The cattle industry is one of Alabama's largest agricultural products in terms of cash income. Most cow-calf operations consist of small herds having 10 to 20 brood cows. Cattle farms are scattered throughout the state with many of them run by part-time cattlemen on small acreages.

Calves are usually born in the fall, weaned in the summer of early fall or the next year and sold as feeder calves at a weight of around 400-500 pounds. Feeder calves are grown for consumer consumption. A lot of these calves are shipped to western states where they are put on pasture until they reach 700-800 pounds. Then they are grain fed to around 1200 pounds and sold for slaughter. Then they are processed, packaged and sent to grocery stores and supermarkets for consumer purchase. Alabama averages around 1.5 million head of cattle. If you compare the number of cattle in the state to the population of Alabama, which is 4.4 million people, it averages out to one cow for every 3 people in the state; that's a lot of beef.

Alabama has one of the largest cattlemen's associations in the nation. They have over 12,500 members and every county in the state has its own county chapter. The Alabama Cattlemen's Association, ACA, is a statewide, nonprofit organization working to protect, promote, and advance the state's $2 billion beef cattle industry. ACA works on behalf of its members and cattle producers to educate consumers, influence farming legislation, promote beef, and keep its members and other agriculture producers current on new ideas, equipment, feed, veterinarian news, and sales through it's publication of the "Alabama Cattlemen" monthly magazine.

The cattle industry has come a long way. Cattle were not native to North America until european settlers introduced them. In fact Indians were the first Alabama "cattlemen." A wonderful place to learn about the cattle industry is the Mooseum in Montgomery, Alabama.

For more information about cattle in Alabama  try the Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service.

beef cattle

Want to know more about the breeds of beef cattle? 
Click Here for Breeds of Beef Cattle.


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