Group Strategic Alliances for Carroll County Feeder Calves
Carroll County, Kentucky, is located on the Ohio River halfway between Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1994, over 93 percent of crop receipts for the county came from tobacco. These tobacco growers report that they are under pressure to consider alternative or supplemental crops to tobacco. However, Carroll County has a unique combination of barriers that make trying alternatives difficult. Once you leave the bottoms, the slopes get quite steep—71 percent of the land has slopes of 12 percent or greater. Because of the county’s prime river location, farming is giving way to industry on that land.
The Carroll County Cattlemen’s Association (CCCA) has concluded that livestock produces the best supplemental income, given their reliance on tobacco and their particular geographic and economic circumstances. They have determined that in order for producers to increase their incomes from cattle they must be willing to do two things: 1.) provide a favorable product and 2.) try marketing alternatives.
The Carroll County Cattlemen’s Association will make their cattle more marketable by improving the carcass quality through breeding and management systems. By forming marketing groups, they hope to be in a better bargaining position with feedlots and packers.
1.) Identify breeding and management systems that improve carcass quality and facilitate marketing of cattle by the Carroll County Cattlemen’s Association.
2.) Develop standards for marketing cattle from Carroll County, Kentucky, during the next five years.
3.) Develop marketing contacts for the Carrol County Cattlemen’s Association (CCCA).
The CCCA will gather growth and feed data on each calf. This will take two breeding seasons (approximately 18 to 20 months). During the first year, all CCCA producers will complete a Total Quality Management program. The program will cover five areas of beef production: 1) issue awareness 2) preventative health practices, cattle working facilities and animal handling techniques 3) breeding management 4) nutrition and health 5) marketing.
All CCCA producers will complete questionnaires identifying current management practices, breeding background of their cow herds, personal goals for their beef cattle program, what they want to accomplish by participating in the project and the investment they will need to make in bulls and facilities. Producers will also be required to utilize Cow Herd Appraisal Software (CHAPS)
Cow Herd Appraisal Software (CHAPS) and will be instructed on its use.
A committee from the CCCA will develop a program for each producer that will enumerate breeding, nutrition, management and health programs in order to create uniform lots of cattle. Contracts between the CCCA and each producer will be drawn to provide the producer with detailed instructions to develop his or her herd to CCCA standards.
The CCCA will conduct marketing field days in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Marketing Division. These field days will showcase the cattle being marketed. Extension specialists will share the program information during producer workshops throughout the state when the program is completed.