Beef production systems in the U.S. involve relatively intensive management that is based upon maximizing the productivity of individual animals, and getting beef to market-weights using cereal grains in feedlots where finished beef weighs approximately 600 kg at less than 24 months of age. Integral to this production system is generating replacement females into the mature herd which calve initially at a young age (24 months of age), rebreed, and produce a calf each year that is a relatively high percentage body weight of the dam so adequate carcass weights can be reached. While it is clear in feedlot cattle which animals are genetically superior due to weight, fat, and marbling characteristics, selection criteria based upon individual weaning weight, height, and body condition score for... replacement females prior to weaning their first calf are not always accurate indices for predicting which replacement heifer will have superior maternal traits necessary for heavy calf weaning weights, short postpartum interval, rebreeding quickly after calving, and having longevity in the cow herd. The desired trait of putting on body fat for a feedlot animal can be detrimental to the growing beef replacement heifer based upon when accelerated growth and fat deposition occurs in her life cycle. Of critical concern is the adverse impact of adipose tissue in the mammary gland tissue of young heifers prior to puberty that may forever reduce their ability to milk and subsequently reduce calf weaning weights unless calves receive supplemental feeds prior to weaning which increases production costs and masks poor milk production from dams. However, the ability to efficiently deposit fat at this and other times of the cow reproduction cycle is important to improved reproductive efficiency in the cow herd and this heritable trait can improve carcass quality grades in feedlot beef.Weaning weights can be increased through creep-feeding and creep-grazing of calves, but these systems can increase body fat composition to a level which may be helpful to beef destined for the feedlot and slaughter, but detrimental to optimizing lifetime productivity of heifers later selected to be placed in the cow herd. However, some levels of body fat accumulation prior to weaning in beef heifers does increase milking ability later in life, so the timing and level of fat deposition is critical. Breed selection may be different for animals raised as replacement heifers or feedlot animals. Larger framed breeds are often heavier and older when reaching puberty, with longer post-partum intervals. The beef industry has moved towards using maternal lines for the cow herd and paternal lines for feedlot animals. This manuscript will focus on strategies that produce heifers of certain breed types that will calve initially at 2 years of age, calve annually, and produce heavy weaning calves with targeted improved nutrition.