Story in Brief
The Heifer Evaluation and Reproductive Development Program (HERD) allows producers to consign heifers for heifer development. The program was developed by the UGA animal science department to serve and educate the beef industry in Georgia and to provide a method of evaluating heifers including performance, reproductive traits and disposition. In addition, the program offers a heifer sale at the end of the season. However, for 2020 that would look different. The UGA Beef Team collaborated with the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, HERD Committee Members, and Extension agents on the South HERD Team to implement a virtual sale. This virtual sale would give consignors the opportunity to sell the heifers they did not wish to take home after completing the program. This also gave buyers from across the state the opportunity to participate in a sale they would not normally be able to attend. The sale would also lower many of the costs associated with an in-person sale, allowing more revenue for the consignors. A video of each heifer was recorded and distributed to the public prior to the sale. A mock sale was held to ensure things would run smoothly on the day of the sale. The highest bid of the sale was $3,000 with $1200 being the lowest. With an average selling price of $1,722, consignors made on average of $858-$882 more per head than market value. That is almost a $50,000 increase in selling price for the 58 heifers. Not only did the virtual sale increase revenue for the consignors, it allowed more buyers to participate.