As a result of the initial success of the Ohio Beef Heifer Development Program, the number of development centers has been increased with three cooperators identified for 2007-08. In addition to the current cooperator, Heifer Development & Breeding Services in Russellville, John and Mick Ritchie of Lancaster and Dennis Blakeman of Oak Hill will be working with the program to develop heifers. These cooperators will have the capacity to develop over 300 heifers. The anticipated timeframe for heifer deliveries will be in late October, depending on the cooperator selected.
Plans are also being made to hold a bred heifer sale in 2008 after the developmental period is complete. The sale, managed by the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, will be a tremendous marketing opportunity for producers involved in the program as well as an excellent source of quality, value-added bred heifers.
The Ohio Beef Heifer Development Program can provide a potential solution to the challenge of raising replacement heifers from both an economical and management standpoint. This program allows producers to bring their replacement heifers to a central location to be developed. Producers will retain ownership in the heifers and pay a daily fee that covers the cost of feed, medicine, reproductive associated costs and labor. Each of the three cooperators will determine their own price for development. Heifers in the program will be artificially bred to bulls with proven genetics, focusing on calving ease and balanced traits. This year, for the majority of Ohio, pasture and hay resources are reduced and it will be more critical than ever to manage your operation. These cooperators specialize in heifer development and can provide a great opportunity for any program.
This program is being provided by The Ohio State University Extension Beef Team and the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, with support from the Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation.
To consign replacement females or for more information, go to www.ohiocattle.org to find a consignment form or call the OCA office at 614-873-6736. All forms should be returned to Bill Doig, OSUE/OCA Beef Program Specialist, 10600 US Highway 42, Marysville, Ohio, 43040. Consignment deadline for the program is October 1, 2007.