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Master of Agribusiness

Beef Replacement Heifer Decision Tool

John Sachse, Wamego, Kansas, defended his thesis, “Beef Replacement Heifer Decision Tool” on April 17, 2017. He is the Director of Industry Relations for the Kansas Beef Council. Sachse graduated from Kansas State University in May 2017 with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

Sachse Family Angus, a family-owned commercial and registered Angus calf-cow farm in Northeast Kansas, has been in operation since 1935. Recently, they have expanded their operation to include the development of registered purebred cattle and have also focused attention on increasing the numbers of Angus replacement heifers on the farm. Successful selection and management of beef replacement heifers can promote the sustainability of a herd, but many farmers face the decision of whether to raise these cattle on their own farms or purchase them from outside dealers.

“I created a buy vs raise replacement heifer tool to help producers make this important decision. This tool will help Sachse Family Angus track our costs of production and aid us in determining if we should purchase or develop our own replacement heifers. In turn, this research will benefit my family’s farm for generations to come,” Sachse said.

Findings of Sachse’s research suggest that with current market and input prices, Sachse Family Angus is better positioned to purchase their replacement heifers when to the price of buying heifers is low versus the high price of personal heifer development. He also created a replacement heifer development plan for Sachse Family Angus in the case that market prices shift and raising heifers becomes the more economical option.

Dr. Dustin Pendell, Associate Professor and Sachse’s thesis advisor, said, “John has done an outstanding job incorporating his MAB education and personal experiences to develop a heifer replacement decision tool. His decision tool will assist Sachse Family Angus in their decision making process.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/35487.