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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon Texas)

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) as one of three regional USDA Cattle and Carcass Grading Correlation Training Centers.  These centers will educate and train stakeholders across the country in the grading of feeder cattle, fed cattle, and beef carcasses.

The current Farm Bill includes a provision authored by Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) with the assistance of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) to establish “Cattle and Carcass Grading Correlation and Training Centers,” which will help ensure that federal beef graders are interpreting and applying the USDA standards in the same way so that cattle and carcasses across the country are graded uniformly.

“The accuracy of grading cattle is dependent on the grader’s knowledge of animal composition, making the process subjective.  It is important to ensure that producers are receiving a fair price and that consumers are paying a fair price for the quality of beef,”said Thornberry.  “This legislation is an example of common-sense making a difference in our agricultural industry.  I am thankful for everyone who worked on this legislation and the implementation.”

“The grading center will provide consistency and reduce subjectivity in live animal grading for AMS graders across the entire country,”said Levi Berry, TCFA Chairman.  “Establishing this center in the heart of Cattle Feeding Country makes sense because of the availability of all types of cattle and industry expertise.  Rep. Thornberry played a key role in bringing this training center to the Texas Panhandle.  We’d like to thank him for his hard work.”

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which provides USDA’s voluntary beef cattle and carcass grading services, has signed agreements with three partners to strategically place the USDA Cattle and Carcass Grading Correlation Training Centers in locations which represent regional variances in U.S. cattle production.