Idaho Beef website provides information, publications, research and programs of the University of Idaho and the University of Idaho Extension in support of Idaho’s beef producers, allied industries, local, state and federal agencies.
Idaho Beef Production
Idaho is home to a strong, stable and profitable beef industry. Statewide, some 57 percent of Idaho beef operations have 50 head or less. About 8 percent have more than 500 head—accounting for 68 percent of the total beef cattle inventory in Idaho.
Most Idaho beef cattle operations are relatively small, family-owned enterprises. The majority of beef cows are located in southern Idaho. Because more than 2/3 of all Idaho land is federally owned, the vast majority of beef cattle spend at least part of the year grazing on public land.
The beef industry ranks in the top three of Idaho's agricultural industries and contributes from $600 million to $1 billion, depending on fluctuating market conditions, annually to Idaho's state economy
UIdaho Extension’s Beef Initiatives
The University of Idaho Extension supports Idaho’s beef industry through two main initiatives:
- Beef production and management initiative aims to increase the adoption of nutritional, reproductive, genetic, and health management practices that help producers optimize the efficiency of their operations and produce products that meet market targets.
Improved systems. We help develop production and management systems that are economically viable, ecologically sustainable, and which ensure the safe and humane treatment of beef cattle.
Topics of interest. We investigate nutritional, reproductive, genetic, economic, health, and environmental aspects of beef cattle production.
Help for producers. Our programs and publications provide producers with the tools/technologies to implement and maintain effective efficient beef production systems.
Research. We conduct applied research and provide support for businesses and individual production decisions.
- The beef product integrity—or Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)—initiative increases the value of beef cattle by educating producers about practices that improve the safety, wholesomeness, consistency, and quality of beef and beef products so they can bring the highest value at market.
Example: An increase in calf value of $5 per animal for l/2 of the Idaho calf crop will increase income for Idaho beef producers by more than $1 million in a year.
- Develop strategies to ensure the safe and humane production, transfer, and processing of beef and beef products.
- Help for producers. Provide producers with tools to develop and deliver high quality, safe, and wholesome commercial products.
- Research. We conduct applied research and provide support for businesses and individual production decisions.