Preparing Cows for Breeding

– Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

A successful breeding season actually begins with management decisions made at calving.  Cattlemen can impact rebreeding efficiency by focusing on body condition score (BCS), early assistance during calving difficulty, scheduling a breeding soundness exam for the herd sires, planning their herd reproductive health program, and developing a plan to regulate estrus in their first-calf heifers and late-calving cows.

Reproductive management begins with Continue reading

Castration; Earlier is Better

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D.  Director, Supply Development Certified Angus Beef (reprinted with permission)

Everybody knows bull calves sell at least $5/cwt back of steers at weaning, and the discount grows for any still intact as yearlings. That’s because virtually all of them are bound for the feedyard, where steers are the rule. The only question revolves around when the bulls become steers.

Castration at weaning means one more stress at a stressful time and mandates a Continue reading

Wildfire Relief; Ohio’s Cattlemen ask, “What can we do to help?”

By now you’re well aware of the devastating wildfires that destroyed most everything in their path on a million and a half acres across the states surrounding the Oklahoma panhandle. It goes without saying our thoughts and prayers are with the families that have suffered from the destruction of life and property resulting from these fires. Many have asked what can be done to help.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association has reached out to the cattlemen’s associations in the states most impacted, and the response has been Continue reading

Are You Making the Beef Industry Great Again?

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator (This article appeared previously in the 2017 Expo issue of the Ohio Cattleman)

We are in the early days of the Presidency of Donald Trump.  Regardless of which side of the political fence you stand, I’m sure you will be closely watching the activity out of Washington D.C.  Based on the first few days of the Trump administration, the status quo will not be standard business as usual out of the nation’s capital.

I’m not sure that President Trump and his administration are going to have the luxury of a “honeymoon” period associated with the next four years.  It is obvious that Continue reading

Regulating Livestock Welfare Remains an Issue Around the Country

Ellen Essman, Law Fellow, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

While livestock producers in Ohio have been subject to standards for the care of livestock since 2011, animal welfare remains a topic of debate around the country. Most recently, attention turned to the care of livestock raised under the National Organic Program and animals raised in confinement in Massachusetts.   In this post, we examine the proposed federal organic standards and a livestock care ballot initiative passed in Continue reading

Water Quality and Beef Sustainability Producer Survey

Water quality is important to sustainable beef production. Every day beef producers implement practices that improve water quality, reduce nutrients in surface waters, or have positive impacts on water quality through land use and pasture and range management. Some of these practices are encouraged through cost share programs by the USDA, but many others are implemented for a variety of other reasons.

To characterize water quality management practices implemented by beef producers and to assist NCBA in their Continue reading

Think Safety First; Newborns Bring Unpredictability

Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

Winter 2017 in Ohio has been anything but predictable. Rolling on through late winter and early spring here, will likely present farmers with a rollercoaster of environmental conditions to face while managing animal herds during spring birthing. As we move between freezing and thawing the farm yard changes conditions from frozen to muddy, leaving terrain challenging to navigate for both farmer and animal.

We all know safety is something that frequently gets pushed to the Continue reading

Ohio Beef School 2017, Webinar Series On-line

In case you missed one of the presentations from the 2017 Ohio Beef School webinar series, or would like to review any or all of the sessions, they are each linked below to an Adobe Connect recording.

Dr. Justin Rhinehart, Associate Professor, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, University of Tennessee Department of Animal Science: January 17, 2017 presentation, Key Management Practices to Stay Viable (Dr. Rhinehart’s presentation may be found on the first 1 hour, 14 minutes of the recording linked here, Continue reading

Bull Shopping Season!

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator (this article was published previously in the Ohio Farmer magazine at

Bull buying season is well underway throughout the cow-calf regions across the country.  Producers are constantly reminded of this through sale catalogs in the mail, glossy magazine advertisements, and social media posts.  These promotional efforts may make it seem like the Christmas shopping season has returned.  Both of these “shopping seasons” can be equally confusing and frustrating for the buyer that is uninformed and unprepared.

As an Extension professional and a seedstock producer, one of the most interesting discussions I can have with a producer is reviewing their thoughts on what they are Continue reading

Ohio Beef School Concludes With Focus on Meeting Demand

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

To say the least, suggesting it’s been a wild ride on the path to profitability in the cow-calf sector during this decade is an understatement. Beginning in 2009-10 cattlemen saw the most dramatic increase in cattle prices ever, to the point where we experienced historic highs in 2014-15. As would be expected, consumers experienced historic high beef prices in the meat case at this same time.

What might not have been expected was that while these lower beef supplies were causing historically high retail prices, demand for premium priced branded beef continued to climb at Continue reading