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Producer Applications Committee

Show-Me-Select Heifer Program Update

by Troy Smith for Angus Productions Inc.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (June 29, 2010) — “It’s a learning experience and, for some producers, the learning curve is steep,” said Millersville, Mo., cattleman Mike Kasten, speaking during the 2010 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium. Kasten provided an update on the Show-Me-Select Heifer Program during the Producer Applications Committee break-out session.

Mike KastenMike KastenKasten said the program began in 1996 as a means of helping cow-calf producers develop and market higher-quality replacement females more efficiently. Funded early on through the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension service, the program was privatized in 2004. It is the only state-wide, on-farm heifer development and marketing program in the U.S.

To date, Kasten said, 685 operations have participated, putting more than 90,000 heifers through the program. One hundred associated auction sales have been hosted, selling nearly 22,000 bred heifers to buyers representing 17 states.

Participating producers develop their own heifers at home, but all follow the same health and vaccination protocol initiated at weaning, Kasten explained. All heifers are subjected to a prebreeding examination by a veterinarian including reproductive tract scoring and pelvic measurement. Heifers must be bred to high-accuracy calving ease sires. Artificial insemination (AI) is encouraged but not required. Heifers are pregnancy tested within 90 days postbreeding. Heifers consigned to a Show-Me-Select sale must also pass evaluation for conformation and soundness.

“Producers have learned that it’s not easy, and it’s not cheap to develop high-quality heifers. But it has helped them improve their own herds and market heifers with greater value. By participating, they establish credibility,” Kasten said. “It’s made me a better manager. It’s made my good intentions become realities. The quality and productivity of my herd has improved and retention rates for females added to the breeding herd have increased. I can depend on replacements staying in production longer.”

Kasten said a “Tier 2” phase of the program is being added for heifers sired by bulls with high-accuracy EPDs and bred to high-accuracy bulls.

Themed "Gateway to Profit," the 2010 BIF Annual Research Symposium and Annual Meeting was hosted by BIF June 28-July 1 in Columbia.

Editor’s Note: This summary was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API). Through an agreement with the Beef Improvement Federation, we are encouraging reprinting of the articles to those who will adhere to the reprint guidelines available on this site. Please review those guidelines or contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270. PowerPoints are posted with permission of the presenter and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the presenter.

API's coverage of the event is made possible through collaboration with BIF and sponsorship by BioZyme Inc. through its significant gift to the Angus Foundation. For questions about this site, or to notify us of broken links, click here.

Headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo., API publishes the Angus Journal, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, and the Angus e-List, as well as providing online coverage of events and topics pertinent to cattlemen through the API Virtual Library.

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