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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Rio Arriba County Extension to host beef emporium

ABIQUIU ? 4-H and FFA members will have an opportunity to purchase the calf that could be next year?s fair champion at the Top of the River Prospective Beef Emporium on Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Rio Arriba County Fairgrounds, State Road 554, House 122A, Abiquiu.

Girl with nose to steer?s nose
Rio Arriba County 4-H member Marisa-feliz Ronquillo purchased her steer at last year?s Top of the River Prospective Beef Emporium hosted by New Mexico State University?s Rio Arriba County Extension office. She said she was greatful for the experience and all that she learned. (NMSU photo)

New Mexico State University?s Rio Arriba County Cooperative Extension Service has organized the event to give cattle producers an opportunity to network with 4-H and FFA members interested in market beef and cattle breeding projects.

The emporium will begin with calf weigh-in at 8 a.m. Bids for purchasing calves will close at 2 p.m. The sales are private treaty and are between the cattle producer and the exhibitor. There will be a workshop on beef quality assurance and calf selection during the event, encouraging best herdsmanship practices.

?Last year?s Emporium was a great success,? said Marcella Talamante, Rio Arriba County 4-H agent. ?We had 18 calves showcased at the event, which lead to seven calves being purchased by 4-H members.?

Youth exhibited their calves at the Northern Rio Grande Classic, Sweetheart Show, Rio Arriba County Fair, Bernalillo County Fair and the New Mexico State Fair.

?Last year?s youth said they gained confidence in the 4-H project and knowledge about the beef industry,? Talamante said. ?The producers were pleased with the outcome and many said they looked forward to participating again this year.?

Cattle producers are invited to bring up to five calves for the sale.

Besides selling the calf, the producer has an opportunity to see the calf fed out to its genetic potential as the youth raise the animal.

?It gives them an opportunity to see if there are ways they can better their herd to make sure they provide quality product to the beef industry,? Talamante said.

At this year?s emporium, in addition to the viewing, bidding and selling/buying the calves, a beef quality assurance certification class will be presented in the morning for both the ranchers and the youth.

Marcy Ward, NMSU beef cattle specialist, will also present a workshop for the youth on how to select a calf.

?Dr. Ward will talk about what the youth should be looking for in a good prospective show calf, looking at conformation, muscling and growth potential,? Talamante said. ?She will also discuss breed types so the youth will understand that each breed performs a little differently, and how that is going to affect the overall product.?

For more information, contact Talamante, marctala@nmsu.edu, or Rio Arriba County Extension agricultural agent Donald Martinez, donmart@nmsu.edu, at 575-588-7423 or 505-685-4523.