Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative Cattle Production Guidelines

Producers

  • BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) Certified.
  • Have nutrient management plans on file.
  • Follow humane handling procedures when working with cattle, according to BQA guidelines.

Cattle

  • Cattle will be traceable to farm of origin, verified by a producer affidavit with identification and age information.
  • Cattle must be born in Virginia and surrounding counties of West Virginia.
  • Cattle must be less than 30 months of age (using birth records) at time of slaughter.
  • No visible Braham or Dairy influence.
  • Producer will guarantee all heifers to be open.
  • No stags will be allowed.
  • Bull calves must be castrated under 400 pounds.
  • Horned cattle must be properly dehorned, according to BQA guidelines.
  • Cattle should exhibit beef type conformation with at least slightly thick muscling.

Vaccinations

  • All cattle moved from farm of origin to a backgrounding or feedlot location must be vaccinated with 7-way clostridial and IBR-BVD-PI3-BRSV vaccines.

Feeding Programs

Naturally Raised

  • To qualify for Naturally Raised, the following requirements must be met:
  • Minimum of 110 days on feed consisting of a high concentrate grain ration. Recommend 60 Mcal of net energy for gain.
  • No feeding of animal by products.
  • No added hormones.
  • No implants.
  • No ionophores – except as used as a coccidiostat for parasite control (Corid, Amprol, Deccox allowed).
  • No therapeutic or sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics – any cattle requiring treatment will be referred to the Locally Raised Program.

Locally Raised Program

  • Minimum of 110 days on feed consisting of a high concentrate grain ration. Recommend 60 Mcal of net energy for gain.
  • No feeding of animal by-products.
  • Therapeutic use of antibiotics are allowed: no extra label use, recommended withdrawal times adhered to. Producer will provide record of any cattle that are treated.
  • Producer will be responsible for delivery of cattle to designated processing facility or pick-up location.

Carcass Specifications

  • Cattle must be Quality Grade Select Plus, Choice, or Prime; Yield Grade 3.5 or better.
  • Cattle should exhibit beef-type conformation with at least slightly thick muscling.
  • Steers and heifers should be 1100-1300 pounds live weight, carcass weight of 650-800 pounds.
  • No Standard or Dark Cutter Carcass will be allowed. Producers will receive a discount of $25/cwt. carcass basis.