2012 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference Offers Wealth of Information

OTTUMWA, Iowa — A full day of information awaits the attendees of the 2012 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference (CCCC) at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa on Jan. 21. From the welcome at 9:30 a.m. through the final breakout session ending about 4 p.m., people will find value in every aspect of the day, and that’s the goal according to Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Byron Leu.

“This year’s topics are provided to help producers recognize ways to make their operations more efficient and profitable,” he said. “From maintaining competitiveness in light of high corn prices to applied approaches to genetics, experts from universities and private industry in the Midwest will be leading these sessions and giving producers valuable information to put into practice on their farms.”

As the premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers, the CCCC has provided timely, accurate and important information to the state’s beef cattle industry for 40 years, thanks to efforts of Leu and the conference steering committee.

Sparky Wellman of Bonaparte recently completed a term on the committee and said decisions on topics and presenters are made with producers in mind. She and her husband, Sid, background approximately 1,500-2,000 steers and/or heifers and custom feed about 500 head annually. Sid Wellman also is a cattle order buyer.

“We try to select speakers and topics that not only are interesting, but will help attendees improve their operation,” Wellman said. “We want to introduce new ideas, yet also underscore the importance of the basics in cattle production and I think this is why the conference has continued for 40 years. Cattlemen are always striving to better their cattle and their operations, and they know they need to continue to get better in order to grow and prosper. This conference helps them do just that.”

“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,” Leu said. “The steering committee does a great job of finding highly qualified and respected speakers in the industry who can speak with authority on the topics pertinent to Midwestern operations.”

Producer Bob Henderson from Albia has attended the conference for 15 years. His diversified operation has about 300 cows, 1,300 crop acres and finishes about 450 head of cattle annually. He said the quality and timeliness of information at the conference is important.

“The current topics of each year’s conference help me keep up with changes in practices that I can use on my farm,” he said. “Cow-calf operations can only survive pressure from outside factors if we have good prices for our product, and our product has to be better than the rest of the world’s or we’ll have a hard time. This conference helps us keep learning.”

Leu said this year’s conference registration starts at 8 a.m. The morning schedule begins with an official welcome at 9:30 a.m. followed by two general session speakers, and a break-out session with four choices. After lunch and exhibit viewing, there’s an afternoon general session, and one final break-out session with three choices. Admission is $15, which includes lunch and a copy of the conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. Download the conference brochure at www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/2012CCCC.pdf.