“Getting Started With Beef & Dairy Cattle” is the latest book effort by veteran rancher and ag writer Heather Smith Thomas. The 288-page book kicks off a new series of instructional books by Storey Publishing, called “Getting Started With,” which is aimed at newcomers to the livestock-production business.

In the spirit of the firm's established “Storey's Guide To Raising” series, which features more in-depth content for seasoned farmers, the “Getting Started With” series is written in simpler terms the beginner or young stockman can understand. The new book covers the basics on selection, care and feeding, breeding and calving, and management of both beef and dairy cattle, focusing on requirements and protocols for organic, grass-fed and natural raising methods.

“Getting Started With Beef & Dairy Cattle” is available in either soft cover (ISBN 1-58017-596-1) at $16.95, or hard (ISBN 1-58017-604-6) at $26.95. Order direct at 1-800/441-5700, or via Amazon, Barnes & Noble or BookSense.com.

Table 1. Average regional cow costs ($/head), 2004a
Region Feed cost Labor cost Interest expense Other costs Total cash cost per cow
Northwest 206 63 19 91 379
Southwest 196 42 25 7 270
Midwest 219 37 19 51 326
Southern Plains 185 52 29 51 317
Southeast 165 45 26 46 282
U.S. avg. 194 48 24 49 315
aAdapted from Cattle-Fax®, July 2005.