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 offers two calf certification programs, ACES High and ACES High+.

Online Enrollment & 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 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.

ACES High Logo with calf
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2018 Important Dates
  • February 1: Enrollment Begins
  • May 31: Enrollment Ends
  • First vaccination at branding
  • Wean by Date: TBD
    (late September / early October)
  • Sale Dates: TBD

Age & Source Verification | Through partnerships with IMI Global, all enrolled calves will be age and source verified and will receive an official USDA 840 EID tag. This will allow program calves to qualify for several marketing options, including export.

Buyer Feedback | NMSU will work with buyers to obtain data on calf health, performance, and quality after the calves leave the sale. Release of information is at the discretion of the buyer; we cannot guarantee to obtain this information, but will work to do so.

All sale data and any calf performance data will be summarized and released to enrolled producers (individuals will not be singled out, only averages will be reported).

NMSU CES will also inform all regional sale barns and other cattle markets about the ACES High and ACES High+ programs in an effort to gain program recognition throughout numerous marketing venues.

Certified Sales & Marketing | NMSU CES will host certified sales at area sale barns where a segment of the sale will be dedicated to ACES High or High+ calves. NMSU CES will also help facilitate advertising of these sales. Participation is optional.

Quality Counts | There are no guarantees of increased value by participating in these programs. Traditionally, this type of value-added program results in $6-7 / cwt premiums.

However, quality is still the biggest factor in price. Cattle typically discounted at market are not likely to see any premium by participating in value-added programs.

High-quality, healthy calves are needed to build the reputation of the program and set a foundation for buyers' confidence and premium value.

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