Date of this Version
The rapid change to ¼-inch trim by the packing industry has been brought about by producers using their checkoff dollars to show retail meat buyers the way to value the closer trim product. The computer system, CARDS, developed by Texas A&M in cooperation with the National Livestock and Meat Board has allowed retailers to evaluate the closer trim product and use it in their buying programs. This demand by the retail industry has driven packers to offer the product. Today, all three major packers offer a closely trimmed boxed beef product. The growth in acceptance of this product has surprised many watchers in the cattle industry. We are an industry noted for changing slowly over long periods of time. The change to closely trimmed product has happened in months and continues to pick up speed. This rapid change will present a challenge for cattle feeders and cow-calf producers to respond to the new realities of the marketplace.