The nation’s first bull evaluation program to measure residual feed intake, the West Virginia Bull Evaluation Program at Wardensville is a progressive performance evaluation center focused on increasing the efficiency and profitability of West Virginia cattlemen. The program has evolved significantly since its inception, but the primary goal remains the same—identifying genetically superior bulls that will improve the bottom line of commercial cattlemen in West Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Housed at the WVU Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville, West Virginia, the program is sponsored by WVU Extension Service, and WVU Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences.
Now in its 51st year, the West Virginia Bull Evaluation Program, or Wardensville Bull Test as it is more commonly known, develops and evaluates over 150 bulls annually for some of the state’s most progressive seedstock breeders. Since its inception in 1967, the program has been on the leading edge of performance evaluation in cattle. Early on, the program focused on improving growth rate and feed conversion, but to meet the demands of an evolving market, the program later shifted to emphasizing calving ease and carcass quality. As input costs have steadily risen in recent years, the program has also focused on feed conversion efficiency and identifying complete bulls that can function efficiently in all sectors of the beef industry. Each year, the program culminates with a sale on the fourth Thursday in March.
A bull development program available to mid-size seedstock breeders in the region, the WBT program is more like an alliance than a typical bull test. There are no single consignments and several cooperators have 10 or more bulls in the program, making their yearling and ultrasound data more meaningful and useful.
Evolving throughout its lifetime to best serve the current and future needs of the beef industry, the Wardensville Bull Test has rapidly incorporated emerging technology to evaluate traits of economic significance. In addition to traditional measures of growth, fertility and body composition, we measure individual feed intake and provide our cooperators and customers insight into each bull’s ability to convert feed into marketable product.
As a requirement for participation, our cooperators annually retain ownership on
a number of cattle through the West Virginia Feedlot and Product Information Program
(West Virginia’s Ranch to Rail Program began in 1983) and collect yearling ultrasound
body composition data on their replacement heifers. Our cooperators live and produce
in the real world. The cattle are solid and dependable, but we invite you to evaluate
these bulls/cooperators yourself and reach your own conclusions.