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Where's the Beef?

There are more than 500,000 dairy cows in the state, and all eventually will enter the beef supply.

When Penn State Extension beef specialist Tara Felix started the Calf-fed Holsteins Reared for Beef Demonstration Project three years ago, she viewed the initiative as showing dairy farmers how to boost revenue from their operations.

Now, with the financial crisis gripping Pennsylvania's dairy industry, she sees the effort as an option for many dairy producers in the state to keep their farms alive.

In the project, at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Livestock Evaluation Center, Holstein calves are raised and fed just like beef cattle.

"The results of our demonstration project," says Felix, "will show Pennsylvania dairy farmers how to ramp up their participation in the beef market."

--Jeff Mulhollem