2018 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference is Jan. 27

Post-drought economic challenges and "Smoke on the Water" beef barbecue contest will highlight 2018 event

December 11, 2017, 8:54 am | Patrick Wall, Sherry Hoyer

Cornbelt Conference LogoOTTUMWA, Iowa ― The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers is offering a comprehensive package of information to attendees next month. The popular Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has provided timely, accurate and important information to the state’s beef cattle industry for more than 40 years. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Patrick Wall said the conference, set for Jan. 27 at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, will continue that successful tradition.

“Producers have come to expect relevant information from the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference on current topics that impact their profitability,” Wall said. “This year’s event will address economic challenges facing producers following the drought of 2017.”

The conference will again offer free admission and will follow the KIIC Farm Show on Friday afternoon prior to the conference. The 2018 program targets a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals. New this year is the “Smoke on the Water” Beef Barbecue Contest, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Attendees will enjoy the free brisket lunch provided by professional teams competing in the barbecue contest.

“We have three keynote speakers with expertise in three areas vital to the industry," Wall said. "Aaron Berger from University of Nebraska―Lincoln Extension will discuss depreciation expense and how to manage it when cow inventory changes significantly. Dr. Mahdi Saachi with International Genetic Solutions will update producers on the new 'BOLT' evaluation and how EPDs will differ from 2017 when evaluating bulls. And commodity broker Jamey Kohake will offer the latest market update to help producers navigate the markets in 2018."

Another highlight, especially for younger attendees and 4-H families, will be a clipping, fitting and marketing discussion led by Kirk Stierwalt, a Purina Show Nutrition representative. Afternoon breakout sessions include:

  • Silage Inoculants & Storage (Stuart Norman, Furst-McNess Company)
  • Camera Systems for Calving Barns and Farms (Brian Price, On Sight 24/7 Video Surveillance)
  • Management Intensive Grazing (Dave Lubben, White Oak Farms, Inc.)
  • Enrolling in the New Iowa Cowmaker Elite “ICE” Heifer Development Program (Wall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
  • An opportunity to become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified onsite.

Doors will open for this year’s conference and trade show at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa promptly at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. The official welcome is at 9 a.m., followed by three general session speakers, the BBQ lunch and exhibit viewing. The afternoon break-out sessions begin at 2:10 p.m. with two repeating time blocks with four choices.

Admission is FREE, and includes a copy of the show guide and conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. Additional information will be available at www.cornbeltcowcalf.com.

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