Record Management Computer Database for Wyoming Cow-Calf Producers

2007 Annual Report for SW04-051

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $18,563.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Federal Funds: $1,500.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $22,000.00
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:
Dallas Mount
University of Wyoming

Record Management Computer Database for Wyoming Cow-Calf Producers


Wyoming producers need an inexpensive, easy-to-understand, and highly flexible database to encourage record keeping and information use. A database available to all Wyoming producers through the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service (UW CES) would meet this need and bring with it the educational resources of the land-grant system.

The objective of developing a record management computer database for Wyoming cow-calf producers is to encourage record keeping, analysis of production and economic information, and integration of land-grant information to make economically sound and environmentally sustainable management decisions.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The database implementation will create significant, measurable impacts promoting the sustainability of family-size cow-calf operations. When a producer implements use of the database, current production and economic data will become clearly evident. This will be recorded as a starting point so it can be referred to as the producer makes management changes, thereby allowing the impact of the database to be easily measured and reported.

Producer knowledge: By placing UW CES in a role to answer technical questions regarding the database, relationships between producers and extension educators will be fostered and many teachable opportunities will be created. This relationship and information integrated within the database will result in producers adapting sustainable production practices endorsed by UW CES. Producers will also undergo a process of self-discovery when entering and analyzing their ranch data leading them to make decisions positively affecting the profitability of their operations. Producers who implement the database can be expected to generate annual performance records on their operations and improve their understanding of the main economic forces affecting the operation.

Information disseminated: Through cooperation with the UW CES Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems Initiative Team, a web site will be developed as an information hub for Wyoming beef producers. This web site will house this database and supporting documents as well as resources currently available for beef producers. Training sessions on using the database will be advertised by local Extension Educators using methods they determine appropriate. A brochure and press release will be developed for the local educators to use in advertising the training workshops. Impacts from the implementation of the project will be disseminated in a brochure, UW CES fact sheet, poster and press release using the media, local UW CES offices, and professional meetings. The UW College of Agriculture Communications Office has also agreed to feature the database in the agriculture alumni publication and develop a statewide press release detailing how producers may participate. During the 3rd year of the project the principal investigator will travel to the Western Section of American Society of Animal Science meeting and present the findings and impact of the project also allowing the project findings to be published in the proceedings for the meeting.

Resources Impacted: During the initial three years of the project, it is estimated that 200 producers will fully implement the database and 500 producers will implement some portion of the program. Five producer trainings are currently scheduled with an anticipated attendance of 20 producers at each workshop. Thirty-two trainers are expected to be trained during the four train-the-trainer workshops, and each trainer is expected to gather at least 4 additional producers to implement the database. The number of participating producers is expected to grow in subsequent years following the initial implementation. Using the average size operation in Wyoming, this equals 1.8 million acres and 645,000 head of cattle likely to be affected by this project (Wyoming Agricultural Statistics, 2003).

Economic and quality of life impacts: A similar effort conducted by Texas A&M Cooperative Extension, in which producers are encouraged to keep records and make decisions based on these records, reported an average savings of $16,931 to each operation that implemented the program (McGrann and Richardson, 2003). Using this number as a base and only including the estimated 200 producers that will fully implement the database, the result would be an increase of $3.4 million in NET income to Wyoming’s producers and therefore into the Wyoming economy.


The database entered full roll-out stage during 2007. I was invited to present the database at several educational programs for producers during the past year. These programs include: WESI Ag Days – Worland, WY, Farm and Ranch Days – Riverton, WY, Profitability Conference – Casper, WY, High Plains Ranch Practicum – Lingle, WY, Beef Production Convention Torrington – WY, Carbon County Stockgrowers – Rawlins, WY, Platte County Stockgrowers – Wheatland, WY. In addition, I worked with several producers one-on-one to help them implement the database for their ranch. Media outlets produced articles on the database and this resulted in several contacts from producers requesting a copy of the database. I also received a Western SARE PDP grant and conducted a train-the-trainer workshop during February 2008. During this workshop 17 individuals from 3 organizations and 2 states received training to help their producers implement the database for herd management. The web site for the database ( continues to function and producers can download the database from this location.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The database has proved beneficial to a large set of producers that have implemented the database on their operations.

Producers have been able to make better management decisions based upon outputs from the database


Steven Paisley
Beef Extension Specialist
University of Wyoming
PO Box 3354
Laramie, WY 82071-3354
Office Phone: 3077665541
Jack Baker

445 N. Wheatland Hwy
Wheatland, WY 82201
Office Phone: 3073222020