McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

June 18, 2010

Network adds value to beef cattle

By David Cantrell
OSU Extension Educator

McALESTER — With the tight profit margin in the cow-calf segment, producers are aggressively looking at ways to add value to their calf crop and increase their net profits. Value is created when a product or service is enhanced to meet or exceed the expectation of the consumer consistently. In terms of a beef cattle producer, value is created when production practices are implemented to increase the market demands of the cattle. Value-added marketing of cattle has received much attention in recent years.  Progressive producers are capitalizing on opportunities to increase income by securing a better price for calves that have added value. Value may be in the form of weaning, various health management practices that are implemented to improve performance, source and age verification, and other management practices that add value to the product. The final step in adding value is to establish or identify a market outlet where the added value is rewarded.

The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network is the “complete” value-added program as it is a network of Oklahoma State Universi-

ty, Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association and beef producers from across the state. The OQBN Association is responsible for assisting producers in areas of health management, age and source verification and other basic management practices. The OQBN also provides marketing assistance to producers in locations and establishing markets for cattle.

Recent market research shows that calves marketed as OQBN verified cattle will bring on average $3 to $6 per hundredweight more than other calves sold. A preconditioned OQBN cattle sale has been scheduled for Nov. 9 at the McAlester Union Stockyards. For more information contact the stockards or Pittsburg County OSU Extension Office at 423-4120 or at 707 West Electric Ave.

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or status as a veteran and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

David Cantrell is the Extension Agriculture Educator for the Pittsburg County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Contact him by phone at 423-4120; or e-mail  david.cantrell@okstate.