Carcass Merit Project

In order to develop genetic selection tools for tenderness, NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, initiated the Carcass Merit Project in 1999. The goals of the project were to:
  • validate previously discovered Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) for important carcass and consumer- satisfaction traits such as marbling, tenderness and meat composition, and collect carcass data to enhance existing industry knowledge, and;
  • build a database from which breeds could develop Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) for tenderness.
In addition, economic analyses were conducted to predict increases in beef consumption, and subsequently beef prices, as a result of tenderness improvement.