Dr. Lyda G Garcia, Associate Professor and Extension Meat Specialist with the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University conducted a cull cow study which benefited both the Ohio Food Bank Association and Beef Producers Nationwide. Dr. Garcia's research project studied two body types in cull cows (thin and normal) to determine the percentage of saleable product. This study comes from a discussion at the National Beef Quality Audit Execute Summary in December 2022 where beef producers requested data showing impacts of body condition on percent saleable product. Dr. Garcia was quick to arrange the study.
The Ohio Food Bank Association (OFBA) received a 15-million-dollar grant to provide beef, pork, dairy, and eggs for distribution to Ohio families in need. United Producers was a partner supplying beef for the OFBA. Through this task, after a discussion with Dr. Garcia about the cull cow study, United Producers connected Dr. Garcia with the OFBA to collaborate on the cull cow project. The OSU Meat Laboratory, a federally inspected facility, processed the 20 cows that had been used in the research project. A total of 6,345 pounds of meat was processed and formed into ¼ pound beef patties (one-pound packages) to feed Ohio families in need. Dr. Garcia says, not only were the beef patties helping local families in need, but this research is also serving a critical need for beef producers, nationwide. This is what I would call a “win-win” situation.
Assisting Dr. Lyda G Garcia with the research project along with processing and collecting data was Dr. Benjamin Bohrer - Assistant Professor, Ethan Sheffler - Meat Laboratory Manager and 4 – 5 undergraduate/graduate students. In addition, other faculty and staff assisting were Justin Kieffer, DVM DACVPM – Clinical Veterinarian, Dr. Nora Bello – Professor., Dr. Michael Cressman – Associate Professor Clinical, and Garth Ruff, beef extension specialist –, and Dr. Garcia says it took a good team to pull this off.