Beef Production and Management

This online course about raising beef cattle covers breeds, establishing facilities, nutrition and reproduction, and marketing and finances.
Beef Production and Management - Online Courses
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Length of Access: 365 days
Sections: 7
Length: 19 hours
Language: English
Note: This course is a new online version of Penn State Extension's Beef Home Study Course.

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Raising beef cattle is an incredibly rewarding, yet also challenging enterprise. You have to provide the best care for your cattle, while making sound business decisions to ensure that your operation is profitable.

In this asynchronous, self-paced course, you’ll use a combination of readings, videos, and handouts to learn about the basics of beef cattle production. Readings will be your primary source of information. The course begins with looking at production facilities and how to design a handling system that meets your needs. Videos will teach you how to select the breed of cattle that is best suited for your goals and operation, how to meet the nutritional needs of your cattle, and how to manage pasture and forage. This course covers breeding and managing cattle through the reproductive cycle, as well as how to identify and correct cattle health problems. You’ll also learn effective ways to market your cattle and beef products, and how to handle the financial planning for beef cattle production. Videos will teach you about pricing practices, identifying a market, and direct beef marketing.

You will be able to print handouts about beef cattle body condition scoring, breeds and reproduction planning, and grazing management. You will be provided with worksheets that you can use to create your own operational records and budgets, make cattle feeding decisions, and estimate beef side retail values. Knowledge check questions throughout the course will help you review what you learn, and each section also provides you the opportunity to reflect on how to incorporate what you've learned into your beef operation.

Who is this for?
  • Anyone who is just getting started in the beef business
  • Producers who want to improve their beef operation
What will you learn?

You will learn how to:

  • understand the basics of beef production
  • understand breed selection
  • identify the nutritional needs of beef cattle
  • manage beef cattle reproduction
  • manage cattle health issues
  • identify effective ways to market cattle
  • make a financial plan


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