Survey of veterinary involvement in management decisions on Mississippi cow-calf operations
The objective of this study was to describe veterinary involvement in management decisions on Mississippi cowcalf operations. Anonymous surveys were mailed to 1,275 members of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association. Multivariable logistic regression using manual forward variable selection was used to test demographic and management factors for association with veterinary involvement outcomes. Significance was defined at alpha=0.05. Three-hundred eight surveys (24%) were returned, with 292 (95%) respondents being active in cow-calf production. Fifty-three (18%) of 289 respondents were located in a county contained in a rural area food animal medicine shortage area designated by the USDA-NIFA in 2020. One-hundred seventeen of 285 (41%) indicated regular veterinary involvement in management decisions on their operation. Of these 117, 56 (48%) said their veterinarian uses their cattle health and production records to provide management recommendations. Seventy-five (27%) of 283 respondents indicated they would consider paying their veterinarian to provide cattle health and production record management services. Factors associated with regular veterinary involvement in management decisions on cow-calf operations were regularly recording of antibiotic treatments (OR=3.2) and herd size (50-99 head: OR= 1.6; ≥100 head: OR=2.5, compared to 1-49 head). Opportunity exists for veterinarians to be more involved in management decisions on Mississippi cow-calf operations.