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What is the Role of the Purebred Sector in the Beef Industry?

Andrew Manning


The purebred sector of the beef industry in Canada has played a critical role in providing commercial beef producers the foundations of their cattle herds. Purebred bulls and heifers have been marketed to commercial breeders across the country to improve their cow herds and provide more performance and extra dollars to their calf crop. Whether it be bulls with added growth and performance numbers or heifers that have strong maternal characteristics and longevity, the purebred industry has been able to provide top notch seedstock to all cattle producers. Without the drive for proofs on cattle from the purebred industry in the forms of expected progeny differences (EPD), the commercial industry would not be able to be as far as they are today because EPD’s allows commercial breeders to see how the animal that they are buying for breeding stock will potentially preform. Currently the purebred sector has been focusing on marketing their own brands to value-add products for beef producers, such as how the Canadian Angus association has been marketing angus cattle through the green tag program to be easily identified by buyers and try to add value to producers' cattle. Moving forward it will be the purebred sector which will play the role as marketers in order to increase their breeds presence in the beef industry.

Ever since purebred stock has built a name for itself it has also built an image of what traits and characteristics are associated with the breed. Moving forward in today's cattle industry the purebred industry plays an accountable role in providing the desirable traits in their breed and ensuring that they have EPD’s to make sure those traits are accountable. By having EPD’s to back their cattle, purebred breeders can sell their animals to other commercial and purebred breeders and have full confidence that those animals have performance numbers and the buyers know what to expect out of the animal. EPD accountability has also created new sight unseen markets for purebred producers, this allows people from further away to purchase cattle just by their EPD accountability. The purebred sector has played a huge role in this by requiring registered animals to have an EPD, as well as making those EPD’s easily accessible by publishing them on online data bases as well as on the animal's registration papers. Purebred EPD’s have also played a big role in challenging purebred breeders to better the animals genetics and create better EPD’s which positively benefits the beef industry. The purebred sector has played a huge role in providing performance traits to all cattle producers and making it easier for producers to choose their genetics.

The purebred industry also plays a huge role in marketing cattle to producers and cattle packer. By building a brand for angus cattle the purebred sector has been able to value add angus cattle in sale barns and the slaughterhouse. Thanks to constant marketing of how great of quality angus beef is, consumers now associate it with the best beef money can buy. Purebred association have been behind the constant marketing and association with their breed. Without the purebred sector the beef industry would not have the huge successes of value adding products. The purebred industry has also value-added their breed by using marketing strategies such as using tag programs to easily identify the breed of cattle at hand. By using tags to market cattle, buyers can easily identify the targeted cattle that they are looking to buy and can bring more money into the hand of the producer. Easy identification also ensures that the animals on hand are at least fifty percent of the breed they are looking for if properly tagged. The purebred sector has also provided these tags at a cost-effective price for producers and it has been shown to add money to producers' animals in the salering.

The purebred industry has been played a very strong role in the Canadian cattle industry and has allowed for many great breed funded programs for purebred and commercial cattle producers alike. The purebred side of the cattle industry has played a huge role in marketing cattle to provide extra value in cattle producers animals. The purebred industry has also played a greater role in promoting certain traits in different breeds and ensuring predictability in their respective breeds in the form of EPD’s and making sure that producers can show their animals potential to buyers and to be able to better market their animals. The purebred sector has played a huge role in growing the beef industry to where it is today.

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