Dr. Steve Paisley from the UW Animal Science Dept. talked about Ultrasound Technology Use in Heifer Selection at last year's Premium Heifer Program class held in Riverton. (Ernie Over photo)

(Casper, Wyo.) – Cattle enrolled in verified and premium heifer programs through the Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division yielded positive results for livestock producers who participated in the initiatives, the WBC said Friday.

According to the Superior Livestock Auction Market, sales in June through September last year brought $.98/cwt for age and source verified (ASV) cattle, and $.93/cwt for Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC).  These certifications are part of the Wyoming Verified program, which was developed by the Business Council to help Wyoming producers source and age verify livestock through Samson’s USDA Process Verified Program.

Using Superior Livestock’s premium data as a baseline, the increased income for cattle verified in 2013 with an average weight of 500 pounds was $4.90 per head, or $136,637 for the 27,885 head enrolled in the program.  From 2007-2013, a total of 314,385 head of cattle have been verified in the program, which equals about $2,626,660 in total increased income for producers who certified cattle during that time.  Using Dr. Tex Taylor’s model from the University of Wyoming, the estimated economic impact to the state from the Wyoming Verified program during this period is $4,651,794.

“The Wyoming Verified program is an excellent marketing tool to enhance profitability and can allow producers to capture that added value through premiums being offered for certified livestock,” said John Henn, livestock and meat marketing program manager at the Business Council.  “Premiums for certified beef cattle have been paid for both feeder calves and finished cattle and certification follows the verified livestock no matter what marketing channel is utilized: sale barn, video, private treaty, or retained ownership.”

The Wyoming Premium Heifer Program also successfully closed its second year of sales.   A Nov. 20 special sale grossed $533,100 in total sales with an average of $1,813 per head for bred heifers.  Premiums totaled $12,324 or a premium of $42 per head over the regional video and sale barn markets for Wyoming-sourced bred heifers. Taylor’s model determined the economic impact on the state’s economy from the added income of the program was about $23,821.

“As herd rebuilding continues across the country over the next five to eight years, quality replacement cattle will be in demand at record prices,” said Henn.  “This program will help Wyoming producers certify their heifers for that market which will continue to see record prices.”

To learn more about these programs contact Henn at 307.777.2847 or john.henn@wyo.gov.

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The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.

–Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division