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Impact

Feedlot Forum 2013 Helps Beef Producers Cope with a Changing World

Changes in the Beef Industry require updating information

Feedlot producers and agri-business professionals are facing a variety of new beef issues– animal welfare audits, new feed processing methods, global trade, and formula pricing.

New developments in environmental inspections and age and source verification programs

add to required adjustments.The ISU Extension and Outreach beef team engaged localcattlemen’s association board members to help determine the best way to reach as many stakeholders as possible.  Thesolution:  to use Feedlot Forum 2013 as the venue.

Extension’s Response

Seven relevant topics  were addressed at Feedlot Forum 2013– AFO/CAFOinspections, beef quality assurance (BQA) audits, value-added programs, alkali treatment ofcorn stover, formula pricing, and global beef and grain outlook. Feedlot Forum 2013 also included a trade show with 15 sponsors featuring the latesttechnology in facilities, pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, consulting services andagricultural lending.Media (Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman, Wallace’s Farmer and theNorthwest Iowa Review) published post-conference articles and photos. Nineteen meetingpackets were mailed to people who could not attend, but requested the information.  Forum attendance was 159, representing the management of more than 3 million headof cattle and contact with 3822 clients each year.

Results

A follow-up evaluation was mailed to all participants, with a 25% response rate.Participants were asked what practices they had adopted or intended to.Almost 23% of those responding had obtained or renewed their Beef Quality Assurance certification orenrolled cattle in a USDA Process Verified Program, thereby ensuring producers are providing a safe, wholesome, high-quality product to consumers.

Impacts

More than 60% of respondents indicated they checked to see whether there was manure run-off from their feedlot; 49% had stopped discharging manure. Forty percent had removed a man-madeconveyance; 29% had prevented run-off from stockpiled manure. Implementation of these practices will reduce run-off and, ultimately, improve Iowa’s water quality.

Fifty-four of the respondents were already keeping abreast of globalmarkets or plan to start taking notice of international markets. They realizethey have a responsibility to help provide food security, not only for the U.S., but also othernations.

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