Certified Angus Beef Launches Direct-to-Consumer Program
Ranchers can leverage CAB logo to market beef directly to consumers.
by Lindsay Graber-Runft
September 7, 2023
Could your freezer beef carry the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) brand logo? Perhaps. With the launch of a new program, Angus farmers and ranchers have the option to market their beef directly to consumers as CAB product.
Ranch to Table, a direct partnership program between CAB and cattle operations using Angus genetics, allows ranchers to use the brand’s trusted reputation for increased gain.
“Many Angus ranchers take a tremendous amount of pride when they see the Certified Angus Beef logo on product, whether it’s in their local grocery store or on a restaurant menu,” says Kara Lee, director of producer engagement for CAB. “This is just another way for them to continue to have equity in the brand by being able to hang brand standards on those cattle that ultimately qualify.”
To participate in the Ranch to Table program, a producer’s cattle supply must incorporate registered Angus genetics, which may require American Angus Association® active membership or proof of bull registrations. Producers must also be Beef Quality Assurance certified.
As with any CAB product, cattle must meet the brand’s live-animal evaluation with a predominantly solid-black hide. In addition, carcasses must meet CAB’s 10 specifications.
“One of the beautiful things about the Ranch to Table program is that the end product itself is going to be just as consistent with the end product of other traditional CAB outlets,” Lee says. “So, we are not compromising on any of our brand standards.”
Caption: Dakota Angus was one of the first direct-to-consumer beef programs accepted for the Ranch to Table program.
Typically, cattle move from feedyard to a CAB-licensed packing plant and then are distributed to the end-user. With the Ranch to Table program, licensed producers are responsible for working with a processor and USDA grader to verify that brand specifications are met. A marketing plan is required for the application process, but upon being licensed, producers will have access to a tool kit and marketing resources to use in leveraging the brand’s quality.
“For some, direct-to-consumer beef merchandising is an expanded financial opportunity. Perhaps it’s the opportunity for the next generation to come back and join the family business,” Lee says. “A lot of members have years of carcass data that supports the quality of the cattle they are raising. Previously, we didn’t have an infrastructure that allowed them to access CAB-brand merchandising, and the Ranch to Table initiative allows us to do just that.”
The program is not restrictive solely based on the quantity of cattle a producer would process. Instead, CAB will evaluate the business’ operating plans and marketing approach for the beef produced.
“Ultimately, we’re looking to put an asset in the toolbox of registered Angus breeders—something that allows them to add value to their own product or to the calves they’re purchasing back from customers whose genetics tie to the breeder’s own operation,” says Lee.
Farmers and ranchers interested in becoming part of the Ranch to Table program should visit cabcattle.com/ranch-to-table for more information or to begin the application process.
You may also like
Troy Anderson, managing a Nebraska ranch, focuses on breeding thriving maternal cows that will grade premium Choice and Prime, while respecting livestock, people and land. Anderson Cattle receives the 2023 CAB Commitment to Excellence Award. Their journey includes improving genetics, feeding home-raised and purchased calves and using data for better breeding decisions, all with a bottom-line approach.
While Magnum hasn’t always had pens filled with Angus-influenced cattle, they’ve invested in infrastructure, improved quality-based marketing and sought better genetics. Their dedication to detail and employee appreciation drive their success to high-quality beef production.
Seldom Rest Farms in Michigan, known for show-ring success, receives the CAB 2023 Ambassador Award for sharing their beef production story with Meijer grocery communications team and other CAB partners. The Foster family shares their passion for Angus cattle while fostering connections within the beef supply chain and promoting the Angus breed and CAB’s role in the industry.