Cattlemen and women have watched the cattle industry hit unprecedented highs with cattle prices in 2014 and drop nearly forty percent the following year. Meanwhile in 2016, prices have followed an up-and-down trend similar to the standard market.

With so many variables affecting commodity prices, one sale barn in Florida, the Okeechobee Livestock Market, has implemented a herd health program called OKEE VAC, which aims to help boost the price of cattle enrolled.

“OKEE VAC is a program that will help the entire cattle industry from start-to-finish, from the producer to the buyer to the feedlot,” said Todd Clemons, president of the Okeechobee Livestock Market. “We noticed a lot of cattle producers were already following a weaning and vaccination protocol, so we decided to create an official program to designate this. That’s how OKEE VAC came to be.”

Prior to the launch of OKEE VAC, the Okeechobee Livestock Market worked closely with representatives from pharmaceutical companies to fact-check and create an effective and well-rounded program. OKEE VAC has the support of the following pharmaceutical companies: Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, Merial, Zoetis, Bayer and Elanco.

“We’ve been wanting to do something like this for years, and the benefit goes far beyond the one-time sale of cattle. This is a program that will help the entire cattle industry by decreasing cattle death loss, and assuring buyers and feedlots that they are getting a quality animal,” said Greg Woodard from Merck.

Designated OKEE VAC sale dates will continue to occur at the Okeechobee Livestock Market throughout the year. For more information, visit okeechobeelivestockmarket.com or call (863) 763.3127.