Angus cattle, also known as Aberdeen Angus, were developed from cattle native to the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. Angus is also the most popular native beef bred in the UK, and the second most popular breed overall. Black Angus is the most common pure breed of cattle in the U. S., with over 350,000 registered animals. (1)
Black Angus cattle were introduced to the US in 1873 by George Grant, who brought four bulls to Kansas for cross-breeding. Farmers recognized the qualities of the breed, and soon more animals of both sexes were imported. The first great herds of Angus beef cattle in America were built up by purchasing stock directly from Scotland. Twelve hundred cattle alone were imported, mostly to the Midwest, in a period of explosive growth between 1878 and 1883. The first purebred Black Angus herd was recorded in 1885. Over the next quarter of a century these early owners helped start other herds by breeding, showing, and selling their registered stock. Our Cowboy Beef herd is descended from these early purebred herds.
Because of their native environment, Black Angus cattle are very hardy and can survive the Scottish winters, which are typically harsh with snowfall and storms. This makes them ideal for year-around grazing on the prairie of Western Nebraska, which has severe winters.
Purebred Black Angus are medium-sized, smaller than Holsteins and Longhorns. Their smaller size is an advantage in cooler climates, and results in a compact beef carcass with higher percentages of choice and prime cuts than most other breeds. The meat is very popular due to its fat marbling qualities. It’s the superior marbling that makes Black Angus beef so flavorful, tender and juicy.
In order to be labeled “Black Angus Beef” by the USDA graders, cattle must meet all 10 of the following criteria: (2)
4. Reiman, Miranda, “Beef Must Differentiate”, Certified Angus Beef, Press Release, March 10, 2016 www.cabpartners.com.articles/news
6. Coah, Larry, “Did You Know,,,” Highest Quality Beef Ever? Certified Angus Beef, LLC press release, April 2016, http://www.cabpartners.com/news