Angus Link Partners with IMI Global to Offer More Value-Added Opportunities to Cattle Producers

Mark McCully, American Angus Association CEO
Listen to Ron Hays talk with Mark McCully about Angus Link joining up with IMI Global.

As the American Angus Association is spending plenty of time at Cattlemen’s Congress this week, they have also announced they are joining forces with IMI Global to create an improved experience for cattle producers. Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with CEO of the American Angus Association, Mark McCully, about two of the leading third-party verification companies coming together to offer more value-added opportunities to the cattle industry.

IMI Global is a leading provider of verification solutions for the agricultural industry. A division of Where Food Comes From, Inc., IMI Global audits to numerous standards to enable any and all livestock producers to access certain markets or brands that require specific production assessments. 

McCully describes IMI Global as the “gold standard” in third-party verification.

“They have been in that business for a long time with their process-verified programs,” McCully said. “The American Angus Association has as well.”

The American Angus Association’s experience with process verified programs, McCully said, lies within the Angus Link Program, which helps buyers identify cattle from producers who have invested time and resources to separate their calves from the rest.

“Really, what we did is come together in a working collaboration where they will provide the USDA process verification services for our Angus Verified, which is the program that documents that cattle are out of registered Angus bulls,” McCully said. “So, for feeder cattle, of course, is what we are talking about.”

This working collaboration uses the IMI Global expertise, McCully said, and the American Angus Association’s expertise in describing and validating Angus genetics.

For some buyers, McCully said, third-party verification has become an expectation. Because many cattle now are black-hided, McCully said it can be harder to sort through the differences in genetic merit.

“We want to be able to provide programs out there so that those producers that are using registered Angus genetics and providing this really excellent genetic merit package in their feeder cattle are able to identify that and communicate that in the marketplace,” McCully said.

Genetic Merit Scores, McCully said, will be as commonplace as EPDs in the seedstock world.

Now available to IMI customers, the AngusLink Genetic Merit ScorecardSM gives producers the ability to effectively communicate the genetic potential of their feeder calves to prospective buyers with three scores: Beef, Feedlot, Grid. The scores are calculated based on the Association’s extensive genetic database with more than 80 million datapoints. In addition, AngusLink customers will also have access to IMI’s new sustainability standard, CARE Certified, which encompasses Animal Care, Environmental Stewardship and People & Community, which are all of growing importance in today’s marketplace. Other PVP claims available include AngusVerifiedSM, Source, Age, Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC), Verified Natural Beef and more.

“Our business isn’t a commodity business as much as it used to be,” McCully said. “We sell our product differently, we sell our product differentiated, so producers that are providing cattle that fit those targets should be paid accordingly as well. It is all about getting those dollars that are out there for these premium products back into the pockets of the producers using registered Angus genetics and doing all the right things.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.