Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2001


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVII December 11, 12, and 13, 2001 - Casper, Wyoming.


It has always been the mindset of ranchers to produce a calf crop as cheap as possible, pass it off to the next phase of production, and then focus on doing the same thing to the next year’s production. Asking them to do something that adds value down the production chain that does not add value or saleable pounds at the ranch of origin generally falls on deaf ears. However, in recent years market signals are being sent to not only heighten their awareness of things they can do at the ranch to create value, but in many cases make it a financial incentive to do so. First, ranches need to know how their calf crop fits the needs of the beef industry and learn what creates value in the post-weaning phase of beef production, and only then, can they determine whether or not their genetics and management systems are competitive in the beef marketing system.