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Make beef quality a dairy priority

August 12, 2014
POSTED BY: Richard Wallace | DVM, MS | Managing Veterinarian | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

As a dairy producer, you’re a beef producer, too, and a direct link to the food chain. Market dairy cows are responsible for 18% of total ground beef production per year — enough to provide more than 28 quarter-pound burgers for every man, woman and child in the United States every year.1

A single drug residue violation can erode consumer confidence. Responsible drug use must be part of the daily conversation on your dairy, both with your veterinarian and your employees. Strike up the conversation by asking:

  • Are my cows healthy and ready for market?
    • Monitor the health and well-being of market cows regularly.
    • Work with your veterinarian to establish best management and handling practices for market cows.
    • Be sure that all cows leaving the farm are ready for market. Don’t rush the ship date.
  • Why are withdrawal times important?
    • On any given day, dairy cows can become market cows.
    • Double-check withdrawal times before sending any cows to market.
  • What are the consequences for marketing cows too early?
    • Someone is going to absorb the loss from poor-quality market cows along the way, either the farm, packer or consumer. Individual per-cow loss can add up to more than $300, depending on the quality of the market cow, according to the Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance manual.2

For information about working with your veterinarian to reduce violative drug residues on your dairy, visit

1 Beef Checkoff. Your Beef Checkoff Investment — Helping You Maximize Dairy Market Cow Value. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2014.

2 National Dairy Herd Information Association. Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance. Available at: Accessed April 5, 2017.



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