BY JESSIE TOPP-BECKER, MANAGING EDITOR All About the Beef American Aberdeens’ efficiency, high-quality beef appeal to producers and consumers alike. W ith American Aberdeen, quality and efficiency are king. And while large-scale breeders benefit from the
demand for high-quality, family-raised beef. Known for its high-quality beef, the breed is an ideal fit for producers seeking to break into these markets. American Aberdeen possess excel lent beef characteristics of taste, tex ture and tenderness as well as excep tional ribeye area per hundred pounds of body weight, which translate to very high-yielding, high-quality, high-value beef carcasses. American Aberdeen beef checks all the boxes for consum ers seeking high-quality beef that is raised in an efficient, environmentally friendly manner. Combined with the ability to stock more cows on fewer acres and the high-quality beef the breed produces, many small-acreage producers are turning to American Aberdeen cattle as a solution to meet consumer de mand by branching into the retail beef market. C.A.B.B. Farms One of the allures of American Aberdeen-cross cattle is that they are extremely well suited to grass-fed beef production as they are easy fleshing and will finish on a high roughage ra tion, producing high-value carcasses with minimum input costs. That, along with the breed’s excellent beef charac teristics, are what attracted Dustin and Erin Bender to the breed. First-generation cattle producers, Dustin and Erin Bender are all about the beef – farm-raised, grass-fed and finished, locally processed beef. The Lexington, Ohio, couple may be new to the cattle industry, but they are making great strides in beef produc tion using quality American Aberdeen genetics. “We knew from the beginning we wanted to raise grass-fed beef, and
breed’s ability to lower input costs and stocking rates, and to moderate cow size on their operations, small acreage producers frequently take advantage of the breed’s suite of traits as well. All producers desire to raise ef ficient cattle as a way to reduce costs and increase profitability. Producers who utilize American Aberdeen cattle have the ability to stock more cattle on the same forage base. For example, a ranch that produces enough forage to feed 71 head of 1,400-pound cows could run 100 head of 1,000-pound
Producers who utilize American Aberdeen cattle have the ability to stock more cattle on the same forage base.
that was in the early 2000s when it was still a pretty novel concept among most producers,” Dustin says. While the couple started their op eration with registered Angus females, the American Aberdeen breed began to stand out as they researched op tions to increase beef productivity on limited land resources. They began introducing American Aberdeen genet ics in 2013 and have since grown their herd to more than 30 fullblood Ameri can Aberdeen, purebred Angus and American Aberdeen-Angus crossbred females. “All the things we love about the An gus breed – the quality, the yield, the value – we could get with the Ameri can Aberdeens in a smaller, more compact package,” Dustin says. The Benders background and finish their yearlings with a combination Continued on page 74 Erin Bender and her husband, Dustin, have made great strides in beef production and increased their productivity on limited land resources using quality American Aberdeen genetics.
cows on the same number of acres. More cows on the same number of acres means more profit, and a solid bottomline is critical to an operation’s continued success, regardless of size. In recent years, some producers have started branching into niche markets, seeking to meet consumer
C.A.B.B. Farms produces Yield Grade 1 and 2, Prime grass-fed and finished beef using qual ity American Aberdeen genetics.
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