USDA gives Superior Farms approval for electronic grading system
The company installed the new digital camera back in October 2015 and since then it has worked alongside with the USDA officials to secure approval for it.
"Our team worked closely with the USDA for two years validating the camera’s algorithms to assure accurate full carcass measurements of both yield and quality grades," Rick Stott, President and CEO of Superior Farms declared. "Combining Electronic Grading with our Producer Portal will allow unprecedented access to carcass information by our producer partners that will allow every segment of our industry to continue to produce a better product."
According to Superior farms, the new electronic grading system will provide producers detailed information about their lambs.
"We will now be able to share this detailed information with producers through our Producer Portal. This information includes the USDA Yield Grade and Quality Grade, as well as the Ovine Cutability Calculation (OCC), the primal weights (leg, loin, shoulder, rack, breast, trotters, and neck) and two digital images of each lamb carcass processed,” said Lesa Eidman, Director of Producer Resources and Sustainability for Superior Farms.
“This technology will provide our producers with an unprecedented amount of information about the meat and carcass characteristics of their lambs. Ultimately, producers will be able to make genetic and production changes to provide US lamb customers with the highest quality, most consistent product we can deliver,” added Eidman.
The next steps are to, first, pair this information with the Electronic Identification (EID) tags so that producers can see the data on an individual lamb basis. Second, to implement the technology in Superior Farms’ Denver facility.
“Now that we have received approval from the USDA for the camera grading, we can begin implementing the technology in our Denver facility,” Stott noted. “We look forward to working with the USDA to expedite the approval process so that both of our facilities have this state of the art technology.” The USDA grader will remain onsite to verify that the technology remains accurate and in-line with the USDA grading standards.
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