October and November calf-weaning days may seem to be quite a long time in the future.  However, now is the time to contact the value-added calf program that best fits your calves.  The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service at Oklahoma State University in cooperation with the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association recognized the increased interest and participation in value-enhancement marketing strategies for cow-calf producers. However, many producers are unaware and unfamiliar with value-added programs available to them.

Enrollments often must be done well in advance of weaning and many of the programs require that calves be weaned at least 45 days prior to the sale date.  In the situation where a pharmaceutical company is sponsoring the value-added calf sale, the cow calf rancher will need to obtain the proper vaccinations recommended for the specific program and be certain that they are given to calves according the program requirements.

An OSU Fact Sheet ANSI-3288; “Marketing Opportunities Available to Oklahoma Beef Cattle Producers” (http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-8886/ANSI-3288web2013.pdf) discusses the details of becoming involved with a value-added calf program and lists over 30 of the current value-enhancement programs that are available to Oklahoma producers.  The list also gives contact information for the individual programs so that ranchers can make the initial inquiry about enrolling their calves this year.  Value-added calf programs are continuing to grow in popularity with calf buyers and sellers alike.  For more information about value-added calf programs in Oklahoma contact Gant Mourer at gantm@okstate.edu