Show-Me-Select Heifer Program meeting Feb. 19 in Mt. Vernon

The Missouri Show-Me-Select Heifer Program in southwest Missouri will have an informational meeting starting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Lawrence County Extension Center, Court House, Mt. Vernon.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in learning more about the 20-year old beef replacement heifer program. Persons who plan to consign heifers to the May 18 sale at Joplin Regional Stockyards should attend this the kickoff meeting for consignors.

“During that portion of the meeting, they will draw for sale order positions. Discussions on advertisements for the upcoming sale will be held,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

It is nearing time to perform pre-breeding exams on heifers that will be entered in the fall 2018 sale. Producers interested should contact the nearest MU Extension livestock specialist. The process begins with having the heifers, home-raised or purchased, given a pre-breeding exam by a veterinarian.

“They palpate the reproductive tract to assess their suitability for breeding. The exam includes a pelvic measurement which can be an indicator of calving ease,” said Cole.

The exam should be given at least 30 to 45 days before bull or artificial insemination exposure. At the same time the veterinarian examines the reproductive soundness of the heifer, the livestock specialist checks the heifer for blemishes and anything that would cause her to be a poor candidate for breeding. This could include eye problems, long toes, too small or too large a frame, light muscling or bad temperament.

The SMS program provides cow-calf producers an opportunity to add value to quality heifers they wish to sell. You may learn more details on the program from your extension livestock specialist or by visiting

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri including Eldon Cole in Lawrence County at 417-466-3102; Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at 417-345-7551; Randy Wiedmeier in Ozark County at 417-679-3525; or Patrick Davis in Cedar County at 417-276-3313.