New association forms to promote Wyoming's quality livestock genetics

News
Dec 6, 2013
by WLJ

Cattle producers in Wyoming are invited to join a new organization that is forming to recognize the quality of livestock genetics in the state and to create a collaborative effort to promote the industry.

The Wyoming Livestock Genetics Association is being formed by a group of Wyoming purebred cattle producers and industry leaders to bring a unified industry approach to the promotion of quality Wyoming livestock to the state, regional, national and international marketplace. Currently, the organization is focused on the cattle industry, but there are hopes to include sheep and horses soon, as well.

Scott Keith, Livestock Genetics Program Manager at the Wyoming Business Council, said the industry is fragmented into independent breed associations, individual promotional efforts and a support industry driven by major companies rather than independent dealers who represent themselves or the companies they are associated with.

“The Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Division’s Livestock Genetics Program has offered promotional opportunities and display space to Wyoming breeders at state, regional and national trade venues for many years,” said Keith. “This effort will better unify the efforts of the industry as a whole and provide at least similar, hopefully more, opportunity for producer and business exposure. Any breeder who focuses on genetic performance and desires to share that focus with the industry is welcome to be a part of this organization.”

One of the first activities of the new organization will be to initiate a program focused on assisting Wyoming youth in getting a jump start in the cattle business.

This program—yet to have a formal name, but called the Donated Heifer Program in the interim—will allow Wyoming youth who are high school age to apply for the opportunity to receive a donated heifer from a Wyoming purebred breeder. If selected, they will be responsible for raising and breeding the heifer, and taking her to the Wyoming State Fair where they will compete in the Supreme Cow contest, a two-year production focused competition.

Keith said the participating youth will work with the donor throughout the year to learn from them many of the production practices necessary to successfully raise a heifer that will end up being a productive, long-term cow, rather than just a show animal. They will have a responsibility to showcase their heifer for their donor at other shows and county fairs, as well, if they so choose. The donors will also be required to participate throughout the year to mentor the youth in many areas of production, nutrition, health, breeding and marketing.

For more information on the Wyoming Livestock Genetics Association or Donated Heifer Program, contact Keith at 307/259- 3274 or scott.keith@wyo.gov.

The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www. wyomingbusiness.org. — WLJ

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