Speakers and topics listed below are currently scheduled to appear. The planning committee reserves the right to make program adjustments based on speaker availability.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Time Presentation
12:30 pm Registration and check-in
1:00 Welcome, introductions and recognition of sponsors

The environmental footprint of beef production- Jude Capper, Bozeman, Montana

Beef is often cited as having a negative impact on the environment, but is it as bad as the media reports suggest? This presentation discusses the truth behind beef’s environmental impact and the ways in which we have improved over the years.


Insuring feedlot health - Where does it all begin? - Mark Hilton, Clinical Professor, Beef Production Medicine, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Does the health of the feedlot calf start at feedlot entry, backgrounding, weaning, birth or conception? The answer is “Yes” to all of the above. We’ll discuss the importance of health from fetal programming to slaughter because everything impacts health.


Update on the feed efficiency project and implications to commercial producers and feeders - Dan Loy, Professor and Director, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University

3:30 Break

Demonstrating Decision Support Tools and Increasing Understanding of Underlying Economic Drivers of Profitability and Risk to Beef Cattle Producers Lee Schulz, Associate Professor and Extension Economist, Iowa State University

A host of Excel-based decision support tools and related educational resources will be highlighted enabling attendees to act upon information they receive and apply it to their own operation and situation.


Apps for beef operations, what’s out there and what’s coming – Rick Rasby, Nebraska

5:30 Break and check into hotel rooms
6:00 Social time, meet the sponsors
  Dinner (provided)

Presentation - Jamey Kohake, Paragon Investments, Inc. and frequent analyst guest on Market-to-Market, Iowa Public Television (invited)

7:30 Bull Pen

A panel of veterinarians presenting views and taking questions on "Raising beef to meet the demanding consumers’ expectations: Food safety, meat quality, health implications, and facilitating information flow. Moderated by Mark Hilton.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Time Presentation
6:30 am Breakfast buffet

Sustainability, What is it, what it means for beef producers and where to from hereJude Capper, Bozeman, Montana

Sustainability is often thought of as a “bad” word for the beef industry, with images of “going green” and low-productivity systems. This presentation discusses what sustainability really means for the U.S. Beef industry and how we improve economic viability, environmental responsibility and social acceptability through improved productivity.

7:45 Breakout session 1 (select one)
  Adding value through direct market sales
Tom Arnold, Elizabeth, Ill.

Preconditioning – Adding Profit to the Cow-calf Herd’s Bottom LineMark Hilton, Clinical Professor Beef Production Medicine, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Have you ever heard a beef producer lament, “I preconditioned my calves this year and they brought the same price as my neighbor’s calves and he didn’t do anything?” find out why the ‘preconditioning bonus’ plays a minor role in the profitability of preconditioning. Learn what really does matter.
8:45 Breakout session 2 (select one)
  Understanding and using antibiotics responsibly
Dr. Joe Dedrickson, Merial. 

Optimizing forage and pasture resources with annual cropsRhonda Gildersleeve, Professor and Extension Grazing Specialist, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension.

Use of annual crops is increasing in the Driftless Region as a means of providing additional cover to protect our soils. We’ll discuss use of annual crop options to provide additional forage and pasture for cost-effective beef cattle feeding systems.
9:45 Break
10:00 Breakout session 3 (select one)

Lessons Learned from 32 years of Retained OwnershipDarrell Busby, Coordinator of TCSCF

The principal objective of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity program is to provide information to beef producers to use in managing and marketing their product.  This includes feedlot performance, carcass data and sire summaries.  This session will focus on lessons learned and changes made to breeding and management programs of the participants, and suggestions for how other cattle producers can also apply this information. 
Economics of marginal corn ground compared to seeding to pasture or hayGene Schriefer
11:00 Breakout session 4 (select one)

Improving efficiency through feed resource optimizationNicole Rambo, Extension Feedlot Specialist, University of Minnesota

A number of technologies and management practices are available to feedlot owners and operators to enhance feedlot productivity and efficiency; however, ignored or unperceived losses in basic subsystems remain a limiting factor. In this talk, conserving feed resources from harvest through bunk line delivery will be discussed as a tool to improve feedlot efficiency and profitability. Measurements of feed loss at various stages, methods for reducing loss and potential impacts on profitability will be discussed.
Nutrition and Reproduction topicTravis Meteer
12:00 Conference adjourns


The Driftless Region Beef Conference is a cooperative effort of the Extension services of University of Illinois, Iowa State Universtiy, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin.