Cattle Producer's Handbook Collection

Handbook prepared regularly by the Western Beef Resource Committee (WBRC)

Contents: About the Collection | About the Idaho Cattle Industry | Tech

About the Collection

The Cattle Producer’s Handbook began in the mid 1970s. The first edition was put together in 1980 and was 500 pages. Now, it is published by the University of Idaho Extension department within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. It is known colloquially as the “yellow book” for the yellow binders used to house the individual publications, allowing for outdated material to be easily swapped out with current sections. Former Handbook titles include the Cow-Calf Management Guide and the Cattle Producer’s Library.

This digital collection consists of the Genetics Section of the 4th edition, revised in December 2014. The 4th edition in entirety consists of the following sections: Introduction, Quality Assurance, Nutrition, Reproduction, Range and Pasture, Animal Health, Management, Genetics, Drought and Other Natural Disasters, and Miscellaneous. The entire 4th edition plus earlier versions, can be found in Special Collections and Archives at the University of Idaho Library. 

The Cattle Producer’s Handbook is prepared by the Western Beef Resource Committee (WBRC), which consists of beef specialists, economists, range scientists, animal nutritionists, county educators, and veterinarians from the Cooperative Extension System and from cattle industry representatives. The WBRC meets annually to review publication content and represents the following universities: University of Arizona, University of California, Colorado State University, University of Hawaii, University of Idaho, Montana State University, University of Nevada, New Mexico State University, Oregon State University, Utah State University, Washington State University, and University of Wyoming.

Cattle lying in a field at the University of Idaho Farms, circa 1935

About the Idaho Cattle Industry

There are over 2.1 million cattle in the state of Idaho raised by 7,700 farming and ranching operations, most of which are family owned. According to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, dairy is Idaho’s top agricultural industry, with an annual milk yield of over 13 billion pounds and valued at over $2.2 billion. Supporting this industry is the Animal, Veterinary and Food Sciences Program, which includes serving Idaho’s top agricultural commodity of beef cattle. The Idaho beef industry contributes $500 million to $700 million annually, depending on market conditions, to Idaho’s economy.

The University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and its various research, extension and education centers throughout the state conduct research and provide educational programs in health, production, range cow, integrated resource and sustainable management, as well as cow-calf nutrition and feedlot nutrition. Dairy programs conduct research and provide extension programs in the areas of nutrition, lactation and reproductive physiology, herd health, milk quality, safety, breeding and genetics. Strong cooperative programs exist with allied industry and cooperator herds across the state. Excellent relationships exist with the United Dairymen of Idaho and association support is substantial. Overall, animal and plant agriculture constitutes over 21% of Idaho’s economy.

Cattle grazing at the University of Idaho Farms, circa 1935

Technical Credits - CollectionBuilder

This digital collection is built with CollectionBuilder, an open source tool for creating digital collection and exhibit websites that is developed by faculty librarians at the University of Idaho Library following the Lib-STATIC methodology.

This site is built using CollectionBuilder-CDM which utilizes CONTENTdm APIs to create an engaging “skin” on top of an existing digital collection repository.

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