Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

December 1997


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XV December 9, 10 and 11, 1997, Rapid City, South Dakota.


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a change in its grading system in 1996 that became effective January 31, 1997. All carcasses with overall maturity scores of "B'' (from cattle approximately 30 to 42 months of age at slaughter) and with Slight or Small degrees of marbling are excluded from the U.S. Choice and U.S. Select quality grades. In fact these carcasses will only be eligible for the U.S. Choice grade if they possess a minimum of Modest amount of marbling (Figure 1).