Iowa beef producers now have certification to ensure the health and background of replacement heifers thanks to a cutting-edge program spearheaded by the Iowa Beef Center and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association.

The Iowa Veterinary Medical Association recently approved the Iowa Certified Beef Female Program. Sponsored by the Iowa Beef Center, the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Cow Herd Improvement Program Services (CHIPS) and Northwest Iowa Beef Heifer Development, the new certification gives cow-calf producers verified background information and a standardized health program for replacement females.

"This program serves both replacement female buyers and sellers," said Dennis DeWitt, field livestock specialist for the Iowa Beef Center. "Buyers can rest assured that the animals they're buying are healthy and pregnancy-checked by a veterinarian, and sellers can add value to their beef females through certification."

Females already certified through the program will be sold Saturday, Dec. 30 and Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Spencer Livestock Sale barn in Spencer, IA.

The Iowa Certified Beef Female Program requires animals be screened for bovine virus diarrhea (BVD). Additionally, the females must be vaccinated for the major respiratory and reproductive diseases, and be pregnancy checked by a veterinarian and backgrounded. Age, breed makeup and breeding information (when applicable) are recorded. Once females have met all requirements, they are identified with a special program tag.

"This is a pretty strict program that we hope will help this state's beef producers curb disease in their herds and maximize their earning potential," DeWitt continued. "Both the veterinarians and sellers must sign a certificate guaranteeing the animals meet the program's requirements to the best of their knowledge."

For more information about the Iowa Certified Beef Female Program, or to consign beef females for the sales, contact Greg Wood, CHIPS technician at 712-262-2264 or Dennis DeWitt at 712-336-3488.

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