By Duane Dailey
A beef cattle reproduction conference, set for Aug. 31-Sept. 1, will remain in Joplin as originally planned, said University of Missouri Extension specialists.
The Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Conference is expected to draw producers from across the nation, says David Patterson, MU beef reproduction specialist. They will learn how to produce high-quality beef through improved reproduction, management and genetics.
Although Joplin was hit by a deadly EF5 tornado May 22, the Joplin Holiday Inn Convention Center, the meeting site, was outside the storm path. Emergency responders using the facility will leave space for the convention by the end of August.
"We've learned a lot about breeding high-quality cattle that bring premium prices," Patterson says. "We have much to tell about improving quality with fixed-time AI using high-accuracy proven sires.
When Missouri hosted the program in 2006 at St. Joseph, nearly 300 attendees took part. This time organizers plan for more. An opening panel discussion will set the theme: "Using AI to Produce More High-Quality Beef." Speakers include Patterson of Columbia; Mike Kasten, beef producer, Millersville; and Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef, Manhattan, Kan. They represent the scientist, farmer and marketer of high-quality beef.
MU researchers have developed easier protocols for fixed-time AI. This allows breeding of all cows and heifers in a herd on one day. This saves labor and shortens the calving season. The result is more uniform calves at weaning time.
MU geneticist Jerry Taylor, who helped decipher the bovine genome, will tell how to use the genetic map to produce high-quality beef.
Increased income is the main reason to improve genetics in a cow herd. MU economists Scott Brown of MU's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute and Joe Parcell from the agricultural economics department will tell financial benefits of high-quality beef in domestic and global markets.
On the evening of Aug. 31, the group will visit Joplin Regional Stockyards near Carthage. Working demonstrations and a producer panel will tell about replacement heifers. The Lawrence County Cattlemen's Association will grill a steak dinner.
For registration fees and details, see the MU Conference Office website at www.muconf.missouri.edu or contact your local MU Extension office.