Merck Animal Health recently announced the winner of its Rely on REVALOR (trenbolone acetate and estradiol) challenge – a contest that seeks to identify the best implant crew in the country while underscoring the importance of proper implanting techniques and their impact on cattle performance. Cattle Care Processing of Garden City, Kan., was named champion during the Cattle Feeders Business Summit. Crew members – Gayle Jackson, Oscar Escobedo, Katie Deal, Clifford Lightcap, Neely Hickman and Avrey Leon – received custom hats by Greeley Hat Works for taking the top honor.

“Training and monitoring are paramount to successful implanting. Cattle Care Processing is diligent about this, so it’s not surprising their crew had the highest percentage of properly placed implants,” said John Hutcheson, Ph.D., director of technical services, Merck Animal Health. “Overall within the industry, we saw 97.6 percent good implants checked compared to 95.6 percent in 2013, so we are continually seeing improvement in implant proficiency.”

Stampede Feeders is one of several feedyards that utilize the Cattle Care Processing crew for their implant needs. The 10,000- head capacity, 95 percent customer-owned feedyard is located in Scott City, Kan., and is committed to providing quality care and helping its customers maximize profits.

“We know the value of properly placed implants, and Cattle Care Processing always strives for 100 percent,” said Jerry Jackson, manager at Stampede Feeders. “Their experience, expertise and diligence, combined with Merck Animal Health’s support of training and regular checks, are second to none.”

Participants in the contest had to record at least 10 implant checks during the contest period. Of the 669 cattle checked at Stampede Feeders, 99.4 percent were good.

“When crews pay close attention to details and use proper techniques, they typically see a significant improvement in the number of good implants placed,” said Dr. Hutcheson. “Missing implants can cost producers up to 90 pounds in carcass weight, so taking the time to use proper procedures and check implants is definitely worth it.”

Dr. Hutcheson said because of the enthusiasm and participation we saw this past year, Merck Animal Health will host the contest again. To learn more and enroll an implant processing crew, contact your Merck Animal Health representative. To learn more about proper implanting, watch an instructional video at the Merck Animal Health Responsible Beef website.