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Retained Ownership Program (ROP)

The Virginia Retained Ownership Program was developed through a coordinated effort between Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Cattle Feeders Association and the Virginia Cattlemen's Asociation. This program serves a commingled retained ownership education program to assist Virginia Cattle producers:

  • Receive feedback about the relative feedyard and carcass performance and profitability of the cattle they are producing
  • Learn more about the larger cattle industry beyond Virginia's borders, primarily the feeding and processing sectors
  • Investigate the use of retained ownership as a marketing option.

Producers can consign as few as five head of feeder cattle weighing between 550 and 900 pounds. Both steers and heifers are accepted. Individual producers' cattle are commingled with other consignors' cattle then shipped and fed as a group with the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF) program. On any shipment date, the cattle may be split into one or more feeding groups based on consignment numbers and weights. The catte are fed in southwest Iowa to take advantage of the lower costs of gain, access to harvest facilities, and to put the cattle in the mainstream of the industry.

The Virginia Retained Ownership Program cooperates with TCSCF for cattle feeding. The TCSCF is a cooperative program that includes several feedyards in Southwest Iowa that custom feed and handle state-sponsored ROP cattle. The TCSCF is coordinated through Iowa State University Cooperative Extension, with oversight provided by a board of directors comprised of cow-calf producers, veterinarians, feedyard operators, and extension educators.

After the cattle are marketed, consignors receive the following information on their cattle as well as pen summaries:  Average daily gain, estimated feed conversion, detailed carcass data (carcass weight, fat thickness, ribeye area, marbling score, USDA yield grade and quality grade), cost of gain analysis (feed, yardage, medical, and miscellaneous costs), and profit/loss closeout information on each steer.