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Marketing Cattle and Heifers Strategically

By   /  August 24, 2020  /  2 Comments

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One of the silver linings of living through a pandemic is that everyone and everything has gone onli
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  • Published: 9 months ago on August 24, 2020
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  • Last Modified: August 24, 2020 @ 12:40 pm
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

2 Comments

  1. Luke says:

    I don’t see what’s sustainable about February calves (60 days weaned by November), several vaccines, and worming. I checked into this program when it first came out and saw those issues. Nobel has some very bright, really good folks and I believe their heart is in the right place, but they refuse to let go of some old, tired practices of propping up livestock. It seems like they’re always a couple of steps behind the whole sustainable grazing movement.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Hi Luke,

      Robert Wells is the Executive Director of Integrity Beef Alliance. He asked if I would post this on his behalf.

      There exists, today, many definitions of sustainability in cattle production. For the purposes of this discussion I believe the Integrity Beef Alliance is sustainable for the members. This program has a 20 year history of helping cow/calf producers improve their pastures, health and quality of the animals, and most importantly member profitability. This is true now and even more so moving into the future.

      The current program was the first pilot project of the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef for producers and demonstrated that it met all the high priority indicators; water resources, land resources, air and greenhouse gas emissions, efficiency and yield, animal health and well-being, and employee safety and well-being. I will provide specific examples: Cattle that have been proven to gain well on the cow and grass, and that can gain well in the feedlot helps all along the way meet their profit goals — this helps with profitability, efficiency and yield. Additionally, cattle that can convert well and be finished out at an earlier age reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reduces water use. All members must be BQA certified, this helps with animal health and well-being. We preach low stress cattle handling and have hosted such training events for members, one in particular by Curt Pate, this applies to the animal but also employee safety because an animal that is not stressed is less likely to get hurt or hurt someone else, plus the vaccines will be more effective. All members must sign an Animal Welfare Statement. The Alliance has a strict set of health protocols that members adhere to, yes that does includes vaccinations and dewormers. This helps market larger numbers of similar cattle in both type and management to feedlots which translates into larger bid prices for the cattle owner. Additionally, it is the ethical thing to do to ensure the cattle have every chance of staying healthy once it leaves the member ranch. Additionally, members are encouraged to keep production and financial records so that they can track their performance year-to-year but also within years against the range of metrics that other members turn in. When comparing to the aggregated range and average of other members, this allows them to determine if they are doing well in each metric or still need to work on reducing costs or increase production. The leadership of the Alliance encourages proper land and stewardship all the way through the production year and to match the forage resources with the cow’s nutrient requirements. Members are been encouraged to have appropriate stocking rates and to practice rotational grazing. Many members have multiple generations of the family involved in the ranching operations and plan to pass it down to the next generation … to me that is sustainable as well.

      Finally, I would encourage you to continue to watch the activities of the Integrity Beef Alliance this next year as you will see that they are still an industry leading group of conscientious cow/calf producers. They are working on the final details of a new program that will build upon their Sustainability Pilot project. This new endeavor is one that no other organized producer group has created and will truly be focused on Regenerative Agriculture; from the soil, through the cow, and producer and finally with the consumer.

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