National cattle behavior specialist Temple Grandin will be the keynote speaker at a Cattle Stewardship conference June 8 at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Spirit Lake in northwest Iowa.
The conference also features beef cattle specialists from Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, says Beth Doran, beef program specialist with Iowa State University Extension, adding that Grandin will provide a unique view of stewardship to attendees. Doran says the presenters will share best management techniques to enhance animal health, comfort and sustainability of beef operations.
"Consumers are asking about how the beef they eat is produced, and beef packers have developed management protocols for the feedlots that supply their cattle," notes Doran. "The goal of the conference is to help cow-calf and feedlot producers fine-tune the best management practices they currently use."
Cattle handling demonstration
Cattle Stewardship begins at 10 a.m., with a cattle handling demonstration conducted by Dean Fish. He is one of the national cattle handling experts recognized by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. In the afternoon, Grandin will present a practical approach to improving animal welfare. She’s the nation’s leading expert on cattle comfort and behavior, having designed facilities for packing plants and livestock producers.
Following Grandin’s presentation, six breakout topics will be offered through four sessions: techniques in managing pain, facilities designed for cattle comfort, low-stress weaning, best methods in cattle processing, managing of heat stress in cattle, and successful feedlot assessments.
The conference is cooperatively organized by the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State Extension, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Lakes Community College and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association with local support. Participants of the daylong program will fulfill requirements to become Beef Quality Assurance certified.
Registration, which includes a noon meal, is $30 per person and due May 31 to Dickinson County Extension, 1600 15th St., Spirit Lake, IA 51360. The program brochure has the schedule, sponsor list and registration form. For more information, contact Doran at 712-737-4230 or email [email protected].