GCA works in partnership with the University of Georgia on several programs meant to help further develop the marketing opportunities for cattle producers by helping to provide additional value to their herds. Producers and consignors have direct input into the programs success and decision making.
Conducted in Tifton and Calhoun, the HERD Programs allows producers to consign heifers for heifer development. The program was developed to serve and educate the beef industry in Georgia; to demonstrate feeding and health programs that result in replacement heifers reaching target weights required for successful breeding performance; to provide a method of evaluating heifers including performance, reproductive traits, and disposition; to develop heifers which are source identified and genetically verified; and to demonstrate the benefits of cooperative efforts involving cattle producers, animal health professionals, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, the UGA Animal and Dairy Science Department, the UGA Diagnostic Lab and College of Veterinary Medicine, and Georgia County Extension Agents.
Located in Tifton and Calhoun, the evaluation centers conduct a 112-day test of bulls consigned by producers in Georgia and surrounding states.This testing demonstrates individual performance differences in a uniform environment; provides breeders with a sound scientific basis for selecting bulls with the ability to gain weight rapidly and to make such bulls available to cattle producers; serves as an educational demonstration of the value of records of performance; The programs are sponsored by the Georgia Cattlemen's Association, University of Georgia Animal and Dairy Science Department, Cooperative Extension, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, and the NW Georgia Research and Education Center.
The Georgia Beef Challenge is held in cooperation with the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity Cooperative (TCSCF), Lewis, Iowa. The TCSCF has been in existence for 37 years; it is governed by a Board of Directors and managed by Matt Groves. Calves will be fed by TCSCF Cooperative approved individual farmer-feeders in Southwest Iowa. Depending upon the number of entries, calves may be fed with more than one individual feeder. The program will not require feed deposit upon delivery nor carry the burden of feeding expenses. Instead the TCSCF Board will purchase the calves for $5 each, thus giving the Board title to animals and allowing them
to borrow money to pay feed, veterinary, yardage, risk management, and other expenses related to feeding of the cattle. Consignors will be assessed $10 per calf for data collection, including full carcass data. Animals will bear all expenses on an individual basis. Trucking will be prorated from the individual arrival weights; feed costs will be calculated for each calf based on weight, rate of gain, and composition of gain; veterinary expenses and medications will be charged to the individual calf receiving treatment. Calves will be sold on a grade & yield basis and will be the basis for determining individual animal value. Proceeds to consignors will be calculated as individual animal value less all related expenses including interest.
Georgia Verified Program
Consumers are increasingly concerned with what has gone into their food before it ends up on their table. Beef cattle are no exception. So it’s important that buyers feel confident that Georgia feeder cattle are of the highest quality, and have been held to a high standard. The Georgia Verified Program can help alleviate those concerns. A cooperative program between Livestock Markets, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and the University of Georgia, GVP was developed to enhance the reputation of the state’s feeder cattle through progressive management, genetics, and traceability. Each calf that is part of the GVP has met rigorous protocols – from vaccinations to nutrition to analysis of disposition. Those calves that meet all the requirements can be marketed as “Verified”.