The 2000 National Beef Quality Audits: Views of Producers, Packers, and Merchandisers on Current Quality Characteristics of Beef11This project was funded by beef producers through their $1-per-head checkoff and was produced for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2002 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists In 1991 and 1995, National Beef Quality Audits (NBQA) benchmarked beef industry quality challenges. Face-to-face interviews identified hide defects and lack of live cattle uniformity as leading quality challenges for packers and excess external fat and lack of uniformity/ consistency as leading quality challenges for merchandisers (purveyors, retailers, and restaurateurs). For NBQA-2000, surveys replaced interviews to solicit producers and to increase packer and merchandiser opinions. Seedstock generators and cow-calf producers (n = 2,308) most frequently (P < 0.05) cited improved genetics using expected progeny differences, changed injection site location, and improved genetics using physical characterization as management adjustments made since 1991. Stocker/ backgrounders and feedlot operators (n = 740) most frequently (P < 0.05) made adjustments in injection site location, handling, and genetic types of cattle. Seedstock generators and cow-calf producers indicated that previous audits had a “strong” (18.7%) or “moderate” (57.6%) impact on management changes made since 1991 compared with 15.3% or 62.7%, respectively, for stocker/ backgrounders and feedlot operators. Packers (n = 29) and merchandisers (n = 113) indicated that past audits had a “strong” (6.9% and 9.5%, respectively) or “moderate” (55.2% and 71.8%, respectively) impact on quality/consistency improvements of cattle, carcasses, and cuts. Responses from production sectors revealed lack of live cattle uniformity, inadequate tenderness, and insufficient marbling to be the greatest (P < 0.05) quality challenges currently facing the beef industry. Merchandisers revealed insufficient marbling, lack of cut uniformity, and inadequate tenderness to be the greatest (P < 0.05) quality challenges. Results will aide in development and implementation of beef quality assurance principles and will provide added stimulus for producers to improve beef quality and consumer satisfaction.

author list (cited authors)

  • Roeber, D. L., Mckennat, D. R., Bates, P. K., Schmidt, T. B., Belk, K. E., Field, T. G., ... Smith, G. C.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • June 2002