Stock Growers Assoc. promotes cattle health warranty

Mar 14, 2012

Cattle-ranching is hard enough without having to worry about Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis.

A national company, U.S. Livestock Producers, has begun selling warranty packages to ranchers who want to insure their herd against certain diseases. Among those covered is Bovine Brucellosis, which is spread by elk and Bighorn sheep, and has recently caused cattle losses in Northwestern Wyoming.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association is promoting the program. Vice president Jim Magagna says that as it’s become easier to transport cattle, it’s become easier for diseases to spread.

“We take risks with the weather. We take risks with our breeding programs, we take huge market risks. And the risks of disease transmission are greater today than ever been in the past. And I think this provides our rancher with one opportunity, should they choose to participate, to remove one of those risks from their operation.”

Both state and federal governments sometimes reimburse farmers who lose cattle to disease, but only offer the market value.

Magagna says the warranty plan allows ranchers to name the value of their cattle, but they’ll have to pay a premium for it.