Beef's Dream Team

Beef's Dream Team

Beef Cattle Beef Cattle

August 3, 2016

Just as raising a child “takes a village,” the same can be said about raising healthy, profitable calves that bring the highest returns…and it all starts at the beginning. 

Mark Hilton, a retired Purdue DVM, explained, “The newest research says fetal programming, developmental programming, epigenetics, whatever we want to call that, the nutrition of the dam when that calf’s in utero starts the clock.”

That’s where the “dream team” comes into play, to ensure when a calf is born it can get up and get a full belly of colostrum as quickly as possible. 

Hilton said, “When I talk to producers, I tell them to get with a nutritionist, get with your veterinarian, have a nutrition plan, have a health plan.” 

Today, it’s easier to access specialists in each field, so farmers and ranchers have a great depth of information to draw from. 

Hilton finds that having a strong team is important. “I think every producer needs to have that dream team, and I’m a veterinarian, so I want to be on that team. But I also need a nutritionist. I need somebody that understands nutrition so that he can help my producer produce calves for the best average daily gain and cost of gain. I’ve even lined up people with marketing folks to help sell those calves at a better price, and I don’t know those things. I don’t know about marketing.” 

Hilton says the most successful cow-calf operators rely on their team to help them make well-rounded decisions.

For more information about hitting the high-quality beef target, visit or

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