The second program for the Farmers & Ranchers College program is rapidly approaching. My colleague Dewey Lienemann has an excellent Cow/Calf College lined up for cattle producers, which I’ve decided to discuss this week. The annual Cow/Calf College “Partners in Progress – Beef Seminar” will be held at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and Great Plains Veterinary Education Center near Clay Center on January 27, 2015 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:00 a.m. and going till 9:30 a.m. The program will run from 9:35 a.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m. This program is sponsored by Nebraska Extension’s Farmers and Ranchers College and will feature several outstanding speakers discussing issues and management strategies that can affect the profitability of all beef producers. There is no cost for the event and the public is invited. It does include a noon meal that means early registration is necessary to reserve a meal.
The “Cow/Calf College” will begin at 9:35 a.m. with a welcome by Dr. John Pollak, Director of USMARC and Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, Director of the Great Plains Veterinary Education Center. They will introduce former long-time GPVEC Director, Dr. Gary Rupp, who will give a short overview of “Twenty Five Years of Service – GPVEC”. He will be followed by the conference kick-off speaker, Dr. Ronnie Green, NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor, who will present “Moving the Beef Industry to the Next Level”. Dr. Richard Randle, UNL Extension Beef Cattle Veterinarian, will then explain “Animal Health Issues & Considerations When Re-building the Herd”.
Lunch will be provided and will be handled with a rotation system during two noon sessions featuring South Central Nebraska Cattlemen member and Nebraska Beef Council Board – District 8 Director, Dawn Caldwell, who will provide split sessions on: “Issues, Questions and Answers – Nebraska Beef Council”. You will be able to learn about the check-off proposals as well as other issues that our Beef Council are addressing and have a chance to network and interact with fellow cattlemen from all across Nebraska and other states.
The afternoon session will start with a very timely presentation by Dr. Mary Drewnoski, Beef Systems Specialist at UNL Dept. of Animal Science who will give us an “Utilizing “Cover Crops” as Secondary Forage Crops for Cattle” that is a frequent topic with cattlemen all across the region as we face short acres of pasture and pursue a repopulation of our cattle herds. It may of interest that MARC and UNL Extension are collaborating on a research project on the effect on crop yields and soil by grazing stalks, and cover crops as supplemental feeds with grazing stalks. MARC will allow producers to go out to the field after the meeting and observe the fields and cattle as the study is under progress. It is not often we have an opportunity like this, so take advantage of this tour.
One of the most requested presenters, Dr. Rick Funston, UNL Beef Reproductive Physiology Specialist at West Central Research & Extension Center, who will present “Importance of Early Conception and Factors Influencing It”. This and other research he has done lends heavily towards management practices as we build our herds. Continuing on with the breeding side of the management equation: Dr. Matt Spangler, Beef Genetics Specialist with UNL Dept. of Animal Science will present the capstone presentation on: “Rebuilding Your Herd -Terminal and Maternal Breeding Programs”. As we look to recovering from the lowest numbers of cows since 1949 we must look at our breeding program and the direction we want to take our herd, and this is paramount to our decisions.
All presenters will then join on stage to pull everything together, give their final thoughts and considerations and then avail themselves for a coffee-shop style panel discussion during which cattlemen can ask questions and get answers on topic questions that came to them during the day’s sessions. A chance for door prizes will be awarded to those that stay for the entire event. Please pre-register by Thursday, January 22th, 2015, by either calling Webster Co. Extension (402) 746-3417 or Fillmore Co. Extension at (402) 759-3712 to insure a seat and lunch. Walk-ins are accepted, but may not get a lunch. Further information may be found on the following website.