Sales are scheduled for Oct. 28 (Cherokee Livestock), Nov. 6 (Elk City Livestock), Nov. 10 (McAlester Stockyards), Nov. 11 (OKC West), Nov. 14 (Pawnee Livestock), Nov. 21 (Blackwell Livestock), Dec. 7 (Tulsa Stockyards) and Dec. 9 (OKC West).
McAlester Stockyards also will host sales next year on Feb. 9, March 5 and June 7.
A joint project between Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, OQBN educates producers on best value-added management practices and offers opportunities for them to certify the quality of their animals.
For the nominal cost of an ear tag for each registered animal, producers earn access to a top-notch network of beef industry experts.
OQBN also operates two cattle health verification programs. Vac-45 is restricted to ranch-raised cattle. Meanwhile, cattle owned a minimum of 60 days that also have the proper vaccinations are eligible for OQBN PRECON. Animals meeting the requirements of either program are verified through Extension and can be marketed as OQBN certified and may participate in OQBN-certified sales.
“I have always backgrounded and vaccinated my calves and they already met the requirements for the [OQBN] sale,” said Mimi Aupperle, who runs more than 100 Angus Cross cows in far northeast Kay County and heard about OQBN for the first time four years ago while talking with a sale barn owner about the best time to market her calves. “It sounded like a great way to get the buyers to take notice. After seeing what they did at that first sale, I was hooked.”
In addition to identifying her cattle with Angus Source ear tags from the American Angus Association, Aupperle follows OQBN’s vaccination and weaning guidelines.
“I think this is a great combination and OQBN sets the stage to showcase my cattle. The buyers are there because they know they will find strong, healthy, farm-raised calves,” Aupperle said. “There is no better way to get my cattle noticed than through OQBN.”
Because buyers know OQBN-certified cattle are high-quality animals, they are willing to pay more. For instance, in 2014, the premium was $21.94 per cwt for steers and $15.29 per cwt for heifers.
“We know we help improve the health and nutrition of calves through our program,” said Gant Mourer OSU Extension beef enhancement specialist and OQBN administrator. “Throughout the drought, we saw 8 percent to 10 percent death loss in feedlot and grower yards in regular cattle, whereas with OQBN cattle, that death loss was about 1 percent.”
Producers may register for the program at any time.
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