Seedstock/Purebred Cow-calf Producer
Seedstock or purebred producers raise and sell breeding stock for another producer’s breeding herd. This production career centres primarily around marketing, genetics, and bovine reproduction.
- Create and maintain a brand or trademark to identify own farm through advertising.
- Make advertisements with recognizable market image through local and agricultural newspapers and magazines.
- Compile a professional sale catalog with selected bulls and heifers to be sold, including calculated EPDs (expected progeny differences), a three-generation pedigree, and a professional side-view photo of the animal to be sold. Must also include top sires and dams of your herd in your catalog.
- Organize time and place of sale date as well as events to increase interest in costumers.
- Select and ready individual cattle for showing, following livestock show guidelines to properly train, trim and feed an animal according to provincial and/or federal livestock show standards.
- Find, register and attend livestock shows with own livestock.
- Maintain strict culling and breeding standards to enhance and maintain desirable genetic characteristics within the herd.
- Set up and monitor feed testing trials for bulls and heifers. Bulls and heifers are to be tested separately in separate groups according to size, weight, breed (if applicable), and body condition. A balanced ration must be created and maintained to ensure sufficient growth or rate of gain and physiological nutritional needs are met.
- Understand how to calculate EPDs of selected saleable breeding stock, and use these numbers to market your animals.
- Prepare and maintain a breeding program. This includes keeping a replacement heifer program, selecting which cows and heifers to cull, maintain a bull breeding/selection program which includes the timing and length of the breeding schedule, and, if using AI (artificial insemination), provide a heifer/cow estrus synchronizing program with which to monitor estrus activity with a detection protocol and scheduling a time with an AI technician to breed females. Some seedstock producers also wish to utilize a super-ovulation embryo-transfer program with only their best cows.
- Monitor and care for cows and calves before, during and after calving. This includes checking for labour signs in females, assisting with calving when necessary, and monitoring newborn calves for signs of illness and distress. Cows and heifers must also be monitored post-calving for signs of potential rejection of their calves, difficulty with calf suckling, or signs of retained placentas.
- Carry out as low-stress a weaning program as possible. Sort calves from cows and monitor both groups for illness such as respiratory infections, or potential mastitis issues with cows. Many weaning options are available for your choosing and convenience.
- Other duties are much the same as that mentioned in the Farm Owner/Manager career profile.
Skills and Qualifications:
- Previous experience and excellent knowledge in marketing and sales is required.
- Must be able to work under pressure and meet timely deadlines.
- Excellent knowledge of business and commerce a requirement.
- Ability to learn quickly and be flexible to adapting to new technologies and information an asset.
Education and Training:
A minimum of a college diploma in business and marketing. Previous experience working with an established seedstock producer an asset.