Great Plains Heifer Development Program at Haskell

The Great Plains Heifer Development Center at the UNL Haskell Ag Lab near Concord, Nebraska, will give beef producers game-changing data about their replacement females years ahead of data tracking at home. 

Haskell Ag Lab Concord Nebraska

For more information: 

Connor Biehler: 402-624-8007 

Rick Rasby: 402-472-6477 

Kiernan Brandt: 307-630-6397 

Goals for serving the beef industry

  • Provide custom heifer development, freeing up producers' feed and time resources at home.
  • Demonstrate proven heifer development techniques.
  • Help producers adopt heifer development practices that increase efficiency and longevity in their cowherds. 
  • Manage heifers to reach target weights for best breeding success and longevity, within a set timeframe.
  • Evaluate heifers for disposition, performance and reproductive traits, and give producers opportunities to learn more about effective evaluation.

Goals for education & research

  • Work with researchers from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and South Dakota State University to learn more about practical heifer development, while providing valuable data to beef producers. 
  • Provide research access to several sets of cattle that are outside the current research gene pool, offering real-world animals for study and data collection.
  • Establish research studies that can encompass a variety of disciplines related to beef production. 

Heifer qualification guidelines

  • Program administered by University of Nebraska Extension and South Dakota State University personnel with assistance of on-farm staff.
  • Heifers must be owned by the consignor for at least 60 days prior to delivery. All purchased heifers must be accompanied with an affidavit indicating the name and address of the original breeder and birth dates of the heifers.
  • Heifers must have known sire (registration number required). If from multi-sire breeding groups, include all sire registration numbers. Natural service sires must have GE-EPD’s.
  • Heifers may be commercial or registered. Registered heifers must be accompanied with a copy of registration papers at delivery.
  • Heifers must be individually and permanently identified. Heifers will be re-tagged at delivery.
  • A minimum weight per day of age (WDA) of 2.4 lbs. is required.
  • Priority will be given to producers enrolling heifers from single sire groups (5 heifers per sire is recommended).
  • Heifers will be pre-screened prior to delivery by program administrators to ensure that they meet the program requirements as described in this document.
  • Priority for space will be given to Nebraska residents but heifers from bordering states will be accepted if space is available.
  • If nominations exceed available space, program administrators will select heifers that will be admitted based on program fit and regional distribution. Owners will be informed soon after selection is complete.

Health requirements

  • All heifers must be in good health at delivery.
  • A sound health program is extremely important. Immunity is developed only if calves are properly vaccinated without stress. Proper handling and administration of vaccines will afford better results. Initial vaccinations must be given prior to weaning and will be repeated at weaning.
  • Prior to delivery heifers must be dehorned and healed, dewormed and vaccinated for IBR/BVD/PI3/BRSV; 7 or 8-way Clostridial
  • Heifers will be tested on arrival for Bovine Viral Leukosis (BLV), Persistently Infected Bovine Viral Diarrhea (PI-BVD), and Anaplasmosis. Any heifer found to be positive will be removed from the program.