February 3, 2006 | By: Laura Skillman
PRINCETON, Ky.

Beef producers in west Kentucky and their Tennessee neighbors joined forces for their first combined feeder calf sale this winter, and its success is prompting a more permanent alliance.

The Kentucky-Tennessee CPH Advantage Sale was held at KY-Tenn Livestock Inc. in Guthrie, Ky. West Kentucky producers were among the pioneers in feeder cattle sales that required specific herd health programs, commonly called Pennyrile Area CPH-45 sales. Tennessee has held similar sales called Tennessee Beef Advantage sales. The programs are part the University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee beef cattle programs, respectively.

Kentucky producers decided to move their sale location to Guthrie, near the Tennessee border, for this winter’s sale allowing the two states to more easily work together, said Kevin Laurent, Extension livestock associate with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

“It was a chance to put both Extension programs together in a collaborative effort for our producers,” he said.

Both states were having successful sales but Kentucky was putting together larger numbers, said John Bartee, Extension agent and county director for the Montgomery County, Tenn., Extension office. 

The combined calves from 51 Kentucky producers and 20 Tennessee producers accounted for 876 heifers and 1,309 steers in two separate sales. The calves have electronic identification tags and are source and age verified. The livestock sales facility has walk-through readers for the electronic tags. All the calves are also enrolled in the Kentucky Value-Added Targeted Marketing Program, which provides feedlot and carcass information to the producer. 

Source and age verification is becoming more of an issue in the beef cattle industry, Laurent noted, especially in markets where buyers want to be able to verify the age of any beef imported.

“The combined sale, as with all CPH-45 sales, provided buyers with quality cattle ensuring our producers a strong market for their product,” he said. “It was also an opportunity to establish a growing relationship with county Extension agents in neighboring Tennessee counties. “

Bartee said his producers were pleased with the prices they received for their calves.

“I don’t see how we could have had a more successful sale,” he said.

The collaborative effort was an ideal illustration of what Extension has been telling producers – that these sales and their management requirements will pay dividends. And, Bartee noted, they did. Cattle averaged nearly $7 per hundredweight more than the state average, with some pens topping the state average by more than $13 per hundredweight.

Since the sale, the Kentucky group has met and decided to add three Tennessee producers to the sale committee of 12. They are planning another sale in July for fall born calves, Laurent said.

Contact: 

Kevin Laurent, (270) 365-7541, ext. 226, John Bartee, (931) 648-5725