Cattle producers interested in taking advantage of the latest updates in beef operation management should register now to attend the Aug. 30 Northwest Oklahoma Beef Conference in Enid, sponsored by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
The Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. conference will take place at Enid's Chisholm Trail Expo Center, located at 111 W. Purdue Ave. Cost is $10 per participant if registering by Aug. 24, and $15 per participant thereafter. Registrations will be accepted at the door.
“We ask that everyone preregister as soon as possible, as it greatly assists our event planning and helps ensure sufficient numbers of luncheon meals, refreshments and conference materials are on hand,” said Dana Zook, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension area livestock specialist. “We strive to make the conference as affordable as possible. The registration fees essentially cover the cost of speakers and their travel.”
To preregister, contact the Garfield County Extension Office by phone at 580-237-1228.
Kicking off the conference will be Deb VanOverbeke, OSU professor of meat science, who will provide insights into the most recent National Beef Quality Audit. The audit is a comprehensive survey that evaluates industry efforts to improve beef quality. Conducted every five years since 1991, the checkoff-funded audit assesses progress the industry makes on a variety of production issues that ultimately affect consumer demand for beef.
“Producers large and small can benefit from information gleaned in the audit as a way to direct management within their own operation to improve quality and meet consumer demand,” Zook said.
Monte Vandeveer, Kansas State University Cooperative Extension southwest area economist, will address the constant rollercoaster of commodity prices, which makes the need for risk management a staple within every agriculture operation. Vandeveer will focus on livestock risk protection and rainfall insurance as tools to manage uncertainty.
Practical tips to minimize losses with beefed-up silage practices will be provided by Renato Schmidt, forage product specialist with Lallemand, a global industry leader in the development, production and marketing of yeast, bacteria and specialty ingredients.
“Silage production is increasing in pockets of Oklahoma,” Zook said. “When managed properly, silage has the ability to complement any segment of the beef industry. However, this is not an easy task as production of good silage takes intentional management.”
Trent Milacek, OSU Cooperative Extension area economist, will conclude the conference’s morning program with a beef industry market review and outlook discussion about prices in the coming year.
“Volatility in beef markets and basis adjustments are crucial processes to understand in order to manage risk,” Milacek said. “We will explore methods to gather this information and discuss ways producers can put that to use on their operation.”
Afternoon sessions will focus on interactive hands-on training in the use of dart guns for antibiotic delivery, veterinary guns for fly control and the use of vaccine coolers that help maintain vaccine stability.
“The first 50 individuals to register will receive supplies to construct a chute-side vaccine cooler, with instruction provided how to do this on-site,” Zook said.
A trade show also will be featured at the conference. Lunch will be catered by Hello Catering and Bakery of Perkins, and is made possible thanks to the generosity of several local businesses: Interbank, Security National Bank, Central National Bank and Northwest Vet Supply.
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is one of two state agencies administered by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and is a key part of the university’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.