Adams Land and Cattle

Adams Land & Cattle wins national Beef Quality Assurance Award

The beef industry may be strong on tradition, but Adams Land and Cattle recognizes that success today and in the future depends on progress.

Adams’s commitment to improving their business and the industry, as well as communicating with consumers about that standard, is part of why they were named the 2024 National Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard of the Year, according to Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Director Jesse Fulton.

“The Nebraska BQA program considers Adams a progressive, outstanding member of Nebraska’s beef industry, and a leading advocate for the beef industry as a whole,” Fulton said.

Adams has been in the beef business in Nebraska since the 1950s when Russ and Angenette Adams bought 320 acres near Broken Bow to raise cattle and their family. The business has expanded to a 125,000 finishing capacity feedyard, but it’s still owned and operated by the Adams family.

“At Adams, our mission is feeding the world high-quality, safe and sustainable beef,” said Abram Babcock, president of Adams Land and Cattle. “The principles of BQA align perfectly with what we strive for every day within our company, from every single employee being BQA certified on day one of employment, to our continuous improvement and best practices, to the identification and verification of every single animal that leaves our lots. We are honored by this award and are incredibly proud of our employees for their hard work and dedication to consumers.”

Innovation has been a major theme for Adams Land and Cattle, Fulton said. They were early adopters of individual animal management technology in the 1990s, which allows individual animals to be traced through the feedlot, ensuring accurate, complete health records. They also created an IT system, Revoro, which allows them to collect data on individual animals and make data-based management decisions. Adams has used electronic ID readers since 2010, and has patented a sorting technology that uses artificial intelligence to optimize animal endpoints.

Adams has also consistently focused on reducing stress for the animals in their care. That includes a trolley system that automates the sorting process, and a mobile vet hospital which takes health treatments to sick animals, allowing them to stay in a familiar location, with familiar pen-mates, rather than requiring sick animals to be brought to a “sick pen.”

Adams’ commitment to animal welfare starts with every employee, from accountants to pen riders, being BQA certified as part of their employment orientation. The company has adopted and enhanced the standard BQA practices and combined it with Tyson’s FarmCheck program to create their own program called Adams Quality Assurance.

Adams works to build consumer confidence by participating in value-added programs like non-hormone treated cattle, Global Animal Partnership, Verified Natural, BeefCARE and most recently, Brazen Beef. These programs provide additional value for beef producers by meeting consumer demands for animal care, hormone treatments, and environmental standards, Fulton said. The Adams system for electronically identifying and verifying animals makes it simple to track which animals qualify for which programs when it’s time to market them.

While Adams Land and Cattle has a history in the beef industry, they recognize the work necessary to provide for the future as well. Through social media, partnerships with Nebraska Ag in the Classroom, a scholarship program, and participation in programs like the Timmerman Feedlot Internship program through University of Nebraska—Lincoln, they educate and support kids in Nebraska, working toward positive relationships with future consumers and employees. Adams sponsors field trips to the feedyard, provides compost to local gardeners, and hosts Youth Animal Quality Assurance Training, which is required for 4-H members in animal projects.

By feeding Nebraska corn to Nebraska cattle, Adams supports area farmers, buying 14 million bushel of corn annually, which means about 16,000 semi-loads of corn stay local.

Through their voluntary participation in consumer-driven programs, their own commitment to animal care and handling standards, and the transparency they offer anyone who wants to know how Adams produces cattle, Adams Land and Cattle builds consumer trust in the beef industry, Fulton said.

The National Beef Quality Assurance Awards recognize outstanding members of the beef industry in five categories: Cow-Calf, Feedyard, Dairy, Marketer, and Educator. The National BQA Awards are selected by a committee of BQA-certified representatives from universities, state beef councils, sponsors, and affiliated groups. Nominations are submitted by organizations, groups or individuals on behalf of a U.S. beef producer, dairy beef producer, marketer, or educator.

This year another Nebraska business, Power Genetics from Arapahoe, Nebraska, won the BQA Marketer award. The awards were presented at the Cattle Industry Convention in Orlando in early February.

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