804 Cattle Company, is a small, family-owned cattle company in Prince George’s County. 804 applied for the SMADC Agricultural Mini-Grant in July 2017 to facilitate building a corral and chute system on their 33-acre farm. The purpose of the corrals and chute system allows them to effectively and safely handle their cattle in order to perform preventative care, wean calves, perform pregnancy and health examinations and to artificially inseminate.
804 was awarded the grant in September, and has already completed the project. They reported back that having the corral and chute system allowed them to administer vaccinations and deworm cattle in accordance with Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) standards. During Fall, all of their cows, steers and calves were dewormed, vaccinated and given a mineral injection which would not have been possible without a functioning corral and chute system. All of their non-pregnant animals had their estrous cycles synched and were artificially inseminated during November. They will be pregnancy checked the first week of December. During this time, they were also able to start weaning calves using the corrals and a process called “fence-line weaning.” This greatly decreases the amount of stress for the calf and dam because it allows them to see each other and touch noses, but prevents nursing. The total cost of the project (panels, gates and accessories for the corrals) was $5,359.80. This does not include the cost for the chute or palpation cage. 804 applied for, and received, $2,000 in funding from SMADC. 804 provided the remainder in matching funds.
SMADC is excited to see this first mini-grant round funded in September, completed quickly by awardees and glad to be making an investment in Southern Maryland agriculture. Stay tuned for more features from mini-grant awardees and follow 804 Cattle Company on Facebook.