Zoetis announces partnership to help boost value of feeder cattle

Farm Forum

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Zoetis Inc. has partnered with Verified Beef, LLC, to support Reputation Feeder Cattle, a program for ranchers and cattle feeders that helps define feeder calf value by verifying industry-leading genetics and best practices.

Age- and source-verified cattle have been attractive to the export market at extra premiums. Reputation Feeder Cattle will continue adding value for niche and export markets in years to come.

“This raises the bar for how feeder cattle are represented in terms of genetics, health, handling and verification,” said Jon Lowe, senior director and global head of genetics for Zoetis. “Producers need to be looking out for the best interest of the industry by verifying their best practices.”

This progressive calf marketing and management program differentiates calves based on three fundamental principles:

• Genetic merit for feedlot performance and carcass traits

• Herd health, nutrition and management practices

• Age and source verification

“Reputation Feeder Cattle describes historic health management and the genetic potential for feedlot and carcass performance that could impact break-evens and close-outs,” Lowe said. “Zoetis is excited to serve as a valuable link to help determine genetic potential for these cattle.”

Expected progeny differences (EPDs) have been used with great success in the cattle industry to identify the genetic differences for economically important traits of individual animals. Reputation Feeder Cattle will expand the breadth of data now available for the feeder cattle trade.

“By putting relevant genetic and management information at the buyer’s fingertips, the program has potential to revolutionize the value of feeder cattle as well as enhance performance and profitability over time,” Lowe said. “The historic success of EPDs allows the program to be a consistent and simple information conduit between cow-calf and feeder segments, 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 accurately defines calves’ gain and grade profit potential based on their genetics. The scorecard displays the information in a format that is easy to interpret and understand for feeder cattle buyers and sellers.

Beyond genetics, Reputation Feeder Cattle emphasizes the value of well-planned nutrition and parasite control, as well as weaning and vaccination programs. Experts agree that some of the largest revenue-enhancing practices focus on early management for calves.

Reputation Feeder Cattle builds on the 30 years of demonstrated success of the SelectVAC program from Zoetis. As the largest and longest-standing branded preconditioning program of its kind, SelectVAC has enrolled more than 5 million calves. 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. 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.

To learn how to put Reputation Feeder Cattle to work for you, contact your Zoetis representative or visit ReputationFeederCattle.com.