Lykes Bros. Inc. stresses environmental, social, and economic sustainability in all of their operations, realizing that all three have become necessary for long-term success. Lykes Bros employs Best Management Practices for Water Quality throughout its entire operations as well as recently completing a greenhouse gas inventory of all its operations to determine its carbon footprint.
Innovative BQA practices employed by Lykes Ranch:
- Selection of bulls for a docile disposition in order to reduce handling stress, increase employee safety, carcass quality, and feeding efficiency.
- Proper nutrition and a vigilant health program ensures a hardy calf. Ranch hands ensure that custom mineral is available to the cattle at all times.
- Forage analysis along with soil samples are taken periodically to maximize forage growth and nutritional value.
- The calves are age and source verified and shipped with comprehensive BQA documentation.
Lykes management saw a need for a universal BQA training program encompassing proper cattle handling techniques to reduce stress and health problems with the intent to produce a consistent product from all units on the ranch. Through training, training and more training, with the help of University of Florida staff, local veterinarians, pharmaceutical reps. and in-house staff, we have made the BQA system a part of our operational culture at the ranch.
“It does not cost much to implement this program but it pays huge dividends to the industry as a whole,” says Mike Milicevic, Lykes Bros. Inc. “Our only regret in the application is that we ran out of space to go into detail on all of the little things we do on a daily basis. BQA practices should be considered a model for the rest of the world and can be considered a long-term solution to sustainable livestock production.”
The National BQA award winners are selected annually by a committee of representatives from universities, state beef councils and cattle industry groups.
Source: Beef Checkoff Program