2010 Iowa Beef Center Cow Herd Series

Name and Position/Title: 
Byron Leu, ISU Extension Program Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted: 

POW Title and Number: 
140 - Iowa Beef Center

2010 Iowa Beef Center Cow Herd Series

Making a profit in tough times is definitely a challenge to many ag-related operations—including cow-calf enterprises.  A number of factors impact this bottom line, some that can be managed and some that beef producers have little or no control.  Addressing the factors we can control—namely feed costs, marketing decisions, and health control alternatives—can make a significant difference in an operation’s profit potential.  

To address this critical situation, the Iowa Beef Center sponsored a number of educational programs designed to discuss a variety of profit-related management topics.  The theme of “Doing Business in an Information-Based Marketplace” was to address a number of factors that impact feeder calf profitability—feeding management, selected value-added options, capturing the value of feeder calves, health programs, market outlook, and marketing survey information.  Six ISU Extension specialists presented the information at 11 programs conducted throughout Iowa in 2010.

The two southeast Iowa Cow Herd programs were conducted in Bloomfield and Washington in January 2010.  These events were attended by 30 people.  It should be noted that attendance was impacted due to the challenging weather conditions. 

An initial meeting questionnaire has been completed with the use of ‘clickers’.  Following are selected questions summarized from 82 responses from the winter 2010 series:

A post-meeting follow-up evaluation mailing to attendees is planned for the summer of 2010.  The questionnaire comments reflect that the program increased the knowledge base and created an awareness regarding getting into position to improve the profit potential of the operation in the coming years.  Comments relative to heifer retention, the cattle cycle, participating in Age & Source Verification programs, and controlling feed costs indicate producers are preparing to be cost competitive and profitable in the future.


140 Iowa Beef Center

Page last updated: May 5, 2010
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu