September 3, 2010

Pennsylvania beef producers can now borrow cattle handling equipment from the Center for Beef Excellence, which gives these farmers an opportunity to improve their herd’s health and increase farm profitability, according to the organization’s executive director. 

“Handling beef cattle properly is essential for healthy animals, safer for the producers, and makes record keeping much easier,” said Willard Lemaster, executive director of the Center for Beef Excellence. “The center is pleased to be able to offer our producers access to this portable equipment that can help boost their bottom lines.” 

Purchased with a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the equipment includes panels, gates, a squeeze chute, palpation cage, platform digital scale with display, and an electronic identification tag reader mounted on a trailer for easy transportation. 

“We hope producers will make use of the equipment for vaccinating, dehorning or any other type of herd health care,” said Lemaster.   

Lemaster added the equipment can help make backgrounding beef calves easier for producers. Vaccinating calves, weaning them from the cows for 30-45 days and training them to eat feed increases market weight, adding value. 

While any Pennsylvania producer can use the equipment, priority is given to those in Bedford, Bradford, Fayette, Greene and Somerset counties based on the grant requirements. Producers can pick up the equipment and haul it themselves, or it can be delivered for a transportation fee.

Producers interested in using the equipment should contact Lemaster at 717-425-5545 or Lemaster@beefexcellence.com to check availability and reserve dates to keep the equipment. For more information about the Center for Beef Excellence, visit the website at www.beefexcellence.org.  

Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-787-5085; jkummer@state.pa.us