Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chute "N" The Bull 5-28-10

The Integrity Beef program (IBeef) was first introduced several years
ago to a few progressive cow-calf producers. It serves as an example of
an integrated effort to apply state-of-the-art technology and best
management practices of the cattle industry to produce a more
consistent, high quality product. Today, the IBeef program is a joint
effort between the Noble Foundation consultation program and
participating cooperators. It endeavors to be a producer-led program
with the Noble Foundation serving as consultants to the program. The aim
of this "value added" program is to realize greater returns to
operations by producing calves that incorporate superior genetics,
improved herd health and management strategies that enable diverse
marketing opportunities.
This program invites cow/calf producers to participate who adhere to
specified recordkeeping protocols, best management practices and bull
selection criteria, as defined by a panel of producers and Noble
Foundation consultants. Each calf crop must be age- and source-verified
before leaving the ranch of origin. Producers must provide documentation
of birthdates, and each animal must be uniquely identified with an
electronic (EID) and ranch identification tag.
All age and source verification services for IBeef participants are
performed by an industry leading, third-party, USDA-approved
verification provider, which allows participating ranchers to market
cattle as age-/source-verified (ASV) to any feedyard, market or other
industry participant. Participation in the process verification program
(PVP) allows producers to meet qualifications for Country Of Origin
Labeling (COOL), which became effective March 16, 2009. ASV has to be
performed prior to the animals leaving the ranch of origin.
All IBeef participants must meet Level I BQA training requirements to
ensure that they have the working knowledge to properly process and
handle cattle using the industry-recognized standards. Noble Foundation
consultants provide training and online testing materials.
Another requirement for participation in the IBeef program is to obtain
a Premise Identification Number. The biggest benefit of obtaining a
Premise ID is it qualifies producers to compete in the global
marketplace with livestock whose meat products are eligible for export.
A unique Premise ID is obtained by registering with the state health
department or state veterinarian. Online registration is obtained at the
following Web sites - for Oklahoma, www.OK.LocateIn48.com, and for
Texas, www.tahc.state.tx.us/animal_id.
All IBeef participants are asked to contact Noble Foundation IBeef
representatives prior to spring processing to determine the total number
of calves participating in the Integrity Beef program for the year and
to arrange for EID delivery. Once a Noble Foundation IBeef
representative is contacted, a user account is created for producers
with the third-party, USDA-approved PVP provider on their Web site that
allows participants to view their respective animal information. EID
tags and forms are shipped directly to the ranch headquarters.
Enrollment is updated annually through a Noble Foundation IBeef
IBeef producers are responsible for EID tagging and data collection with
the exception of new participants to the program. All new Integrity Beef
participants are required to have a member of the consultation team
representing their region present at the first calf working date to
validate that the processing is performed using BQA practices, assist
with the age and source verification process, provide recommendations on
cattle handling and answer any other questions that the participant may
Calves are then weaned and processed again in the fall. Producers
collect weaning data and precondition the calves for at least 45 days.
The calves are then eligible for collective marketing through a
sanctioned sale, are marketed as independent groups or are retained for
marketing at a later date as heavy stockers or feeders. Thcollected is analyzed to produce reports that are used by the consultation teams and participants to monitor progress toward defined
The IBeef program is a "value added" program – and more. As you can see
from the management practices outlined above, this program is intensive.
It requires more because it takes a lot more effort to differentiate a
program in an extremely competitive industry. It is for the truly
progressive producer who values data, information, application of
technology, quality livestock and production practices; and is willing
to hold themselves to a higher standard - integrity. For more
information about the Integrity Beef program, contact one of the Noble
Foundation IBeef representatives. You can find this and past articles
on the web at www.mycountrytractor.com for your reference.
Extension programs serve of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level,
race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. The Texas
A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County
Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating serve of all ages regardless
of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or
national origin. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of
Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating

Thank you,

Tommy Neyland
County Extension Agent
Texas Agrilife Extension Service
P.O. Box 188
Centerville, Texas 75833
903.536.2531 phone
903.536.3804 fax