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Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma Quality Beef Network changes announced

Monday, August 26, 2019

Cattle production is a $3.7 billion annual industry in Oklahoma. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Cattle producers who take advantage of the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network program need to take note a few changes have been put in place for the 2019-2020 selling season.

“In previous years, some producers have found it difficult to attend a certified sale because of inclement weather or other unfavorable conditions,” said Jeff Robe, Oklahoma State University animal scientist and OQBN program coordinator. “This year OKC West Livestock Market in El Reno will hold weekly OQBN certified sales on Tuesdays at noon beginning Sept. 17 and continuing through Jan. 14. That should make things more convenient for producers.”

Producers are required to deliver cattle by noon the day prior to their sale date. All Vac-45 protocol and program ear tags still will be required for participation in the value-added program. To purchase ear tags and see a complete list of upcoming OQBN certified sales, visit the website at www.oqbn.okstate.edu.

“The OQBN Vac-45 program has provided increased flexibility for producers, allowing the use of a killed viral component vaccine when using the Option 2 protocol, found on the pre-weaning and weaning part of the verification form,” Robe said. “It’s still important to establish the proper calf health management system through the recommended veterinarian-client-patient relationship. A local veterinarian is a fantastic resource in helping to design the best possible system for a producer’s specific operation.”

Although it is still a way off, be aware the OQBN Vac-45 program will require all participants to become Beef Quality Assurance certified as of the 2020 fall selling season. Information about how to become BQA certified is available online at www.bqa.org/bqa-certification. Certification is free of charge.

“Increasing seller premiums and producing healthier, heavier cattle – while promoting the highest level of animal well-being – is a primary goal of the OQBN enhancement program,” Robe said. “As consumers demand greater product transparency, buyers are challenged with meeting this demand. BQA certainly aids in that regard.”

“Begin with the end in mind,” a new cattle health campaign co-authored by OSU veterinarians Dr. John Kirkpatrick and Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, is a resource Robe highly recommends.

“When a cow-calf producer evaluates the health of his or her operation, it is important to remember to begin with the desired end result in mind, which literally has given the campaign its name,” Robe said. “Primary matters of the campaign focus on the calf, minimizing stress and herd immunization. Attention to environmental interaction by way of nutrition, stress and maternal effect are substantial roles in animal health and the well-being of young calves.”

Secondary matters of the campaign include choosing the vaccine that best fits a specific operation, as well as the manner in which the vaccine is utilized to provide maximum prevention and protection.

More in-depth information about relevant health protocols is available online at the OQBN website www.oqbn.okstate.edu. Anyone seeking additional information about OQBN is encouraged to contact Robe by email at jerobe@okstate.edu or by phone at 405-744-4268.

OQBN is a joint project of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, one of two state agencies administered by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Oklahoma is the nation’s fourth-leading producer of cattle and calves, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service data.

MEDIA CONTACT: Donald Stotts | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-4079 | donald.stotts@okstate.edu

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