NMSU Certified Calf Program

Value added programs are a marketing tool which allow cattle producers to bring more dollars to their bottom line. At the basic level, value added programs assure buyers the calves received some type of vaccination/health protocol.

Marketing opportunities, such as grass-fed, all natural, and export, require age and source verification. For age and source verification, cattle require an official "840" EID tag which is an official USDA tag for animal traceability. In an effort to promote additional marketing options for New Mexico cattle producers, NMSU is now offering two calf certification programs, ACES High and ACES High+.

Online Enrollment and Certification | Producers are encouraged to enroll online and contact their local County Extension Office to have calves certified by the County Agriculture Agent. Extension Offices are also available to assist with the enrollment process.

Producers must be BQA Certified prior to administering vaccines at branding. If BQA Certified, enter certification number during online enrollment. If not BQA certified, contact your local County Agent to make arrangements.

A Premise ID is strongly encouraged and may be obtained by contacting Dusty Wells, USDA at 505-761-3160. Physical address, GPS Coordinates, and directions to property if not in 911 System, will need to be provided. Use Google Maps app or Google Earth to locate and find GPS coordinates.

Tags, Vaccines and Verification | ACES High and ACES High+ calves will receive a visual tag at branding and an EID tag at or around weaning. NMSU will offer cooperative purchase agreements to reduce costs for tags and vaccines.

All vaccines must be administered according to program guidelines. Calves in the ACES High+ program are required to be weaned for 45 days or more; NMSU Extension Animal Sciences & Natural Resources will help formulate weaning rations as needed to maximize gain and minimize cost.

In collaboration with IMI Global, age and source verification will be offered for the ACES High and ACES High+ program.

Certified Sales and Marketing | Although not required, producers will have the opportunity to participate in two certified sales at Clovis and Roswell Livestock Auctions. NMSU will assist with the marketing and promotion of the sales and will also work with any buyer, should a producer choose to market elsewhere.

Value added programs are not a guaranteed premium and cannot overcome undesirable (from a market perspective) calves. Low quality, poor health, mismatched calves, and management issues will bring lower market prices, regardless of background or vaccination program.

Craig Gifford
Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
Phone: 575-646-6482
Email: cgifford@nmsu.edu

Patrick Kircher
Roosevelt County Agriculture Agent
Phone: 575-356-4417
Email: pkircher@nmsu.edu