Texas Cooperative Extension has developed an interactive CD-ROM to help beef cattle producers manage their herd's health.

The program was developed by Wayne Thompson, Extension agent for agriculture in Harris County. It was based on the herd management practices and educational programs presented by Dr. Floran "Buddy" Faries, Extension program leader for veterinary medicine.

“This program will help producers select and schedule month-by-month health and production management practices,” Faries said. “The calendar helps them to do the right thing at the right time.”

The CD-ROM includes an interactive calendar that allows the beef producer to generate a management schedule to fit the length of his calving season and the month it begins.

"A livestock producer should not manage herd health according to a calendar year or the coincidence of vacations when family members congregate," Thompson said. "This program presents a checklist of management tasks based on the first month of calving - a point in time that is typically not January."

The interface of the application was developed to be user-friendly and accessible to even the novice computer user, he said.

The CD-ROM also has demonstration videos for each activity, as well as a complete library of publications.

Faries said, “The video demonstrations of health and production management practices helps the producer do the right thing the right way.”

Ultimately consumers will benefit from producers using the CD-ROM, Faries said.

“Proven management practices assures there will be an adequate supply of safe, wholesome beef, ” he said. “Also, various herd health management practices are also bio-security practices and help prevent the entry of diseases, whether endemic or foreign.”

Extension agents for agriculture throughout the state are presenting the information in beef management workshops this year, where the CD-ROM will be available for $98. Producers should contact the Extension office in their county for information.

The CD-ROM can also be ordered through Extension's online bookstore at Text to be Linked http://tcebookstore.org, publication number SP-289.