Cattle prices are at all-time highs and many Missouri farmers are seeing record bushel numbers coming out of the fields. But some experts agree that now is not the time to sit back and just reap the benefits — the passion for advancing agriculture must continue.
Bruce Loewenberg of Clark, Mo. believes in the push for research in agriculture, Missouri’s largest industry. To help further studies at the University of Missouri, he has recently donated a herd of Salers cattle to the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) that marks the start of a partnership with his company, Show-Me Salers, and Mizzou.
In early October, a donation of a herd of 18 Salers were delivered to the Beef Research and Teaching Farm at the South Farm Research Center, located just south of Columbia. It is the beginning of a continuous collaboration with Loewenberg, as each spring and fall around two dozen weaned heifers will be given to the program at South Farm.
“This donation is going to give us a new opportunity to demonstrate to our students a different breed to work with in our program,” said Justin Sexten, Extension assistant professor. “This allows us to provide something we haven’t had in the past for our state’s producers as well and to look at different aspects of cross-breeding systems.”
“I recognize this breed as a great benefit to Missouri farmers and want to continue to see it progress in our state,” said Loewenberg. “I have seen its potential internationally and have wanted that to continue here.”
Loewenberg raises Salers at his ranch in Pike County for private breeding operations. Research has shown that Salers calves can be a valuable asset to ranchers and cross-bred with traditional angus to possibly provide better performance, conversion and health.
“They are just a great cow to have for Missouri farmers,” added Loewenberg. “Especially for those that might have two jobs besides farming. They are not as intensive to raise, calving ease, have high fertility and produce a great carcass. This is why I got into raising these animals back in the 1980s. I have a great love for these animals and I hope to help the research with them improve internationally.”
A MU graduate, Loewenberg has long supported CAFNR and university efforts. For several years he has donated heifers for auctions at the college’s Ag Unlimited banquets and provided financial aid for several other programs.
The donation of Salers will be part of MU’s beef cattle program to be used as demonstration on different management systems and research projects. Valued at $2,000 to $2,500 a head, the donation is a beneficial addition to MU’s beef research.
“One of the most important aspects of Missouri agriculture is beef production,” said Loewenberg. “If we want to be competitive with other states and continue our worldwide recognition as a great cattle state, we need to further research to produce the best product and the best students.”