Cattle producers in the Ozarks went through a period of time where subscribing to pre-weaning vaccination protocols were valued, notably because of how highly they were rewarded at the sale barn. Everyone jumped on board to add value to the calf crop, and, it was a good opportunity – the markets responded, and higher prices were paid for calves that had some guarantee to not get sick once they hit the feedlot. But, as time wore on, some producers became disappointed in the prices they were receiving for preconditioned calves. As Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Livestock Extension Specialist, put it, “They didn’t see those vaccinated calves bringing a great deal more than cost of the vaccines, time and labor. People got disillusioned, and in the mean time we’ve seen cattle bringing higher prices whether they’re vaccinated or not.” And this is a problem.
Beef cattle are a common sight in the Ozarks. It’s nearly impossible to drive through any rural community without seeing at least a few stocky beef cows grazing alongside the road. Missouri ranks third in the nation for beef cattle production with 4.25 million head of cattle on 59,000 operations, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Early spring is the season for grass tetany, and ranchers need to be aware of its causes and symptoms, and ways to prevent it.
While it may not directly garner points from the judges, animal hair quality can help make a good impression in the show ring.
Arguably, one of the least enjoyable aspects of raising livestock is caring for them in inclement weather. In the Ozarks, it seems like we are constantly battling mud, snow, or rain, or else, it is 100 degrees and dusty.
There are many reasons to consider involvement in your preferred breed's breed association. And, if active in your breed association, there is even further reasoning to be an active participant in record keeping and EPD recording programs.
“I wish I would have done this years ago,” was one of the many positive comments overheard recently at the Regional Intensive Grazing School hosted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the University of Missouri Extension Office, and the Webster County Soil and Water Conservation District in Marshfield, Mo.