By Donald Stotts
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Cleveland County cattle producers wanting to increase their awareness about trends in the beef industry that promote profitability should register now to attend the March 26 Eastern Oklahoma Beef Cattle Summit in McAlester. Ongoing drought and high input prices are forcing producers to make tough decisions and this conference will help those with questions.
“Tight profit-loss margins for most producers make it imperative they understand and employ the latest science-based information to make the best decisions possible for their operations,” said Heath Herje, Cleveland County Extension Agriculture Educator for Oklahoma State University.
The summit will take place from 8 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. at McAlester’s Southeast Expo Center, located at 4500 W. Highway 270, just off the Indian Nation Turnpike. Cost is $10 per participant and registration must be received no later than March 19.
The summit — sponsored by Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in cooperation with the Oklahoma Beef Council — will feature a number of informative sessions, a trade show of products cattle managers may find useful in their enterprises and an industry update by OBC officials.
David Cantrell, Pittsburg County Extension director and agricultural educator, said participants will receive take-home copies of every PowerPoint presentation and information sheet.
“We ask everyone to pre-register as soon as possible because it greatly aids our planning and helps ensure we have sufficient numbers of sponsored meals, refreshments and take-home reference materials on hand,” he said. “We’re also going to be awarding door prizes.”
Heather Buckmaster, OBC executive director, will provide the official welcome and set the stage for upcoming topic sessions from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Chris Richards, OSU Cooperative Extension beef cattle specialist, will share insights about management of the cow to enhance calf health from 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
Megan Rolf, OSU Extension animal geneticist, will share selection tips for replacement heifers from 9:50 .m. to 10:40 a.m.
Following a short break, Tom Brink — chief risk officer and vice president of JBS Five Rivers Cattle in Colorado — will speak from 11 a.m. to noon about what feedyards and packers look for and need in the cattle they buy.
The afternoon session will kick off from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. with Grant Mourer, OSU Cooperative Extension beef cattle enhancement specialist, updating participants about Oklahoma Quality Beef Network opportunities, programs and successes.
Brian Freking will speak from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., showcasing new technologies in pregnancy detection and their potential effect on cow-calf herd management.
Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU Extension livestock marketing specialist, will conclude the afternoon sessions with a 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. presentation and discussion that will focus on the most up-to-date analysis of beef cattle markets and what they could potentially mean for a producer’s operational decisions.
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