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June 10, 2003   Email to Friend 

NEW PROGRAM GIVES BEEF PRODUCERS VALUABLE DATA
Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
June 10, 2003

Calves enrolled in the Alabama Beef Connection will be followed through the marketing chain, and the information will be shared between producers and feedyards.
MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- A new program developed by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, in cooperation with the Alabama Farmers Federation and others, promises to provide beef producers information they can use to improve their herds and enhance their marketing efforts.

The Alabama Beef Connection (ABC) is designed to provide an information and marketing network between Alabama cow/calf producers, feedlots and packing facilities. Federation Beef Director Perry Mobley said a major difference between ABC and programs like Alabama Pasture to Rail is producers can sell their calves through normal marketing channels and still receive feedback about the performance of their calves.

"Calves will be followed through the marketing chain, and the information will be shared between producers and feedyards," he said. "When the data comes back, producers can use that information to make genetic management decisions as well as decisions that will change their product in ways that benefit consumers."

Producers in the ABC network will ear tag calves with an EID (electronic identification tag), which will track the location of the calves until they are harvested. The ABC coordinators will arrange for carcass data to be collected and shared with producers and feedlots.

Coordinators will provide counseling to the producers for making changes in their herds so they can positively impact the quality and consistency of beef for the consumer while maintaining or increasing herd revenue. To participate in the program, producers must receive Beef Quality Assurance training and have a documented, industry-accepted health program for their calves. There also is a $2-per-head enrollment fee.

Information about calves enrolled in the ABC will be sent to known interested buyers, and a comprehensive website will be developed containing information about the program. ABC also will present feeding and carcass data at trade shows in the primary feeding states to increase the marketability of Alabama feeder calves.

Other ABC partners include the Alabama BCIA, Alabama Cattlemen's Association, Alabama Livestock Marketing Association and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Interested producers can contact Mobley at 1-800-392-5705, ext. 4221. Other contacts are: Joshua Elmore, ABC program, (334) 844-1557; Dr. Lisa Kriese- Anderson, Extension animal scientist, (334) 844-1561; and Tommy Brown, Extension animal scientist, (334) 874-9030.


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