Beef Cattle Stocker Summit to be Held

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Article Contributed by
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County is pleased to invite agricultural producers interested in raising beef cattle to the upcoming educational Beef Cattle Stocker Summit. This summit is for our southwestern NY counties and will be held Thursday, June 23rd from 6 -9 pm at the Randolph Fire Hall, 70 Main Street in Randolph, NY.

Stocker cattle are typically acquired as young lightweight calves that spend a summer grazing on pasture lands, which allows them to add weight inexpensively. At the conclusion of the grazing season, the stockers, as they are referred to, generally are sold to other farmers that finish the animals to market weight.

“Cattle and beef values are at an all-time high, especially for locally-produced products and livestock finished on grain or grass. And there is great demand for those products from institutional buyers such as schools and hospitals,” said Cornell University Senior Extension Associate Michael Baker, who will lead the initiative. “Those market developments, along with the region’s abundant high quality forage lands, make Southern Tier counties well suited to grow their position in the stocker cattle market.”

A major appeal to growing stocker cattle is that the venture requires minimal investment in machinery and buildings, creating a low barrier to entry. The only major requirements are access to grazing lands, which can be leased, and the capital to purchase cattle. “This project is especially exciting, because the stocker cattle enterprise is one of the few agricultural businesses that beginning farmers can get involved in without a lot of overhead. What they do need is training and this project will provide intensive training to increase their opportunity for success,” Baker said. “I think it will also appeal to farmers looking to transition out of dairy production.

The summit will describe what a stocker enterprise is, the opportunities and barriers to entering a stocker enterprise, and economics. The program will also feature a seasoned stocker farmer who will describe his experience managing a stocker enterprise. Reservations are required by contacting Lisa Kempisty, Cornell Cooperative Extension Educator at 664-9502 X203 or by e-mail ljk4@cornell.edu. Light refreshments will be provided. Cost to attend is $10.00 per person, payable at the door.

The Beef Stocker Summit is an educational opportunity offered by the Agriculture Program, which is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.