Selected feedlot managers and owners will be contacted by representatives from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) during August to begin the first phase of Feedlot 2011, a national study of beef feedlots in the United States. 

Conducted by USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), Feedlot 2011 will provide the industry with an update of critical information last collected 12 years ago during the NAHMS Feedlot ’99 study. Five objectives for the study have been identified:

  1. Describe changes in management practices and animal health in feedlots.
  2. Describe the management practices in feedlots that impact product quality.
  3. Identify factors associated with shedding of potential foodborne pathogens or commensal organisms by feedlot cattle.
  4. Describe antimicrobial usage in feedlots.
  5. Describe biosecurity practices and capabilities in feedlots.

The information that feedlot producers provide will be used to estimate the use of certain management practices— such as those related to beef quality assurance—and to identify potential risk factors associated with disease on U.S. feedlots.  Understanding the risk factors for disease can improve disease prevention strategies and help pinpoint areas where additional research may be needed. 

From August 1 through August 30, NASS representatives will administer the study questionnaire to participants on large feedlots (1,000 or more head) in 12 states and to participants on small feedlots (less than 1,000 head) in 13 states. For large feedlots, the questionnaire will be completed on-site, while the questionnaire for small feedlots will be completed by telephone. In addition, owners/operators of large feedlots will have the opportunity to participate in phase 2 of the study, information for which will be collected by representatives from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from October through December.

Participation in the Feedlot 2011 study is voluntary. As always, links between NAHMS data and participating operations are not included in national databases.

For additional information on this topic, contact Lyndsay Cole at (970) 494-7410 or e-mail Lyndsay at: