News Release, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission

Southern Maryland Meats (SMM), a program of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), is pleased to announce the launch of a new junior training project. The Reproduction and Marketing Training is a component of the SMM Junior Program, and will focus on beef cattle reproduction and marketing for youth ages 12 through 21 years.

“The goal of the training is to educate a new generation of livestock producers to better understand and improve their herd genetics,” said Craig Sewell, SMM Livestock and Marketing Specialist. “Plus, we’ll support that knowledge with a solid understanding of the market place and beef marketing trends.” 

The Southern Maryland Meats Youth Training will be led by Donnie Braun, a St. Mary’s county livestock producer with over 46 years experience in raising beef cattle (for meat and breeding), and Racheal Slattery, University of Maryland Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, Beef and Dairy Extension Activities Coordinator, who has conducted numerous beef industry workshops for adults and youth. At the core of training will be teamwork and commitment to a timed/synchronized artificial insemination schedule, as well as training sessions on all aspects of reproduction and breeding, feeding protocols, best management practices, calving and obstetrics. 

“As part of this project we will be working as a small Coop or team, with regards to our marketing approach. Our idea is to sell our calves at a graded feeder calf sale, as one lot. This will allow our youth to learn about the advantages of the economy of scale marketing approach,” explained Donnie Braun. “Marketing this way should also yield a nice premium for the calves that our youth sell at the end of this project.”

Youth interested in joining the project must first complete a participant ‘interest’ survey to establish levels of experience and their ability to commit to the training and workshops. The project will commence with a two-hour introductory meeting in early April 2019, followed by 2 to 3 hour classroom style workshop/training sessions that will be held approximately once a month (April – October) at the SMADC offices in Hughesville, MD; meeting dates to be announced. The SMM Jr. Program is underwriting all associated costs including training, workshops, genetics/beef semen, timed AI supplies and veterinarian pregnancy checking.

The SMM Junior Program Training Projectis open to youth ages 12 – 21 years, resident in the 5-counties of Southern Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince Georges, St. Mary’s). Space is limited;Interest Surveys must be submitted by Friday, March 29, 2019. Parental permission is required to participate.For questions, call Craig Sewell (301) 274-1922, Ex. 1. Or email,

View/Download Proposed Topics/Training Schedule

View/Complete Participant InterestSurvey

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...