Producing High Health Calves

From Nancy Glazier, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NWNY Team

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. I attended the Beef Quality Assurance State Coordinators meeting and Cattlemen’s College®. The college was broken down into breakout sessions with six presentations to choose from; it was a tough choice. Tracks included Healthy Cattle, Healthy Business; Advances in Cattle Nutrition; Industry Hot Topics; Your Business, Our Industry; Evolving Beef Production; Creating the Future. I tried to pick and choose a variety for the three sessions available. This article will highlight the presentation, Producing High Health Calves with presenter W. Mark Hilton, DVM, Clinical Professor, Food Animal Production Medicine at Purdue University. For entire article, go to High_Health_Calves.

Beef Up Your Marketing with the New York Beef Council – Jan. 25

Beef producers who want to take their marketing to the next level in 2017 won’t want to miss Cornell Cooperative Extension Ontario’s workshop Beef Up Your Marketing with the New York State Beef Council. Speaker Jean O’Toole, Director of Integrated Marketing Communications with the New York Beef Council, will present on marketing strategies for beef producers to better connect with their customers. Jean will provide participants with marketing strategies, information on the latest trends in consumer beef consumption including how to use different cuts of meat, and explain the variety of resources the New York Beef Council has to offer producers.

The New York Beef Council works to increase consumer demand for beef and veal. They have extensive expertise informing the public about beef, including promotion and education. In addition to marketing to consumers, The New York Beef Council also supports beef producers with access to resources such as the Beef Quality Assurance program. Learn more about what the New York Beed Council has to offer your farm at this workshop!

The Beef Up Your Marketing workshop will take place on January 25 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Cornell Cooperative Extension Ontario’s offices at 480 N Main Street in Canandaigua. Cost is $10 per person or $15 per farm. Register online at, or call Nancy Anderson at 585.394.3977 x427. For more information or questions, contact Marie Anselm at

Determining the Market Readiness of Beef Cattle II: Carcass Evaluation

In this second video, we look at beef cattle as they hang on the rail at a packer. Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, evaluates key areas of four grain finished carcasses for eating quality and quantity in terms of yield. To view, go to

Part I, which guided you through live animal evaluation, can be found at


Catskill Regional Ag Conference – correction Thursday, January 12

Thursday, January 12  10:00am – 3:00pm

Farrell Hall, SUNY Delhi, Delhi NY

Join us for the Annual Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference at SUNY Delhi on January 12.  Beef related workshops include:

  • Managing Immune Response for Healthy Productive Beef Cattle – Dr. Bob Lynch DVM
  • Stockmanship: Understanding Behavior and Handling – Dr. Mike Baker
  • Maximizing Pasture Intake – Sarah Flack
  • The Grazier’s Toolbox – Sarah Flack
  • Silvopasturing: New Opportunities for Graziers – Brett Chedzoy

For a complete program including workshop descriptions and online registration, please visit the Conference Info Page or   Cost for the entire event (including lunch) is only $25. For more information please contact Kim Holden at 607 865-7090 or

Out wintering of beef cattle

It was recently brought to my attention that every winter, well-meaning but uninformed citizens raise concerns about beef cattle that are raised out doors. Most of these concerns have no merit. However, as a care taker of animals, you need to understand what affects the comfort of your cattle and address deficiencies, if they exist.

An article over-viewing the biology of cattle and under what conditions they do not need housing can be found here. In summary:

  • Beef cattle are able to withstand cold stress because:
    • Rumen fermentation of forage produces body heat
    • There is increased insulation provided by body fat, thick skin and heavy hair coat – think about the snow that accumulates on her back
    • Large body size to hold heat
    • Cattle naturally seek natural windbreaks and shelter
    • Cattle will stand and huddle which conserves heat

Additional resources: