RED ANGUS

Breed History

In 1954, seven visionary breeders gathered to establish a unique breeder’s organization known as the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). Rejecting the norms of the times, the RAAA was designed around the new scientific principles of performance testing. Founding member George Chiga explained, “The establishment of Red Angus (Association) was more than an accumulation of numbers. It was dreaming of a new approach.”

In August of 1954, the Association’s first president, Waldo Forbes, Sr., summed-up the vision of the founding members: “The policy of the (Red Angus) Association is to discourage the more artificial practices in purebred cattle production and to place its faith instead in objective tests, consisting for the most part of comparisons within herds of factors of known economic importance and known heritability... By making this an integral part of the registration system, Red Angus breeders feel that even faster progress can be made toward the ultimate goal of more efficient beef production.”

The Red Angus Association of America has long been noted for its far-sighted vision of beef production. Over a variety of fronts, Red Angus has either led the industry or been an early adopter of new technologies. This maverick attitude allowed the RAAA to adopt philosophies and technologies that were deemed too risky or unconventional by other associations. Examples of these risky but rewarding philosophies include: a performance-based registry, embracing crossbreeding principles and practices, total herd reporting (THR), commitment to reproductive traits and a belief in value-based marketing programs.

Red Angus are Angus; yet the Red Angus breeders’ history of leadership and innovation have made a profound difference in the red strain. Red Angus breeders have maintained a commercial focus allowing them to avoid the short-term fads that have negatively affected so many other breeds. The Red Angus gene pool offers a consistent source of traditional Angus traits, including carcass quality, maternal characteristics, calving ease, and moderate size. In addition, Red Angus offer uniformity, good disposition, and outstanding feeding characteristics. All of these are backed by the industry’s most precise, reliable and comprehensive genetic predictions; and service after the sale that includes a comprehensive commercial marketing program.

American Red Angus Association (2018, August). Red Angus History. Retrieved from https://redangus.org/about-red-angus/history/

Breed EPDs

Back Fat (BF)

The adjusted twelfth rib fat thickness of a sires progeny, expressed in inches. Predicted differences of fat thickness, in inches, for a carcass over the 12th rib, smaller numbers of fat thickness are preferable as excess fat can be detrimental to yield drade.

Birth Weight (BW)

Difference in birth weights of a bulls progeny when compared to the breed average. Measured in pounds. Birth Weight EPD predicts the difference in average birth weight of a bulls calves compared to calves of another bull. Reported in pounds, a lower number is desirable.

Calving Ease (CE)

Percent of unassisted births when used on heifers. Calving Ease, or Calving Ease Direct is the difference in percentage of unassisted births when a sire is bred to first calf heifers. A higher number is desirable.

Calving Ease Maternal (CEM)

Percent of unassisted births in first-calving daughters. Maternal Calving Ease, or Calving Ease Maternal is expressed as the difference in percentage of unassisted births of a sires daughters as first-calf heifers when compared to daughters of other sires. Reported as a percentage, a higher value is desirable.

Carcass Weight (CW)

Difference in poulds of hot carcass weight, adjusted to an industry standard age endpoint This EPD predicts the difference in hot carcass weight of a bulls progeny compared to progeny of all other bulls evaluated at a given endpoint. Reported in pounds, a higher number is generally desirable. Hot carcass weight is the weight of the animal immediately after slaughter. To calculate how much meat you will receive, use this equation: Live weight x dressing percentage x carcass cutting yield = pounds of meat. 280 x (0.72 x 0.74) = 280 x 53% = 148 pounds of meat.

GridMaster (GM)

A $Value index used by producers to maximize feedyard profitability. Used by producers whose primary goal is to maximize profitability of feeders in the feedyard and on the rail. GM assumes bulls will be mated to cows only, and all progeny will be sold on a quality base carcass grid.

Heifer Pregnancy (HPG)

Differences in percent probability of female progeny conceiving to calve as 2-year-olds.

HerdBuilder (HB)

A $Value index used to assist producers in building profitable herds. Used by producers to increase the sustainability of the cow herd and ultimately their operation. HB assumes bulls will be mated to both cows and heifers, replacement females will be retained within the herd, and the remaining progeny will be sold on a quality based carcass grid.

Maintenance Energy (ME)

Differences in mature cow maintenance energy requirements. Expressed as megacalories per month.

Marbling (MARB)

A predictor of the difference in a sires progeny for percent marbling score or percent intramuscular fat in the ribeye muscle compared to other sires. This EPD predicts the difference in average USDA marbling score of a bulls progeny compared to progeny of another bull at a similar end point. Reported in degrees of a marbling score, higher values are desirable. In a similar fashion, EPDs generated from ultrasound scan data reflect differences in chemical fat content within the ribeye muscle (intramuscular fat). Research has shown a strong relationship between marbling score and % intramuscular fat. Therefore, selection for higher % intramuscular fat EPDs would be expected to increase marbling scores and associated quality grade in slaughter progeny.

Maternal Milk (MM)

Pounds of weaning weight due to milk. The milk EPD predicts the difference in average 205-day weight of a bulls daughters calves compared to the calves from daughters of another bull. Reported in pounds. The amount of pre-weaning performance gained by calves which can be attributed to the milking ability of a bulls daughters depends heavily upon the nutritional environment of the herd.

Ribeye Area (REA)

Differences in ribeye area in inches between the 12th and 13th rib. Greater ribeye areas are preferable. This EPD predicts the difference in ribeye area of a bulls progeny compared to the progeny of another bull and is an indicator of total muscle in the carcass. Reported in square inches, larger numbers are generally desirable.

Stayability (STAY)

Percent of daughters predicted to be remaining in the cowherd at 6 years of age. The stayability EPD predicts the probability of a bulls daughters staying in production to at least six years of age compared to daughters of another bull. Reported as a percentage, a higher value is desirable. The stayability EPD is one of the best measures currently available to compare a bulls ability to produce females with reproductive longevity.

Weaning Weight (WW)

Difference in weaning weight of a bulls progeny when compared to the breed average. Measured in pounds. Weaning Weight EPD predicts the difference in average 205-day weight of a bulls progeny compared to calves of another bull. Reported in pounds, a higher number is desirable.

Yearling Weight (YW)

Difference in yearling weight of a bulls progeny when compared to the breed average. Measured in pounds. Yearling Weight EPD predicts the difference in average 365-day weight of a bulls progeny compared to progeny of another bull. Reported in pounds, a higher number is generally desirable.

Yield Grade (YG)

Differences in USDA Yield Grade, expressed as a deviation of Yield Grade units where negative values are desirable. This EPD predicts differences in USDA Yield Grade of a bulls progeny compared to progeny of another bull. Reported in tenths of a USDA YG, lower numbers are desirable.