Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems

Program or Major

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Drew Conroy


Recent years had seen a significant rise in the use of beef semen on dairy cows in the United States. This trend was not widely understood, especially as it related to dairy farmers in New Hampshire. A survey was sent out by mail to the ninety-seven dairy farms in New Hampshire. There were thirty-seven responses to the survey. Thirty-two out of thirty-seven respondents bred beef semen to their dairy cows. Twenty-one of these respondents raised dairy x beef on their farms and twenty-six planned to continue breeding dairy x beef. The most common breeds used in dairy x beef crosses were Holstein and Angus. 24% of respondents began breeding dairy x beef in 2000 or before, 8% began between 2001 and 2013, and 68% began between 2014 and 2023. The average size of dairies surveyed was 101 - 200 dairy cattle. The three most common reasons cited for breeding dairy x beef were increased income, consumer demand, and easier conception. Dairy farmers received a higher price on average for a dairy x beef calf than for a conventional bull calf. Farmers weaned dairy x beef calves at an average of 12 weeks. Farmers did not seem to finish their dairy x beef cattle on different feed than they were grown on. The average slaughter age was 18 - 20 months. Most dairy x beef meat was marketed direct to the consumer by the whole carcass, half carcass, or by the piece.