The Wyoming Premium Heifer Program was created to help develop and market a source of quality, commercial replacement heifer calves and bred heifers that are produced and managed under a set of standard guidelines to meet the requirements of producers nationally. The program was developed by the University of Wyoming Department of Animal Science and the Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division.
John Henn, Wyoming Business Council Livestock and Meat Program manager, said the program will assure buyers across the country that certified animals are managed, raised, and bred in accordance to the national requirements.
“The next few years will see a very high demand for heifers from several segments of the industry, creating a great marketing opportunity for cow-calf producers in the state,” said Henn. “The Wyoming Premium Heifer Program will provide the ability for producers to create and capture that added value sought by buyers across the country.”
Henn said many producers in Wyoming are currently using these management practices with their heifers and would qualify.
To participate, producers must submit an application for membership by June 1 for the enrollment of bred heifers, and by Sept. 1 for replacement heifer calves. There is an annual $25 ranch enrollment fee and a $3 per head enrollment fee which includes the cost of the official program tag. However, as a promotion for the first year of the program the $25 annual enrollment fee will be waived for 2012.
The program will have several special internet video sales starting in November with additional sales after the first of the year in January 2013. The sales will be managed and conducted by participating Wyoming auction markets. The program’s sales and listings will be promoted nationally, especially in those areas where rebuilding and expansion will be taking place from the Southern Plains to the Midwest and West. Heifers certified in the program will also be listed on the Wyoming Beef Cattle List at www.wyobeef.com with consigned sale date and specifications. The program guidelines, application, and marketing form may be downloaded from the website.