- General extension focus: Dr. Patterson’s Extension related responsibilities include the development of a progressive state-wide educational program in cow-calf production with emphasis on reproduction and management of the beef cow. This includes the training of regional extension livestock specialists, and interaction with cattle producers and agri-business firms. Dr. Patterson serves as PI, state-wide coordinator, and reproductive specialist for the Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program.
Goals and objectives: The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program. Marketing heifers that are developed according to established guidelines are a viable means of rural economic development. The reproductive goals for heifers enrolled in the program include:
- Improving breeding performance during the heifers’ first breeding period
- Minimizing the incidence and severity of dystocia, with the resulting delivery of healthy vigorous calves
- Successful rebreeding of heifers during the subsequent breeding season
This program requires compliance with specific guidelines and provisions for various management and reproductive practices and (or) procedures. The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program is designed to:
- Provide a total quality management approach to heifer development using best management practices
- Increase marketing opportunities for and add value to the heifer portion of the calf crop
- Provide reliable sources of quality replacement females through genetics and management
During the past 9 years:
- 612 farms enrolled 73,022 heifers in the program
- 27 regional extension livestock specialists and 184 veterinarians were involved with the program state wide
- 17,598 heifers sold in 73 sales across Missouri from 1997 through the fall 2006
- 5,965 prospective buyers formally registered to buy heifers
- 2,160 individuals from 14 states purchased heifers from the various sales
- The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program contributes over 3.5 million dollars to Missouri’s economy annually
- The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program is the first state wide on-farm development and marketing program of its kind in the U.S.Future direction. A value chain systems approach will be developed to increase profitability of participating farms through expansion of the value-added development and marketing program. The objective will be to add value to beef heifers and steers by expanding marketing opportunities as a result of technology adoption, production verification, collective action, and best management practices. These Specific Aims are:
- To implement a comprehensive extension education program focused on the adoption of new methods to synchronize estrus and ovulation to facilitate fixed-time AI of beef cows.
- Adoption of these practices will result in improvements in the genetic merit of heifers retained for breeding and/or marketing and their respective steer mates that may be sold as feeder calves or retained through the finishing phase.
- To work cooperatively with specialists in Agriculture Economics to research theeconomic implications for farms that participate in the program.