Iowa seedstock producers can enroll both bulls and heifers in the evaluation program which is managed by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. The ICA Bull Evaluation Program has focused for nearly 30 years on improving genetics for Iowa's commercial cattle producers. The quality this past spring was reflected in record sales prices that were paid for both bulls and heifers.
Consignment and private reservations for fall-born and spring-born bulls will be taken through September 30; while heifer reservations can be made through November 18. Both dates can be extended if pens are not full. "The superior genetics that come from this program will again be offered to commercial cattle producers at three sales across Iowa in spring 2013," says Kellie Carolan, ICA's seedstock manager.
Each year, progressive breeders in the Midwest enter more than 300 bulls and 120 open heifers into the program for comparison and benchmarking. "The value of the ICA evaluation program is producers can compare their genetics to other producers through a program that has been in operation for 29 years," Carolan says. "This is an excellent opportunity to get important performance information on your seedstock without having to tie up lot space."
Excellent opportunity to get important performance information on seedstock
The fall bulls will be fed and evaluated at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, while the spring bulls and open heifers will be delivered to the Van Meter Feedyard near Guthrie Center. Bulls and heifers will be evaluated through the feeding period, and need to meet strict selection criteria to be eligible for an ICA sale and be worthy of the ICA 'Symbol of Excellence.'
Carolan says those sales will be at auction barns in Bloomfield on March 18, 2013; in Dunlap on March 22, 2013; and in Tama on May 3, 2013.
"As an ICA bull consignor you have the opportunity to open another market for your seedstock," she says. "The ICA bull program has a long reputation of offering elite genetics to commercial breeders and other purebred producers." Newer or smaller seedstock producers may want to use private reservations as a cost-effective way of gathering ultrasound and performance data on their herd, while reserving the right to take their stock home after the evaluation.
Details for program requirements can be found at the ICA website, www.iacattlemen.org. Look for Bull and Heifer Program under the ICA Programs tab. You can also contact Carolan for more information at [email protected], or by calling 515-296-2266.
Nominate outstanding seedstock, commercial cattle producers for awards
Also last week, it was announced that the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and the Iowa Beef Breeds Council are partnering to honor an outstanding seedstock producer and a top commercial producer for their efforts.
In both cases, the producers will be judged on management practices, involvement in the cattle industry and other achievements. Those nominated for the awards must be members of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, and the seedstock award winner must also be a member of a state or regional breed association.
Nomination forms, which are available on the ICA website and through the Iowa Beef Breeds Council, are due September 30, 2012. On www.iacattlemen.org, you can find the forms under the membership tab on the left side of the page; from that drop-down menu, select the Awards entry. The top commercial producer award will be made at the ICA annual meeting in December, and the outstanding seedstock award will be made at the Iowa Beef Expo in February 2012.