Illinois cattlemen looking for a little education and recreation might want to RSVP for the 2013 Illinois Beef Association Summer Conference.
Held June 24-26, the venue for this year's conference is the scenic Rend Lake Resort, just south of Mt. Vernon in southern Illinois. Along with networking opportunities amongst fellow beef producers, attendees will also have a chance to hear from leading industry experts.
The Zoetis Cattlemen's College anchors the educational program. Set for day two, Tuesday, June 25, the college has something for everyone. From feeder to seedstock producers, there will be something for everyone.
Mark Gardiner runs a premier Angus operation in Ashland, Kan. He is one of the many speakers who will be a part of the summer conference.
Gardiner to speak
Here's a little more on the Gardiner ranch. More on the other speakers will be available in the near future.
Gardiner Angus Ranch, Inc. is a family-owned operation. Gardiner graduated with a bachelor's degree in animal sciences & industry from Kansas State University in 1983. Together with his family, he has built a successful Angus genetics business. Gardiner has also developed an embryo transfer program that makes over 3,500 transfers a year, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Gardiner Angus Ranch presently consists of over 48,000 acres – 6,000 acres is in cultivation and 37,000 acres is in native grass. The ranch breeds more than 4,000 head of Angus females each year. The ranch calves around 1,850 cows each fall and spring with the balance of the females marketed in the annual production sales. All of these females, both registered and commercial Angus, are settled by either ET, which is used to produce 70% of the Angus calves born each year, or artificial insemination. No clean up bulls have been used since 1964.
Gardiner Angus Ranch markets over 2,200 Angus bulls a year. To date, the ranch has produced more than 80 bulls that have served or are now in AI bull studs.
An annual production sale is held at the ranch each April where more than 1,300 head are sold in one day. This sale of bulls and females has grossed over one million dollars each of the last fifteen annual sales making it one of the largest production sales in the United States. The April 6, 2013 sale attracted buyers from 32 states, and foreign countries, including, Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, and Russia. The sale grossed 4.8 million dollars with 812 lots sold.
Rend Lake history
Rend Lake was built as a joint project by the Illinois Department of Conservation, the Rend Lake Conservancy District, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
This 18,000 acre reservoir was built to provide a dependable domestic water supply to a two-county area beginning in 1965. Construction of the $60 million project took 5 years to complete with the final filling of the lake in the early 1970's.
With marinas, boating, water skiing, camp sites, nature trails, golf, picnicking, swimming, fishing, and hunting, Rend Lake is one of the premier vacation spots in Southern Illinois.
Rend Lake is a relatively shallow reservoir, productive for sport and commercial fisherman alike. All species of fish that are common in southern Illinois can be found at Rend Lake. With an abundance of large crappie and channel catfish, anglers should have a good time.
Source: Illinois Beef Association