sTo help both dairy beef and beef producers maximize profit centers, the beef checkoff’s
quality assurance program offers basic, cost-effective herd management tools that can
increase the value of the animal, according to Ryan Ruppert, manager of the checkoff’s dairy and beef quality assurance program.

Dairy producers have the opportunity to provide multiple products, including beef production.

“Dairy producers have a very significant effect on the beef industry in that role, “Ruppert
explained. “In fact, about 20 percent of beef comes from dairy animals, so often part of the dairy producer’s income is derived from animals that will go into the beef industry.”

“There’s a calf born to every cow that initiates lactation, and half of those calves are bulls,” notes Jay Mattison, chief executive officer and administrator of the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA). “Some of those bulls will go to veal, but a majority will go into beef production.”

Dairy producers may need to plan a bit more than beef producers to realize returns from a second product from dairy animals.

“For example, with a little planning, perhaps dairy producers could hold the animals for an extra 30 or 45 days before they are marketed, providing a little more conditioning and generating a better body score,” he says. “That would really increase the value of harvest of that animal.”

Many quality management tools that dairy producers could utilize for relatively short periods are basic and cost-efficient, Ruppert adds.

Using proper injection sites, adding conditioning – those are things that dairy producers can do right away to improve their profitability pretty quickly without incurring
significant additional costs, Ruppert says. “We think they’ll be happier, and the beef industry will be stronger for their efforts.”

The end-game is to increase consumer product satisfaction and increase demand for the products from the animal – concepts with which dairy producers are already very familiar.

“Animal agriculture – especially animal protein production agriculture – is becoming a smaller and smaller part of our society,” said Mattison. “So we’ve got to act together in order to best serve the consuming public.”

For more information about ways of improving the meat from dairy animals, contact Ryan Ruppert at (303) 694-0305, or visit