Pa. Cattleman’s College to feature beef quality assurance recertification, sire selection workshop

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Cattleman’s College March 10 at the Pennsylvania Livestock Evaluation Center will offer recertification in the Beef Quality Assurance program.

One of the largest certification programs in Pennsylvania agriculture, the Beef Quality Assurance initiative has trained more than 3,000 beef producers in the state, according to John Comerford, Penn State beef specialist and conference coordinator.

“Recertification is required every two years,” he said. “Beef quality assurance is designed to provide best-management practices for producers so their product is wholesome for consumers.”

Sire selection workshop

In addition to the Beef Quality Assurance program training, the Cattleman’s College will include a sire-selection workshop March 10 for cattle breeders.

Cattle breeders have an enormous amount of information available to them to help make sire selections, noted Comerford, and sometimes the numbers can be overwhelming.

“We need to sort out the numbers we can use, though, because sire selection is a singularly important investment in the cow-calf enterprise,” he said. “The workshop will cover how to evaluate the genetic- and molecular-prediction information, use visual traits, and find the right bull in a crossbreeding program.

“For a herd that is retaining all of the female replacements, we can show that over 90 percent of the genetics in the herd will come from the sires that are selected in just seven generations, so it is very important to make accurate and effective sire selections.”

Additionally

The Cattleman’s College also will offer information for cattle breeders on topics such as animal health, feeder-calf marketing and reproduction.

These programs are sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, the Pennsylvania Cattleman’s Association and Penn State Extension.

A complete program and registration information is available online at www.das.psu.edu/research-extension/beef, or by contacting Comerford at 814-863-3661 or by email at jxc16@psu.edu.

The Pennsylvania Livestock Evaluation Center, on Route 45, is about 9 miles southwest of the Penn State University Park campus, near the Ag Progress Days site at Rock Springs.

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