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October 12, 2012

Vaccine program adds value to beef cattle

McALESTER — Successful cow-calf producers strive to receive the highest possible value for their calves at sale date.

The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network is a program, which began in 2001 and is a joint effort by Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association. In the beginning the OQBN was designed to be a process verification and certification program for preconditioned calves. Today, the OQBN is the “complete” value-added program as it offers participation in value-added markets such as health management verification, source verification, age verification, production system verification, and genetic verification.

The OQBN Vac-45 is an example of a health management verification option for beef producers to participate in a value added-market. In addition to healthier, heavier calves when sold, sellers may earn higher prices per hundred weight. Research has found buyers paid $3 to $6 per hundred weight more for preconditioned calves in recognition of buying healthier, high-performing calves in a stocker or feedlot program.

There will be an OQBN Vac-45 Sale at the McAlester Stockyards on November 13, 2012. For a producer to take advantage of this value-added opportunity, the cattle must be enrolled in the OQBN, follow one of the three health protocols and be weaned by September 29. All cattle enrolled in the OQBN Vac-45 sale will be third party verified.

For more information or questions contact David Cantrell in the Pittsburg County Extension Office at 918-423-4120, Lindsey Grant at the McAlester Stockyards at 918-423-2834 or Doug McKinney, OQBN Coordinator at 405-744-6060.

David Cantrell is the Agriculture Extension educator for Pittsburg County. Contact him at 918-423-4120.

 

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