With volatile markets and ever-changing livestock production practices, one annual beef conference is certain to add a steady voice in uncertain times.
The 38th annual Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference in Ottumwa, Iowa – the largest such conference of its kind in the state – provides producers with the opportunity to learn and share ideas that will help make the cow-calf business profitable and competitive on a long-term basis.
This year's conference is Saturday, February 28, 2009 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. The one-day event typically draws more than 500 people and costs just $10 to enter. No pre-registration is required and all participants receive a copy of materials presented at the conference.
The conference includes more than a dozen presentations in general sessions and in breakout sessions, as well as more than 70 exhibits, which will feature everything from live animals to mowers to feed.
Good lineup of timely topics and speakers
Key speakers this year include Don Ball, an Extension specialist with Auburn University, who will discuss forage production efficiency factors. Also on the program is John Lawrence, director of the Iowa Beef Center and an Iowa State Extension livestock economist. He will join economist Darrell Peel of Oklahoma State University in a comparison of forage systems; and Daryl Strohbehn, ISU Extension beef specialist, who'll discuss the big picture in cow-calf production.
Producers will be leading sessions on value-added approaches and addressing animal welfare issues. There will also be two breakout sessions where speakers will discuss ethanol and ethanol byproduct use, including a demonstration on making ethanol.
In its second year at the conference is the Iowa's Next Top Inventor competition. The competition, put on by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, seeks the most effective invention for storing, feeding or dispensing distillers grains, a byproduct from ethanol production that can be used for cattle feed. The competition was launched again in October 2008 and culminates at the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference, where conference participants will vote on the winner after seeing presentations from all three finalists.
Ideas submitted for competition are on display as well as video demonstrations of the top three finalists. For those who enter the contest $3,000 is up for grabs. For more information go to www.iowabeefcenter.org/content/top-inventor2009.html.
For further information about the 2009 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference, contact Iowa State Extension beef specialist Byron Leu at 641-472-4166 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.iowabeefcenter.org.