Cattle Today

Cattle Today

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Casey Kelley
NALF Director of Communications

Beginning in May of 1998, the North American Limousin Foun­dation (NALF) entered into a formal Alliance with Laura's Lean Beef Co. of Lexington, Kentucky. Laura's Lean Beef (LLB) is a rapidly growing firm involved solely in the production and marketing of lean, all-natural, highly palatable, safe beef products to consumers, through rela­tionships with family owned and operated cattle operations. Their alliance with NALF is exclusive with respect to natural, antibiotic-free, non-implanted cattle and beef prod­ucts. The LLB Alliance provides a foundation to simultaneously achieve the long-term goals of each organiza­tion, namely a profitable, sustainable beef industry in which Limousin genetics command a premium rela­tive to the commodity beef market.

LLB products are currently avail­able in 3,000 retail grocery stores in 30 states. LLB has guaranteed for­ward pricing contracts available to cow-calf, backgrounder, and feedlot operators. LLB prefers high percent­age (3/4 blood or greater) Limousin-­cross cattle. Lucrative price premi­ums, primarily based on yield grade, are available to cattle producers whose cattle meet LLB's lean and natural requirements. LLB offers a hot weight carcass contract base price, with substantial premiums compared to the commodity beef market.

The LLB Finisher Bonus Plan is out­lined in Table A. (see at bottom of page)

Bonus premium payments and/or (discounts) are based on hot carcass weight, and will apply to the hot weight contract price on an individual carcass basis. For example, a fed-steer, Yield Grade 1.4, Select Quality Grade and 675lb. hot carcass weight would be valued at a $15.00/cwt. x 6.75 premium, or $101.25 bonus payment.

Bonus payments apply only to those cattle grading Choice, Select or Laura's Select*.

(Laura's Select* is any Standard grade cattle with a ribeye measure­ment greater than the USDA sched­ule based on hot carcass weight.)

Bonus and/or (discount) dollars are per cwt., and payments are adjusted accordingly from contract hot weight carcass price.

Standard quality carcasses receive a $12.00/cwt. discount unless they qualify for Laura's Select*.

As can be determined from the LLB Bonus Plan-Finisher Grid, LLB prefers Select and Laura's Select* quality grade carcasses. Quality grades other than Choice, Select or Laura's Select* receive a $35.00/cwt. discount.

Desired carcass weights range from 575 lbs. to 800 lbs. for steers and from 550 lbs. to 775 lbs. for heifers. A dis­count schedule applies for individual hot carcass weights, which fall out­side these preferred weight ranges.

Laura's Lean Beef also has a bonus plan for the cow-calf producer. LLB requirements for the Cow-Calf Bonus Plan include load lots of same sex, vaccinated, preconditioned, weaned calves. Also the calves must be non­implanted, antibiotic-free and must not have received ionophores. The final stipulation is that calves must have LLB ear tags, pre-weaning. The Cow-Calf Bonus is set at a standard 35 percent of the Finisher's Bonus. Should a set of cattle produce a negative bonus, no refund to LLB is required.

LLB also offers an option to cow­/calf producers to price cattle, via a forward contract, or on delivery date, at a premium to the commodity mar­ket. LLB will pay up to $5.00/cwt. over the top cash price of comparable weight ranges for the surrounding market area. The final premium amount is determined by the quality, uniformity, location and management of the cattle. Retained ownership pro­ducers are eligible for both the Cow­/Calf and Finisher Bonus Plans. Cow­/calf producers and finishers who elect to forward contract, remain eli­gible for any bonus available over the contracted price. LLB also offers pro­curement programs available for cull slaughter cows and bulls, offering a premium price schedule.

Laura's Lean Beef Alliance creates an opportunity for producers utiliz­ing Limousin genetics to be rewarded for premium genetics. The LLB Alliance can provide carcass informa­tion and cattle-feeding performance close-out data from Limousin influenced cattle harvested through the program. The LLB Alliance enhances opportunities for promotion of the Limousin breed, will serve to further define current Limousin genetics and will provide future genetic emphasis for the breed relative to selection.

Laura's Lean Beef is committed to improving the economics of family farms and ranches by providing a price premium above the commodity market for quality cattle and quality management. LLB cattle representa­tives will freely discuss methods to improve the profitability of your cattle operation with those interested.

Don Knore: 606/299-6625 Ext. 310, Vice President of Cattle Procurement. Regional coverage for OH, IN, MI, VA, WV

Regional Directors of Cattle Pro­curement:

Bayne Brown: 864/836-2293; NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, FL.

Tina Murphy: 606/299-6625, Ext. 314; KY, TN

Jay Davis: 817/866-2641; TX, NM, LA.

Charlie Peters: 319/672-9642; IA, MO, KS, IL, WI.

Jeff Russo: 605/428-4182; NE, SD, ND, MT, WY, CO.

Corporate Cattle Department: 606/299-6625 Ext. 229.

Laura's Lean Beef., 2285 Executive Drive, Ste. 200, Lexington, KY 40505; 606/299-6625; Fax: 606/299-3146;


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