Featured photo: Pennsylvania dairy and beef producers gather for an Open-House at Dan and Steve Gross’s farm, to learn more about the opportunities to feed and finish calf-fed dairy steers.

The Pennsylvania Beef Stakeholder Team, made up of representatives from the Penn State Extension Livestock Team, Pennsylvania Beef Council, Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association and Center for Beef Excellence and made possible by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Beef Promotion Bid, facilitated an Open House event on November 19 at the farm of Dan and Steve Gross, Manchester, PA.

Featured speakers included Dan and Steve Gross discussing how they got started 20 years ago and how they evolved over the years to the state of the art facilities they enjoy today. JT Loewe, JBS Cattle Procurement/Head of Contracting, Greely, CO, discussed the market and contract opportunities that exist with JBS. Also on hand were John Tyson, Penn State Extension Ag Engineer, to advise on facilities and Jim Hogue, Agri-Basics, to discuss a high-energy feeding approach for these dairy beef steers.

“I feel the calf-fed Holstein project is a huge opportunity for producers in Pennsylvania to diversify their operations. There are thousands of Holstein calves that move through our region on a daily basis,” noted Mike Gahagan, JBS Cattle Procurement, Souderton, PA. “We just need to get our infrastructure built to keep these calves on local farms to feed into our plant in Souderton. In my opinion, this is the future of the cattle feeding business in Pennsylvania. We stand behind this project one hundred percent.”

There were 230 producers from 18 counties and three states gathered for the open house to learn more about the viability of calf-fed dairy steers. The open house concept allowed producers to walk through all the facilities from the calf barns to the transition and finishing barns. There were 10 sponsors also on site to interact with interested producers.

Owner Dan Gross summarized the day with this thought, “Surround yourself with the right people at the right time to work with along the way. No one way is absolute so ask questions to find the correct fit for your operation.”