Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is visiting with Oklahoma State University Extension Beef Cattle Breeding Specialist, Dr. Mark Johnson about the upcoming Cattlemen’s Conference set to take place on May 24-25 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Derived from the idea of similar conferences in the past, such as the National Steer Symposium in 1981, the Cattlemen’s Conference is aimed at discussing selection trends in breeding cattle and the importance of using genetic values and selection programs.
“It really led us to where we are today to do the best job we could to make improvement in cattle and increase profit potential in beef production,” Johnson said. “We needed to be using EPDs and genetic values for the traits that we could measure objectively.”
The topics to be discussed at the Cattlemen’s Conference, Johnson said, will be broad in scope.
“We are going to address pasture management, dealing with drought, and making our soil plants and beef production systems sustainable long-term,” Johnson said. “We are going to take a look at current trends in the meat packing industry. We are going to take a look at some data that we are collecting right now in terms of what is going on nationally in terms of carcass size and carcass specifications that we get into right now.”
There will be panel discussions on how to continue to collect data to make genetic improvement in beef breeds, Johnson said, and the conference will discuss selection for extremes with respect to a variety of things.
“We are going to address ethics in the show ring and ethics in marketing,” Johnson said. “We are going to get some experts in to speak from competing protein sources. We are going to take a look at marketing beef in 2023 as opposed to the next 10 or 20 years and what consumers are going to want.
Marketing outlooks based on the population and inventory of cattle in the country will also be discussed, Johnson said, as drought has impacted the industry.
“We have got a dynamic panel of speakers coming in from all over the country to address a variety of topics,” Johnson said.
Regarding the cattle that make up today’s beef herd, Johnson said he believes the U.S. cattle producers have become more aware of the benefits of utilizing genetic values to improve the function of the cow herd.
“We have got genetic values now we can incorporate into selection to try to program these cowherds to better fit one production environment or another,” Johnson said.
To see more information and to register for Cattlemen’s Conference, click here.
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