Beef 101: Beginning Rancher Development
The University of Idaho Beginning Rancher Development Program is designed to provide beginning ranchers with useful knowledge and resources to increase success in their operation. Multiple three-day or less workshops will be held across the Pacific Northwest on a variety of topics. Workshops will be limited to 30 participants, providing plenty of hands-on, in-depth instruction. There is a $20 equipment fee to participate. Travel and lodging scholarships are available.
May 20 – All About the Beef Cattle
- Topics: Live Animal Evaluation; Beef Harvest Demonstration; Beef Quality Assurance Training.
- Evaluate live cattle on muscle, fat/cover, structure, volume; demonstration of cattle harvest; practice low stress animal handling techniques.
May 21 – Animal Health and Resources Management
- Topics: Forage; Grazing and Natural Resource Management; Animal Health; Financial Management.
- Understand basics of ruminant digestive system; information on rotational grazing, proper stocking density for environmental sustainability; evaluate quality of feed samples; tools for financial management.
May 22 – Beef on the Rail
- Topics: Beef Carcass Grading; Beef Carcass Fabrication; Sensory Evaluation.
- Evaluate carcass USDA Yield and Quality Grades; demonstration of how to break down a beef carcass; understand the translation from cattle to beef products for the consumer.
Future Workshop Topics
- Low stress animal handling techniques
- Different equipment requirements and facility designs for proper animal husbandry
- Conduct cattle health examination
- Vaccination protocols — symptoms and treatment options for sick cattle
- Assist in difficulties during calving
Bonus (offered for returning participants)
- Advanced Animal Health Workshop (reproductive anatomy and breeding protocols)
- A low stress sorting tool for participants
- Basics of ruminant digestive system
- Nutritional requirements of cattle in the Pacific Northwest
- Basic ration formulation
- Knowledge on rotational grazing, proper stocking density for environmental sustainability
- Producing feed with your current facility (such as hay production) to control costs
- Tour of grazing and haying operations
- Free feed sample analysis for participants
- A “Grazing Stick” to determine grass growth and stocking densities at home
- Evaluate cattle based on muscle, fat/finish, structure, balance/eye appeal and volume
- Breeding selection and genetic selection information (Expected Progeny Differences)
- Cattle Body Condition Scoring
- Cattle harvest and fabrication demonstration; sensory evaluation of various beef cuts
- Tour a commercial, USDA–inspected beef packing plant in central Washington or southern Idaho
- Free genetic testing for three herd bulls or cows for participants
- Different market strategies to improve overall sales
- Improve prices at livestock market auction
- Record keeping (QuickBooks, Excel)
- Generate statements such as profit and loss, cost of production per animal and on farm inventory
- Risk management (market dynamics, balancing assets with debt)
- Funding assistance (Farm Service Agency, AgWest, Natural Resources Conservation Service)
- Examples of enterprise budgets will be provided to build your own throughout the workshop
- Resources on grant writing and requests for financial assistance
- Information to guide a family succession plan
- Skills to communicate across generations and for conflict resolution
- Participants will be provided with resources to determine fair market values of operations in preparation for estate planning with senior generations
- Develop skills to communicate and promote the cattle industry
- Increase involvement with associations and leadership opportunities
- Share industry updates, policy changes and current issues
- Opportunities to practice advocacy via social media, in-person conversation and other platforms
- Beginning ranchers will meet experienced ranchers to find industry mentors (10+ years of ranching experience in the same region)
- Participants can shadow their mentor to see other facilities and learn other cattle management techniques
- Mentors will be a resource for participants to answer questions, making contacts
For more information contact Phil Bass at firstname.lastname@example.org.