A full day of information awaits attendees at the upcoming 2012 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference, to be held at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa in southeast Iowa on January 21. From the welcome at 9:30 a.m. through the final breakout session ending about 4 p.m., "you will find value in every aspect of the day, and that's our goal in planning this annual conference," says Iowa State University Extension beef program specialist Byron Leu.
"This year's topics and presentations are provided to help producers recognize ways to make their cattle operations more efficient and profitable," he adds. "From maintaining competitiveness in light of high corn prices, to using proven applied approaches to genetics, experts from universities and private industry in the Midwest will lead these sessions and give producers valuable information to take home and put into practice on their farms."
As the premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers, the annual cow-calf conference has provided timely, accurate and important information to the state's beef cattle industry for 40 years, thanks to efforts of ISU Extension specialists such as Leu, and the conference steering committee.
2012 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference offers wealth of information
Sparky Wellman of Bonaparte, a southeast Iowa cattle producer, recently completed a term on the conference planning committee. She says decisions on topics and presenters are made with cattle producers in mind. She and husband Sid background 1,500 to 2,000 steers and/or heifers and custom feed about 500 head annually, and Sid also is a cattle order buyer.
"We try to select speakers and topics that not only are interesting, but will help attendees improve their operation," Wellman says. "We want to introduce new ideas at the conference, yet also underscore the importance of continuing to do a good job with the basics in cattle production. I think this is why the conference has continued for 40 years. Cattlemen are always striving to better their cattle and their operations, and they know they need to continue to get better in order to grow and prosper. This conference helps them do just that."
Adds Leu, "The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has been, and will continue to be, successful because it provides information and access to speakers that beef producers have come to expect. The steering committee does a great job of finding highly qualified and respected speakers in the industry who can speak with authority on the topics pertinent to Midwestern operations."
Quality and timeliness of information are important for cow-calf producers
Producer Bob Henderson from Albia has attended the conference for 15 years. His diversified farming operation has about 300 cows, along with 1,300 crop acres and he and his family finish about 450 head of cattle annually. He says the quality and timeliness of information presented at the conference is important.
"The current topics of each year's conference help me keep up with changes in management practices that I can use on my farm," he says. "Cow-calf operations can only survive pressure from outside factors if we have good prices for our product. Also, our product has to be better than the rest of the world's or we'll have a hard time making a profit. This conference helps us keep learning."
Leu says this year's conference registration starts at 8 a.m. on January 21. The morning schedule begins with an official welcome at 9:30 a.m., followed by two general session speakers, and a break-out session with four choices. After lunch and viewing of the exhibits, there's an afternoon general session, and one final break-out session with three choices. Admission is $15 which includes lunch and a copy of the conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. You can see and download the 2012 conference brochure here at www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/2012CCCC.pdf
The Iowa Beef Center at ISU was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting growth and vitality of the state's beef cattle industry. It has faculty and staff from ISU Extension, ISU College of Ag & Life Sciences and ISU's College of Vet Medicine. The Iowa Beef Center works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information for beef. For information visit www.iowabeefcenter.