Illinois Cattlemen's Conference Addresses Industry Issues & Innovation

   With many Illinois cattlemen seeking growth and opportunity in today's volatile cattle business, producers are looking for information on staying profitable and adding value. Cattlemen also want to keep beef a mainstay in the consumer diet and remain viable in a regulatory environment.
   To help beef producers successfully manage their livestock operations during these dynamic times, the Illinois Beef Association (IBA) will host its annual Summer Conference June 13-14 in Quincy, Ill. During the conference, regional and national industry leaders will closely examine some of the major interests and issues facing the industry: animal health and nutrition, consumer attitudes, policy and international trade issues, and the path to a profitable future.
   “Cattlemen are operating at a time where management is crucial in turning a profit,” said Reid Blossom, IBA executive vice president. “So, where are the opportunities? What are the issues producers are facing and need to manage? How do producers do that successfully? We'll answer those questions and more at this year's IBA Summer Conference.”
   Conference speakers for the Zoetis Cattlemen’s College include:
   Policy & International Trade Update
   Kent Bacus, NCBA Associate Director, Legislative Affairs
   Politics and beef trade are important, but often confusing components of the cattle industry. Learn everything that is happening in Congress and the Administration that impacts your operation, along with an update on the current state of, and future for beef trade.
   Sharing the Real Story of Agriculture
   Kim Bremmer, Ag Inspirations
   The average consumer is two generations removed from agriculture and has very little first-hand experience with food production. And they are hungry for information. It’s up to us, the beef community, to engage them in conversations and answer their questions about how beef is raised. This interactive session will sharpen your conversation skills and equip you with the information and confidence needed to answer tough questions about beef production.
   Cow and Calf Health: Start at the Beginning
   Dr. Mike Wells, Technical Service Veterinarian, Zoetis
   A preventive medicine approach to your herd health plan can help save you time and money by reducing the number of sick cattle to be treated. It can also keep your cattle performing better, longer. This session will help you develop a preventive herd health plan and show how the judicious use of antibiotics can support animal well-being.
   Cover Crops on Your Farm
   Travis Meteer, U of I Extension Beef Specialist
   Cover crops provide opportunities for extending the grazing season and meeting forage needs for beef cattle. Observations and data gathered from plots at the Orr Beef Research center and other farmers will be shared. Stand establishment, cover crop mixes, nutrition value in rations, and best harvest methods will be among the discussion topics.
   CME: Futures Market
   Ed Greiman, NCBA Cattle Marketing and International Trade Committee Chairman
   Learn more about how the markets became what they are today and where they may go during the upcoming years. What factors are contributing to market volatility and how has the industry been working to calm the storm – those questions and more will be answered during this session.
   Beef Cutting Demonstration
   Dr. Dustin Boler, Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois
   Thinking outside the box is the approach meat scientists are taking in their efforts to revolutionize the future of beef restaurant and retail cuts. Learn the latest in the meat science realm during this “hands-on” carcass evaluation/demonstration.
   Aside from the opportunity to learn from leading cattle industry experts, participants will have the chance to network with agribusinesses and fellow beef producers.
   The IBA Annual Meeting will be held on June 13 at 12:15 p.m. The awards banquet, sponsored by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, will honor IBA scholarship winners, the Farm Family of the Year, Seedstock Breeder of the Year, Commercial Producer of the Year, Environmental Steward of the Year and Outstanding Junior Member on June 13 at 6 p.m.
   Illinois agriculture industry tours are scheduled for June 14. Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes tour of Quincy Farm Products and a look at how the livestock industry is contributing to the reduction of food waste by recycling food products as livestock feed. A tour of Musgrave Angus will allow participants to view high quality Angus genetics from a family farm whose cattle industry involvement spans five decades. JK Ranches is the final tour stop and here participants will learn about the management of the first deep-pitted monoslope cow gestation barn built in the Midwest. 
   For more a complete schedule and to register online, visit ∆
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