OSU’s Mark Johnson Discusses Schedule and Speakers for 2024 Cattlemen’s Conference

Panel of speakers at 2023 Cattlemen’s Conference.
Listen to Ron Hays talk with OSU’s Mark Johnson about the 2024 Cattlemen’s Conference.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is back talking with Mark Johnson, Oklahoma State University Extension Beef Cattle Breeding Specialist, for part three of a preview for the 2024 Cattlemen’s Conference, which will be held on May 22nd and 23rd at the Totusek Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Johnson said the first panel of speakers on Wednesday will be discussing selection and mating relative to the marketing endpoint in a beef operation.

“We have known for years that reproductive traits are low in heritability and really respond to crossbreeding in a big way,” Johnson said. “Growth traits are moderate in heritability, and they have moderate degrees of heterosis when we crossbreed. Carcass traits are highly heritable and don’t show much benefit from crossbreeding.”

Whether an operation sells its calves at weaning, holds onto them, markets them as yearlings, or retains ownership through finishing, Johnson said the discussion will focus on which factors to prioritize in a selection in a mating program to create profit potential within the operation.

“We have got speakers coming in on this topic that are doing some really different things as far as selection, mating, and the breeds that are involved, and that are involved in different marketing end-points, so you have a variety of ideas that are proven to be very successful based on this topic,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he and OSU livestock marketing economist Dr. Derrell Peel are working with scientists from the meat animal research center to utilize data to make an economic simulation to study additive genetic merit and hybrid vigor relative to different marketing endpoints.

The next conference discussion will feature Dr. Jason Rowntree of Michigan State University, who will talk about beef’s carbon footprint. Regenerative ranching will be discussed with Hugh Aljoe of the Noble Research Institute.

Wednesday will conclude with a banquet featuring remarks from Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology at the University of California, Davis. As the keynote speaker of the banquet, Eenennaan will discuss gene editing.

“Alison will talk about what is going on globally, and not just in farm animals we think of, but globally in meat animal species as far as gene editing,” Johnson said. “That leads into those panel discussions the second day- two different panel discussions there.”

Johnson said the second day of the conference will include speakers from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, breed registries, other protein sources, and more talking about gene editing and more.

To listen to Part 1 of the conversation, CLICK HERE! To listen to Part 2, CLICK HERE!

To learn more about the conference and register, CLICK HERE!

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