Raising quality beef is key at 44 Farms, and quality starts with a sound nutrition program in the cow herd. Recently, 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas, unveiled its “Partners in Performance” program, where the farm encourages producers who they buy feeder calves from for the 44 Farms branded-beef program to have a good nutrition plan early on.
“We encourage them to follow good nutrition, good health and good weaning practices, and we have zeroed in on the VitaFerm® products and recommended those products to them,” said Doug Slattery, Chief Operating Officer of 44 Farms. “The producers see the benefits in both performance in pounds gained and the health aspect of the calf. Sound nutrition including mineral is very important once those calves are weaned.”
A comprehensive nutrition program throughout the entire feeding cycle is significant to 44 Farms. They buy and feed nearly 30,000 calves annually, and those that meet the strict criteria will be sold as 44 Farms Beef. Part of that criteria includes that the calves have “never ever” been treated with antibiotics, so keeping them healthy is vital. And that health starts when they are young, getting them through the stress of weaning and getting and keeping them on feed in the feedlot.
44 Farms knows just how beneficial feeding a quality mineral can be. They have been feeding VitaFerm products to their cattle for years and have noticed an increase in gains and increased fertility in both their bulls and females. And Slattery credits Amaferm®, a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed, added into the mixed ration they feed their bulls with helping put on added pounds and increasing fertility. They have also been pleased with their females’ reproductive success due to feeding VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®.
But, the “Partners in Performance” program is more than just recommending protocols, it is also about educating the producers who buy 44 Farms bulls and then sell those calves back to the farm on the importance of health, nutrition and handling.
“We’ve had quite a few instances where people have improved their management at all levels when they started working with us from the advice and tips we have given them. We have a lot of long-standing relationships with producers we buy calves from, and we are adding new ones all the time,” he said.
Performance matters to 44 Farms. Whether in its cow herd, bull marketing program, feedlot or branded-beef program, performance is vital, and it starts with good education, a great relationship, and of course, a sound nutrition program.