New program will help cow-calf producers market weaned calves

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Demand for weaned calves is growing and the cattle market is placing more emphasis on calves with a known management history. The overwhelming majority of Kentucky calves are weaned on the trailer on the way to the local sale barn. But research tells us that preconditioning calves can help reduce sickness and death loss by 74 percent, making them more valuable.
To help Kentucky cow-calf producers make important decisions, we are starting a new program for producers who have never marketed weaned calves or who have never retained ownership in the feedlot. It’s called the Post Weaning Value Added Program or PVAP for short. Progressive producers may be able to capture more added value and a greater return on investment by owning their own cattle through the feedlot phase.
Our goal for this program is to encourage producers to retain ownership and capture added value from their investment in beef cattle genetics, facilities and improved management through diversified marketing strategies. We will offer two options: Precondition-PVAP, which is an on-farm preconditioning program that prepares calves for the feedlot and Feedlot-PVAP, which allows producers to send cattle to the feedlot to evaluate performance and carcass merit.
A generous grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund will enable UK specialists to provide two on-site visits to each cooperator. They will assist in designing a feeding program, summarize closeouts and report to KADF, provide technical support to UK agriculture and natural resources agents, KBN facilitators and speakers, and to develop educational materials based on program results.
Extension agents and KBN facilitators will identify cooperators, provide technical support on initial site visits and subsequent cattle working events, secure portable scales for on-farm weights or access to nearby truck scales for group weights, and assist cooperators with records and paperwork during the program.
Producer cooperators will commit to following recommendations for feeding and management, maintain accurate records on costs and sales receipts, and complete KBN’s Beef Quality and Care Assurance program.
If you are interested in participating in this program, contact the Marion County Cooperative Extension Service. Funding is limited, so apply as soon as possible to be included.
Source: Kevin Laurent, UK extension associate

The Marion County Cattlemen will meet Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. The guest speaker will be Kenny Burdine from the University of Kentucky. He will be speaking about the cattle market. Please RSVP to 270-692-2421 by Wednesday at noon.
There will be a meeting of the Ag Advisory Council on Thursday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room at the Marion County Extension Office.
The local FSA office will be hosting a Women in Ag Appreciation Day on Friday, April 26. This event will be held at the Marion County FSA office located at 680 Metts Drive.
The Marion County 4-H Spring Craft Bazaar is Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the extension office. There will be several venders setup with items to purchased. There are still a few spots open to setup. For more information please contact the office.
On May 2, the Organic Association of KY is hosting a field day on Organic Grass-Fed and Finished Beef Production. It will be held at the Elmwood Stock Farm in Georgetown from 1-4 p.m. For more information please contact the office.
The Farmers Market will open on at 8:30 a.m. May 1. The market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from the first of May to the end of October. The market is located on M.L. King Avenue under the pavilion.
The Marion County Cattlemen Gene Lanham Memorial Scholarship application is now available. The applications are available at the Marion County Extension Office and at Marion County High School. Applicants must be graduating from a Kentucky high school in 2019, planning to attend a Kentucky college, and applicant or parent/guardian must be a member of the Marion County Cattlemen Association. For more information about the scholarship please contact the office at 270-692-2421.Applications must be postmarked by May 6.
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.