Cooperation Between Packer, Feedlot and Producer
The responsibility of organizing and collecting carcass data generally falls squarely on the shoulders of the producer (owner of the cattle). However, communication between the producer, feedlot manager, data collection service personnel and packer facility can minimize potential problems during the process.
The producer will also be responsible for collecting and recording complete herd identification data, breeding and calving records, growth data and any other pre-harvest measures required in the process.
Informing the feedlot manager about the need for carcass data collection before arival, or upon arrival, of the calves at the feedlot will be important. This helps the feedlot manager communicate this necessity to the packing plant. It may even help determine where the cattle get harvested.
Should retained ownership not be an option, it is the producer’s responsibility to ensure buyers of the calves are knowledgeable of the required testing procedures so the cattle will be finished and harvested according to industry approved standards and guidelines.
It is generally recommended that a third party (Cattlemen’s Carcass Data service or a qualified university meat scientist) be paid to collect the carcass data at the packing plant. With that said, the financial burden of paying for the carcass data collection also falls on the shoulder of the producer. This is in addition to the costs associated with retained ownership of the cattle through the feeding phase.
Communication with this group of professionals (producer, feedlot, carcass data services, packer, etc.) will be beneficial to a successful harvest and data collection.