Cattle producers in south-central Oklahoma should register now to take part in the May 30-31 Master Cattleman Ranch Tour, which will visit area ranches ranging in size from 10,000 to 35,000 acres.
Dave Lalman, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension beef cattle specialist, said tour participants will see interesting contrasts of vertical and horizontal integration, genetic selection, stocker health management, fall versus spring calving seasons, wintertime feeding strategies, native range management and the use of Rx fire to enhance animal performance, as well as controlling brush.
“Although the focus is on beef cattle production – including cow-calf, stocker, purebred seedstock and backgrounding operations – the tour also is an opportunity to see and discuss some of the issues in this region regarding invasive plant species, groundwater and surface water resources such as the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, and landscape requiring management measures that can be challenging to implement,” he said.
Participants are asked to register no later than May 23. Cost is $30 per participant. Online registration is available at http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/marketplace through the OSU Department of Animal Science.
On May 30, the vans will depart at 12:15 p.m. from the Ardmore Convention Center, located at 2401 Rockford Rd. and travel to the Chuckwagon Barbecue Restaurant, located at 101 Hargrove St. and State Highway 7 in Velma, prior to continuing on to the first ranch site.
"We're meeting at the Ardmore Convention Center to allow people who are staying overnight to check into their hotels, some of which are situated nearby,” Lalman said. “Be aware, participants need to make their own hotel reservations ahead of time.”
Nearby hotels include Springhill Suites (580-226-7100) and Holiday Inn (580-226-3333).
“Out of respect to our gracious ranch hosts and in the interest of logistics, we ask participants to ride in the vans provided,” said Leland McDaniel, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service agricultural educator for Carter and Jefferson counties. “If you must caravan in your own vehicle, please drive a pickup able to handle the terrain and carpool as much as possible.”
The vans will return to the Ardmore Convention Center at approximately 8 p.m. The second day of the tour will kick off at 8 a.m. and finish early in the afternoon of May 31.
Ranch sites on the tour include Sugar Loaf Ranch in Velma, Sparks Ranch in Hennepin, Coffey Ranch in Davis, Daube Ranch in Ardmore, Eddie Parker Angus Ranch in Waurika, Wilson Cattle Company in Ringling and Howard Cattle Company in Claypool.
“The May 30-31 tour is a unique opportunity to see some very progressive, scenic and historic beef cattle ranches of south-central Oklahoma,” McDaniel said. “Participants will experience a significant range of environmental and ecological diversity as we go from ranch to ranch, and be able to gain insights by interacting with the ranchers themselves and OSU Cooperative Extension subject-matter specialists and educators.”
Anyone interested in obtaining additional information about the tour should contact McDaniel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at either 580-223-6570 or 580-228-2332.
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is one of two state agencies administered by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.