COLUMBIA, Mo. – First-time buyers took charge in the Show-Me-Select replacement heifer sale at Kingsville, Nov 25.

Average price for 241 bred heifers hit $1,968, a season high in the third of six fall sales. The heifers were from 13 consignors enrolled in the University of Missouri Extension heifer development program.

“First-time buyers took home two-thirds of the heifers,” said David Hoffman, MU Extension livestock specialist, Harrisonville. He is sale coordinator. “That’s a reversal from past sales.”

David Patterson, MU Extension beef specialist, has noted over the 20 years of the sales that repeat buyers have been best bidders. “They know what they are getting,” he says.

More herd owners recognize the value added by artificially inseminated heifers, Hoffman said. “In this sale, 60 percent of the heifers carried AI-sired pregnancies.”

Top lot in the sale sold for $2,600 each in a pen of five from Ken Anderson, Springhaven Farm, Belton. They were bought by Frank Greco, Oak Grove. He bought 10 lots with 26 head total.

Over time, longtime consignors develop reputations that attract repeat buyers, Patterson says.

Hoffman added, “Our 13 consignors have over 125 years combined in Show-Me-Select. They know how to raise replacements.”

Crooks Farm, Leeton, which has been in the program 19 years, entered 17 lots with 43 head. Average price was $2,332 with top lot of $2,550 average.

“Buyers learn the value of heifers that become pregnant early in the breeding season via AI,” Hoffman said. “They know potential value of an AI calf sired by a high-accuracy, high-performance AI bull.”

With AI, breeders have access to top genetics in the breed. The SMS protocols set minimum EPDs (expected progeny differences) for sires used.

The AI-bred heifers averaged almost $200 more per head than bull-bred counterparts. A combination of a good crowd and quality heifers made for a good sale. “We had standing room only at Kingsville Livestock Auction,” Hoffman said.

Three sales remain in the fall season for spring-calving heifers. Locations, times and MU Extension coordinators:

Fruitland, Saturday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m., Erin Larimore, 573-243-3581; Farmington, Friday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m., Kendra Graham, 573-756-4539; and Palmyra, Saturday, Dec. 9, 12:30 p.m., Daniel Mallory, 573-985-3911.

Show-Me-Select buyers not only get a future cow for their herd, but genetic data of value. A catalog given on sale day gives data on heifers.

MU Show-Me-Select is more than genetics. It features heifer development that improves conception rates and live births.

Calving ease is a first feature buyers look for.

Herd owners wanting to gain quality beef in their herds can come to a sale to learn. Or they can contact the area MU Extension livestock specialist.

Information is also at