Producers with as few as a couple head of cattle to a large-scale farming operation can benefit from the expertise Purdue Extension offers. Chad Rushing is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Starke and Pulaski Counties. He says small livestock producers often find themselves at the mercy of factors beyond their control.
“They don’t have the ability to spread out their costs over a lot of animals, and they also may not have the resources to produce their own feed stuff, so they have to go out and buy hay, and they’re kind of at the mercy of the market. Last year with the drought we had a hay shortage and the cost of production really skyrocketed for those people. So they face a different set of challenges in trying to remain profitable,” Rushing said.
Rushing says Purdue Extension is also able to assist larger scale producers.
“The larger-scale producers have the resources. For them it’s more fine-tuning their management is where I would help them out most, and giving them resources to be more efficient on a larger scale. They’ve got the economies of scale in their favor, and it’s easier for them to be more profitable,” Rushing said.
Rushing says he has access to a wealth of resources through Purdue.
“A lot of the large-scale programming I do, we bring in specialists from Purdue. We’re able to do that, and it really helps give them access to those resources and bring them in. On a smaller scale there may be less people and a more one-on-one type of situation, but we’re still able to provide them that information,” Rushing said.
More information about Purdue Extension and the programs it offers is available online at https://www.extension.purdue.edu/starke/Pages/default.aspx.