In Search of the Perfect Steak
Hendrix: “So what we did is put a scale together of tenderness. T-1 to T-10 — with 10 being the best you can have. Using DNA markers we will able to rank beef. T-3 or T-4 right in that range is what the normal American beef ranks right now. So we started trying to find animals that were higher in the tenderness scores and it took me three years to actually the first T-10 bull. The method I used was AI sire catalogues because phenotypically the AI sires are very good. I did not want to get into a situation that we had a tender animal but it wasn’t good for anything else — so we used AI sires.”
One of the challenges of grass-fed beef currently is that usually it’s a bit tougher than grain-finished beef. Hendrix thinks this research could really benefit grass-fed beef producers.
Hendrix: “I see a huge niche for grass-finished industry still in a producer that wanted to produce guaranteed tender beef — tenderness 9s and 10s. I think that there is a huge need for the grass-finished industry to get a group of these cattle going into what they want.”