AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Beef Center (IBC) at Iowa State University (ISU) is celebrating its tenth year of service to Iowa’s cattle industry. 2006 marks a decade since the Center was formed to enhance the vitality, profitability and growth of the Iowa beef industry.
“We are very proud to reach this milestone and look back at the many things the center has accomplished for Iowa’s cattle industry,” says John Lawrence, an ISU Extension economist who has served as the center’s director since 1998.
The IBC was formed in 1996 to support the vitality of Iowa's beef cattle industry, and serves as the central access point for Iowa State University and ISU Extension programs and research related to the beef industry. It is funded by Extension 21 funds as well as an Iowa legislative allocation, in addition to other funding sources such as grants.
The Center leverages multiple beneficial beef resources by coordinating ISU research, outreach and service programs with the efforts of commodity organizations, cooperating academic institutions, state and federal agencies and other allied groups.
The IBC works closely with ISU Extension livestock, farm management and agricultural engineering field specialists, and campus faculty and staff members across five departments in three colleges, as well as several county extension education directors. Faculty and staff offer a wide range of services, including on-farm consultation, research and demonstration projects and education programs.
In addition to serving Iowa’s cattle industry on a daily basis, the IBC has a long and distinguished list of accomplishments in research, education and promotion of Iowa beef. Some of the most notable projects include grid marketing education, the timely response to BSE (mad cow disease) in 2003, environmental management for beef feedlots and risk management education for beef cow herds.
“Perhaps more exciting than our past accomplishments, though, are the goals, projects and priorities we have set for ourselves as we look forward,” says Lawrence.
The Center’s long-term priorities directly reflect the challenges and opportunities affecting the cattle industry, including increasing effective use of grain co-products, improving environmental stewardship by beef feedlots, adopting quality management systems to improve cost control and market access, improved beef cowherd production efficiency and expanding intergenerational transfer of beef operations.
“Our focus will continue to be to work with and assist Iowa’s beef producers and industry affiliates as they face a very challenging yet optimistic future,” says Lawrence.
For more information, visit the Iowa Beef Center Web site (www.iowabeefcenter.org).
BY THE NUMBERS
Iowa Beef Center Statistics, 2000-2005*:
Nonrefereed publications, reports, technical papers: 127
Extension publications: 41
Educational programs, field days, and tours: 1,294
Individual consultations: 28,684
Software programs developed: 6
Websites supported: 5
*Source: Plan of Work 107, Iowa State University Extension