The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers has a big occasion set for Feb. 26 and everyone interested in beef cattle is invited to attend. The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference will celebrate its 40th anniversary of providing timely, accurate and important information to the beef cattle industry.
The Iowa Cattlemen's Association has moved its annual convention and trade show to the same date and location this year to help publicly recognize the importance of this 40th anniversary event. Iowa State University Extension beef program specialist Byron Leu says this year's conference on February 26 will continue its successful traditions.
"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," says Leu. "The steering committee who puts the program together for the annual conference does a great job of finding highly qualified and respected speakers in the industry who can present with authority and sincerity on the topics pertinent to Midwestern cattle operations."
Top-notch speakers to cover timely topics at Feb. 26 event
Leu has been part of the volunteer committee that oversees the conference for 25 years, both on the general committee and as chair of the program committee, and said the event has survived and thrived because of its dedication to the producers and the industry.
"The trade show has averaged 65 to 70 exhibitors for several years, and this consistency gives attendees the opportunity to hear, meet and share ideas with researchers, other area cattlemen, and industry and agency representatives in one location," says Leu. "One summary indicates more than 500 different exhibitors have participated through the years."
In its early days, the cow-calf conference's presentation and exhibits were production-oriented, he adds. Now the topics are much more varied, which reflects the changing face of the industry to fewer farms and fewer cattle operations. One thing that hasn't changed much, however, is attendance.
Large attendance indicates program's value to producers
"We count between 500 and 550 in total attendance annually, including a consistent percentage of Iowa's cow-calf producers," says Leu. "That's a good indication to us of the program's value to producers."
Of course this kind of programming and history couldn't happen without dedicated longtime volunteers like Dale Uehling, Allan Seim, Steve Banyas, Darrell Limkeman, and the other committee members, notes Leu. Former ISU Extension area livestock field specialist Cliff Iverson got the ball rolling in the early 1970s with a format and agenda very similar to the cow-calf conference of today. Originally held in the old Ottumwa Coliseum, the cow-calf conference now is held in the newer and larger Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, which allows for more educational sessions and exhibit space.
Information on this year's program agenda is available online
This year's conference begins with registration and the trade show open at 7:30 a.m. and the welcome at 9 a.m. to start the conference program. Admission is $15 which includes lunch and conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. A conference brochure is available at www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/2011CCCC.pdf. For more details on the two-day program including the ICA components, see the schedule at www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/2011CCCCICA.pdf.
The Iowa Beef Center or IBC was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state's beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from ISU Extension, ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC visit www.iowabeefcenter.org or check out the IBC blog at http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/iowabeef/.