Iowa beef cattle producers of seedstock can enroll now both bulls and heifers in the evaluation program managed by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. Each year, progressive breeders in the Midwest enter more than 400 bulls and 70 open heifers into the program for comparison and benchmarking.
"The value of the ICA evaluation program is producers can compare their genetics to other producers through a program that has been in operation for 28 years," says Kellie Carolan, ICA's seedstock manager. "This is an excellent opportunity to get important performance information on your seedstock without having to tie up lot space."
The superior genetics that come from this program are then offered to commercial cattle producers at three sales across Iowa in the spring. Carolan says those sales will be at auction barns in 2012 in Bloomfield on March 19, in Dunlap on March 30 and in Tama on May 4.
Superior genetics from program are offered to commercial cattle producers
Both consignment and private reservations for fall-born and spring-born bulls will be taken through Sept. 30, 2011 or until pens are full. Heifer reservations can be made through Nov. 14 or until pens are full. Fall bulls will be fed and evaluated at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, while the spring bulls and open heifers will be delivered to the Van Meter Feedyard near Guthrie Center.
Bulls and heifers will be evaluated through the feeding period, and need to meet strict selection criteria to be eligible for an ICA sale and be worthy of the ICA 'Symbol of Excellence.' As an ICA bull consignor "you have the opportunity to open another market for your seedstock," Carolan says. "The ICA bull program has a long reputation of offering elite genetics to commercial breeders and other purebred producers."
"Using the private reservations may be best for smaller producers interested in a cost-effective way of gathering ultrasound and performance data on their herd, while reserving the right to take their stock home after the evaluation," she adds.
Details for program requirements are on the ICA website www.iabeef.org. Look for Bull and Heifer Program under the ICA Programs tab. You can also contact Carolan for more information at Kellie@iabeef.org, or by calling 515-296-2266.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The ICA represents about 9,500 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa's beef industry. ICA's mission is "Grow Iowa's beef business through advocacy, leadership and education."