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“Value Added Calf” is a phrase that has been around the beef cattle industry for several decades. In short, value added marketing is taking a commodity and creating additional value through management practices, and then marketing that commodity in such a way as to be paid for the additional value created. Although producers may have taken a number of steps to create that added value, it is all for naught if the product is not marketed in such a way as to capture that additional value.
Added value can be created through quite a number of production steps. Breed selection may qualify animals for certain valued added programs. Basic management practices like castration, weaning and pre-conditioning may be the basic price of admission for other programs. Documented health protocols, such as the Pfizer SelectVAC program, may be another factor in added value. Documented feedlot performance and carcass data may also attract buyers to a set of calves. The aforementioned attributes have become standards for value-added marketing. These attributes are essentially required to establish a set of animals as being more than just commodity cattle.