Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1999


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVI December 14, 15 and 16, 1999 - Greeley, Colorado.


Most cattlemen agree that instrument technology, combined with mechanisms to trace livestock through the processing chain, would assist in developing a true "value- or qualitybased" marketing system--where economic signals are transmitted across the entire production chain so that customer preferences are communicated to producers. Tatum et al. (1999) demonstrated the importance of being able to sort beef carcasses, based on an accurate measurement of their subsequent eating quality, if true quality management practices are to ever be implemented to reduce variation and inconsistency in beef palatability. Because Video Image Analysis (VIA) technology has been a priority for commercial testing by the beef industry (NLSMB, 1994), researchers have focused a great deal of time and effort evaluating such technology since 1994. As part of this effort, Colorado State University and Hunter Associates Laboratories, Inc. (Reston, VA) have collaborated to develop the HunterLab BeefCam™ System for sorting beef carcasses on the basis of projected eating quality.