26th April 2013
For half a century Red Angus breeders worked toward meeting the commercial cattlemen's needs and moving the beef industry forward. The breed now ranks among the nation's top five, and Red Angus beef is in high demand. Bull sales are strong, and feeder cattle once discounted because of their red color bring premium prices. The breed has become a national phenomenon.
This all time high for use of Red Angus is not surprising. The innovative efforts of the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) have guided and assisted Red Angus breeders in building an efficient and quality beef production based on sound selection. Breeders ignored industry fads, focusing instead on producing practical cattle. With the ability to compare and measure traits, made possible by the RAAA, Red Angus breeders have selected cattle based on traits of economic importance, and then bred the best to the best, resulting in a top beef cattle breed.
Although Red Angus is as much a purebred Aberdeen-Angus as the black, they were not always accepted as such. The reds were banned by the American Angus Association in 1917 in an effort to produce a true black, causing their numbers in herds to diminish. But a comeback began in 1945 when several cattlemen started breeding red Angus with the best of blacks, and in 1954 the RAAA formed to establish the cattle industry's first performance registry.
The association's firsts were many. They required extensive data collection of registered cattle, allowed open and unrestricted artificial insemination, and promoted crossbreeding. They primarily considered the needs of the commercial customer, and worked to produce the best objectively described cattle with a balance of traits considered economically important. They provided the ability to evaluate and build upon those traits, and through testing and data comparisons, Red Angus breeders were able to produce cattle that now set standards in the industry.
Among the Red Angus advantages are high fertility, calving ease, rapid weight gain, low maintenance, natural polling, and gentle disposition. They have a great appetite, and consistently produce carcasses with easy fleshing and high quality, tender and marbled beef.
The reliable genetic predictions made possible by data such as Total Herd Reporting (THR) and Economically Relevant Traits (ERTs) allows commercial cattlemen to make decisions with confidence, and continues the efforts of Red Angus breeders to produce a consistent, quality product that increases profitability in the cattle industry. Known as being a true performance breed, the cattle are meeting goals set by Red Angus breeders many years ago as today's breeders continue to improve the Red Angus beef production.