Southwest Feeders is a multi-faceted project designed to enhance value-added economic development in southwestern North Dakota through education and research programs involving production systems that utilize locally-produced feedstuffs, calves and lambs. A new calf background feeding facility (24 pens, 192 head capacity) has been constructed at the Hettinger Research Extension Center to directly support the educational and research components of this project.
There is an estimated excess of $20 million in economic activity available to the agricultural community of southwestern North Dakota associated with beef backgrounding. Statewide the potential level of economic activity exceeds $55 million. Lamb finishing would increase the statewide level by $2.1 million. Southwest Feeders is designed to actively engage the agricultural community of southwestern North Dakota in value-added livestock production through a coordinated and targeted research and education program in calf backgrounding and lamb finishing.
Scientists at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory provide technical and financial assistance to support this valuable program.