Zoetis Inc. and Verified Beef LLC have partnered to support Reputation Feeder Cattle, a program for beef producers and cattle feeders that helps identify calf value by differentiating animals based on genetics, herd management, age and source.
"Reputation Feeder Cattle describes historic health management and the genetic potential for feedlot and carcass performance that could impact break-evens and close-outs," said Jon Lowe, senior director and global head of genetics for Zoetis. "Zoetis is excited to serve as a valuable link to help determine genetic potential for these cattle."
The program expands on Expected progeny differences, which have been used to identify the genetic differences for economically important traits of individual animals. Reputation Feeder Cattle will increase the range of data now available for the feeder cattle trade, Zoetis said.
Lowe said the program will put genetic and management data in buyers' hands. The previous success of EPDs allow the new program to "be a consistent and simple information conduit between cow-calf and feeder segments," Lowe said, "ultimately meaning a better managed price, health and genetic risk across the industry."
The Genetic Merit Scorecard, the core of the program, helps determine genetic merit on a group basis. It defines calves' gain and grade profit potential based on their genetics. The scorecard displays the information in an easy to use format for feeder cattle buyers and sellers, Zoetis said.
Beyond genetics, Zoetis said Reputation Feeder Cattle emphasizes the value of nutrition and parasite control, as well as weaning and vaccination programs.
Calves with solid health history records, a strong nutritional background and the genetics to perform both in the feedlot and on the rail will be highly valued and well-recognized in the market, Zoetis said. The program informs cattle feeders when certified cattle are selling, whether at a livestock auction market or by video or private treaty.
"Combining the industry-leading experience from Verified Beef and Zoetis, Reputation Feeder Cattle will help cow/calf producers tighten vaccination, deworming and other pre- and post-weaning management strategies," Lowe said.
For more information, visit reputationfeedercattle.com.