Rick Little is finding value in his heifers through a program developed 13 years ago that focuses on health protocols and genetics.
Little’s Limousin in Eldon has been in the University of Missouri Extension’s Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer program for more than four years. “There’s value in these heifers that’s not being captured if they just go to the feedlot,” he says. However, Little insists it’s not just about return on investments.
“You’ve got to look at the future,” the Miller County cattleman says. “The program has strict protocols to go by — vaccination programs, pelvic measurements and so forth. It just allows you to buy heifers that have been checked and gives them a degree of uniformity. The people that are buying these heifers are purchasing a premium product. And by buying a premium product, it should enhance their herd, too.”
Selling quality beef heifers
Missouri cattle producers have an opportunity to get a good return on their investments through the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program’s regional sales, says Anita Ellis, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist and sale coordinator for central Missouri. Ellis says more producers are involved this year, and the program is enrolling and tagging more quality heifers.
“We’re getting a lot of really quality animals out of the central region,” Ellis says. Specialists meet with producers and their local veterinarian for three different heifer checks throughout the year to see if the heifers continue to qualify for sales.
“It’s really perpetuating those phenotypes and genetics that these producers have worked so hard for,” Ellis says. “And now, we’ve given them a marketing component, an educational program to utilize and sell those heifers and share it with the rest of Missouri.”
Here are the results of the latest sales:
Replacement program overview
MU Extension’s Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program uses the latest research on health, nutrition, genetics and reproductive science to ensure Missouri producers continue to be national leaders in providing quality beef, she adds. Program objectives include:
- improved heifer development programs through a Total Quality Management strategy
- increased marketing opportunities and added value for Missouri-raised heifers
- creation of reliable sources of quality replacement heifers based on management, reproduction and genetics
A comprehensive list of requirements can be found on the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program webpage. Producers interested in the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program should call their regional MU Extension livestock specialist. The next sale is June 4 in Palmyra. For details on future sales, visit muext.us/SMS-sales.
“Even if you’re not sure it’s for you, just attending one of these sales coming up this spring and seeing what it’s all about,” Ellis says. “There’s even time before the sale starts to talk to the producers and find out a little bit more information from those that have been there and done that.”