In 1979 it was estimated that the total number of cattle and calves on farms in the six New England states was 717,000 head. To place this in perspective, this number corresponds to one-fourth the number of head on Illinois farms in that year. Put another way, the New England cattle inventory is 0.6 percent of the national herd. Beef cow numbers in New England totaled 42,000 head in 1979 or 0.1 percent of the national beef cow herd. As nearly everyone knows, the dairy industry is responsible for the bulk of the cattle industry in the region. The number of beef type heifers and steers over 500 pounds (a rough indicator of marketings) for the region was 24,000 head in 1979. Cattle slaughter in New England plants (including cull dairy animals) totaled 161,500 head in 1978 or 0.4 percent of the national slaughter figure (Agricultural Statistics, 1979).