Educational sessions at the first annual BeefMeets, an upcoming series of summer meetings for cattle producers, will focus on an important topic in the current ag economy: profitability.
“We realize cattle producers from all sectors of the industry are looking at both short-term and long-term ways to increase their profitability during this downturn in the ag economy,” says Matt Deppe, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association executive director. “We want to make sure they are up to date with the latest technology and industry advances that will help their bottom line.”
Lenders and economists will share ideas to help producers
Speakers will address issues that affect both cow-calf and feedlot operations, from heifer development and best weaning practices to managing cattle under roof and hiring exceptional labor. Lenders and economists will be on hand to provide their perspective on the current ag economy and strategies to get through this down cycle.
BeefMeets are replacing the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, which has traditionally been held in Des Moines in the winter. In an effort to reach more cattlemen across the state, four regional BeefMeets, each one day long, will be held in June. The Northwest Regional BeefMeet will be in Spencer on June 22, the Northeast Regional BeefMeet will be in Independence on June 23, the Southwest Regional BeefMeet will be in Atlantic on June 28 and the Southeast Regional BeefMeet will be in Riverside on June 29.
Educational sessions, tradeshow and policy discussions
In addition to educational sessions, BeefMeets will include lunch, a full tradeshow, and a social gathering at the end of the day. District breakouts will give cattlemen a chance to weigh in on issues affecting their business, and Eldon McAfee will address some of the legal challenges farmers in Iowa are facing, including the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit and numerous nuisance suits.
Other activities throughout the day include an Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation auction fundraiser during lunch, a free Youth Beef Team training at 1:15, and a social event following the keynote in the afternoon. Join the local county cattlemen’s group outside for samples of new beef products and cold drinks.
Any cattle producer is welcome to attend, ICA members get discount
Early registration ended June 13 but you can still register and attend. All cattlemen are invited, but there is a discount for ICA members. Students are free. Register online today at www.iacattlemen.org.
Here’s the list of speakers and topics scheduled for the four regional BeefMeets:
* Hiring and Retaining an Exceptional Workforce—Northwest Regional BeefMeet: Bob Milligan, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University. Growing farm operations need a steady, trustworthy workforce. How can producers increase workforce motivation and decrease employee turnover, while enhancing operational performance and improving profit margins?
* Checkoff Q & A—Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Regional BeefMeets: An ICA and IBIC leader will speak on this topic. As the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association works towards a referendum to reinstate the Iowa state beef checkoff, producers have questions. Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council leaders will be on hand to explain the goals and intended uses of the state checkoff dollars, as well as answer any questions.
* Cattle Health Under Roof: What Have We Learned?—Northwest and Northeast Regional BeefMeets: Jeff Pastoor & Scott Roskens of Quality Liquid Feeds will lead the discussion. What are the specific management benefits of raising cattle under roof? What are the health considerations producers should be aware of? The experienced producer will pick up tips to maximize profits, while producers considering expanding can learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of feeding under roof.
* Lender’s Perspective of Navigating Through Large Equity Losses—Northwest and Northeast Regional BeefMeets: Bob Butcher, Community Bank & Tim Meyer, Producers Livestock Marketing Association will speak. What are the top notch managers doing to adjust business models and positioning their businesses and personal lives to navigate the economic white waters? What actions need to be taken to keep your business on course and also position it for new avenues of success? This session will provide insight and answers to the most common questions asked by producers, owners and managers.
* Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Youth Beef Team Training—Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Regional BeefMeets: YBT training is open to all youth, ages 12 to 18, who are interested in promoting the beef industry.
* Increasing The Efficiency of Your Acres—Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Regional BeefMeets: Dave Muth of Ag Solvers is the presenter. With low commodity prices, marginal crop acres may benefit from alternative strategies. Learn how to maximize profit on every acre and revitalize your least productive acres.
* Gaining Confidence in Feeder Cattle Prices—Northwest, Northeast and Southwest Regional BeefMeets: U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide the speaker. What is the USDA’s Feeder Cattle Index, and how does it impact the price of feeder cattle? This session will provide an overview of the history and development of the index as well as a discussion on how reporting takes place.
* Legal Climate in Iowa—Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Regional BeefMeets: Eldon McAfee, an attorney with Brick Gentry Law Firm in Des Moines. How is the legal climate for agriculture in Iowa changing and how will it affect your farm? Eldon will give a timely update on the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit, various nuisance lawsuits and attorney general referrals for water quality violations.
* Improved Replacement Selection—Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Regional BeefMeets: Patrick Gunn, ISU Extension beef specialist. Research has shown that 75% of future income in the cow-calf operation may be derived from heifers that calve in the first 21 days of the calving season as two year olds. Current heifer selection tools and strategies to identify these females earlier in the production cycle will be discussed.
* Positioning for Success in the Economic Reset—Southwest and Southeast Regional BeefMeets: David Kohl, professor emeritus, department of agricultural economics, Virginia Tech. The ag industry is in a major economic transition. The great commodity super cycle that fueled much of the income statement and balance sheet growth in agriculture is in the rear view mirror. What will be the emerging trends impacting agriculture and rural America’s bottom line in the short and long run? What are the latest trends and views in agriculture? What are some of the best management practices that could help you to position during this economic reset? Be sure to attend this information packed, high energy session presented by Dave Kohl.
* Nutritional Considerations for Starting Cattle Right—Southeast Regional BeefMeet: Drew Shain, cattle nutritionist at Purina Animal Nutrition. The key elements of nutrition and management of newly weaned or received cattle are explained. He outlines why nutrition is so important for starting cattle and how this can affect health and performance throughout the entire finishing period.