COLUMBUS – A beef enterprise initiative developed by Ohio State University animal scientist Francis Fluharty now contributes more than $11 million to Ohio’s economy.
This year, his efforts to add value to small Ohio beef operations have earned him the 2005 Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Director’s Innovator of the Year Award.
Fluharty, a feedlot nutritionist with the Department of Animal Sciences, was recognized for development and implementation of the Ohio Family Farm Beef Industry Network.
Two programs. In four years, the network has developed and marketed two branded-beef programs certified by the USDA: Ohio Signature Beef and Ohio Heritage Beef.
To qualify for these programs, carcasses must meet six criteria and, during the finishing phase of production, the cattle are raised without any added hormones or antibiotics and are fed a corn-based diet.
Marketing. In 2004, the two programs marketed 1,308 head of cattle worth $986,965, with an added value to the Ohio economy estimated at nearly $6.9 million.
This year, Ohio Signature Beef expects to market at least 1,800 head of cattle worth nearly $1.66 million in sales, with a value-added production close to $11.6 million.
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