Dairy cows represent a major source of the U.S. beef supply. Cows marketed to slaughter can represent up to 15 percent of a dairy's income. In the Western states alone, over 800,000 head (worth about $500 million) are marketed to slaughter every year.

This is important to you because new demands on meat packers, resulting from implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plans, have focused their attention on the quality of cattle coming into the packing plant. And that includes dairy cattle.

To help do a better job on your farm, check out this dairy beef program that educates farmers, farm advisors, and dairy veterinarians on issues in market cattle food safety and quality, and provides tools for assessing and certifying on-farm quality assurance programs.

Source: University of California-Davis