OTTUMWA, Iowa — The premier educational event for Iowa cow-calf producers will offer a comprehensive package of information to attendees next month. The 49th Annual Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has been set for Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist, said this year’s conference will address new, timely and even controversial topics relevant to Iowa’s beef industry.
“It’s safe to say that 2019 has been a battle for the ag industry, and the cow-calf sector has certainly faced a number of challenges,” Wall said. “This year’s Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference will try to address several issues, from the global consumer view of eating beef down to the health of soil under the cow’s feet.”
The conference will again offer free admission and will be preceded by the KIIC Farm Show on the Friday afternoon prior to the conference. The 2020 program targets a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals. The keynote speakers will be Amanda Radke from BEEF Magazine and Tom Mastrobouni from Tyson Foods.
“The morning will open with a talk from Vytelle covering the latest developments in IVF reproductive technology. Amanda Radke will then talk about her open letter to Ellen Degeneres and the role cow-calf producers should play in advocating for their industry,” Wall said. “We’ll close the morning with a very contentious issue: Tom Mastrobouni was asked by Tyson Foods to explore purchasing plant-based proteins. He’ll continue after lunch detailing the current trends in consumer preferences for protein. I think it’s really important for producers to understand what their competition is doing, and what the final consumer of their product is telling them they need to do better.”
Afternoon break-out sessions
The speakers, their affiliations and topics to be covered during the afternoon break-out sessions are:
- Amanda Radke, BEEF Magazine: Dynamics of Multi-Generational Family Agricultural Businesses.
- Toby Jordan, producer speaker: A 365-day Approach to Managing Toxic Tall Fescue.
- Cody Nelson, producer speaker: Soil Rx – Building Soil Health with Cows.
- Robin Pruisner, IDALS: Understanding the Regulatory Outlook for Hemp Production in Iowa.
- Aaron Steele, Goats on the Go: Meat Goats for Pasture, Profit, and Personal Growth.
Doors will open for this year’s conference and trade show at the Bridge View Center, Ottumwa, promptly at 8 a.m. The official welcome is at 9 a.m., followed by three general session speakers, lunch and exhibit viewing. The afternoon general session begins at 1 p.m. with Mastrobouni, then break-out sessions beginning at 2:15 p.m. with two repeating time blocks with five choices. Admission is free and includes a copy of the show guide. No preregistration is necessary.
Additional information will be available at www.cornbeltcowcalf.com.
— Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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