- Animals: bovine
- Animal Production: grazing management
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, participatory research
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
Most farmers in Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association-related cattle producer organizations are raising Angus or Brangus commercial cattle. The first step is to find out if enough of them can raise similar calves to have sufficient numbers to market together. To determine this, producers who volunteered to be a part of the project are weighing calves at birth, at three months of age, and at weaning, which is targeted for seven months old. Weight is an objective measurement that tells the farmer how his/her animals are doing in comparison to others. The project goal is to wean 500-pound calves at seven months old. At the conclusion of the project, the goal is to have enough similar calves to sell as a truckload (50 – 55 animals).
Potential Louisiana small-farmer organizations that originated through Heifer International were recruited throughout the state of Louisiana to participate in the Quality Calf Project. Most of the members are limited-resource farmers and the majority are African-American. The mission of Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association (formerly Pelican Farmers Association) is to support and educate families in cooperatively producing and marketing top-quality products for fair market value. The majority of the members raise beef cattle.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
- The Quality Calf Project was an effort to help small beef producers raise calves that can be marketed as a group or truckload to take advantage of market opportunities. To sell together, calves must be similar in age, size and quality.
- Targets: 1) Birth Weight; 2) 3-Month Old Weight; and 3) Weaning Weight.