, [it is possible] to still realize the premiums that they’re after.”

Tools like genomic testing and predictive databases have advanced those goals for the good of everyone from ranch to meat counter.

“We’ve got to genetically make sure that these Angus-influenced cattle work for the rancher back at the cow-calf level, but again, it’s to make sure that our consumer, when they sit down to dine – whether it be at home or out on a picnic, or in a restaurant – that they have the best eating experience that they can imagine.”

Pounds may pay the bills, but its quality that sets cattle apart.

Learn more about hitting the high quality beef target at CABPartners.com or angus.org.