Program

Printable conference program

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Pre-conference
9:00 am Exhibitor setup begins
12:30 pm Registration opens
Afternoon session
1:00 pm Welcome and opening comments - Denise Schwab, Extension beef field specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Vinton, IA
1:15 pm Where is the beef industry going in the future? - Dr. Ron Gill, extension livestock specialist and professor, Animal Science, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Chico, TX

A look into the opportunities and challenges facing those raising beef cattle in the coming years. A guess as to what that may mean for those bold enough to continue raising the most nutrient dense animal protein on the planet.

2:00 pm

Adding value to the carcass - Dr. Terry Houser, associate professor, Animal Science and Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Terry will demonstrate how to fabricate a boneless beef chuck roll and top sirloin butt. He will fabricate both cuts using traditional and newer cutting methods designed to add value and improve palatability and convenience for today's beef consumer.

3:00 pm Break and visit sponsor displays
3:15 pm Meat substitutes: How much should we worry? - Dr. Bailey Harsh, assistant professor, Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Interest in alternative proteins has grown in highly developed countries due to animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and human health concerns. Today, meat substitutes like plant-based, fermentation-based, and cultured proteins are an area of enormous interest and research. At the same time, numerous questions about these products exist.

4:00 pm

Consumer buying trends and perceptions - Tammy Vaassen, executive director, Wisconsin Beef Council, Verona, WI; Casey Allison, director of industry relations, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Ames, IA

Research is the baseline for creating beef marketing campaigns and programs that best meet consumers where they are at. We’ll take a look at the impacts COVID has had on the purchasing behaviors of consumers, consumption trends for beef and other proteins, and consumer perceptions and definitions around sustainability and beef. 

4:45 pm

Rapid fire round

Short, rapid-fire presentations on current topics.

Evening session
6:00 pm

Social and visit sponsor displays

Visit with sponsors and browse the displays. A cash bar will be available in the sponsor display area. 

6:30 pm Dinner and round-table discussions
7:30 pm Bull pen discussion - W. Travis Meteer, beef extension educator, University of Illinois, Baylis, IL
8:30 pm Adjourn for the day

Friday, January 28, 2022

Breakfast session
6:45 am Breakfast buffet, exhibits open
7:00 am Rush Creek Ranch: A Wisconsin stocker operation - Matt Ludlow, partner, Rush Creek Ranch and BEEF Magazine's 2020 National Stocker Award winner, Viroqua, WI
Concurrent session A (select one topic)
7:45 am Annual forages to fill the gap - Denise Schwab, Extension beef field specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Vinton, IA

Incorporating annual forages into a cattle operation has many benefits, including filling the gaps in traditional grazing systems. Learn what species can provide early spring, mid-summer or late fall grazing gaps, and what are the costs for such systems.

  Understanding what influences your ROI - Bill Halfman, professor, University of Wisconsin Extension, Sparta, WI

There are several different factors that influence return on investment (ROI), in effect profitability, of cattle finishing enterprises. These factors can be grouped into two general categories; factors that influence animal growth and performance thereby likely impacting the cost per unit of production, and factors related to the costs of overhead and related inputs used and or allocated to the finishing enterprise. This presentation will examine some of these factors.

Concurrent session B (select one topic)
8:30 am Relationship of beef quality and reproduction in Angus cattle - Dr. Dan Loy, University Professor and director, Iowa Beef center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

This presentation will review a study that looked at the relationship between marbling and reproductive traits in an ISU Angus cow herd that has been selected for marbling for 25+ years.

  What did I do wrong? Considerations on receiving calf health - Dr. Michael Slattery, veterinarian and partner, Risius Family Veterinary Service, Maquoketa, IA

To answer the question – probably nothing. Stockers, backgrounders, and feedlots receive calves throughout the year, many doing the same protocols from one group to the next. This presentation will discuss considerations that can explain the health performance differences seen from group to group and propose some ideas that can be taken home to your operations.

9:15 am Break
Concurrent session C (select one topic)
9:30 am Managing weeds in pastures to optimize forage production and utilization - Dr. Mark Renz, extension weed specialist and professor, Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

This presentation will discuss options for weed management in pastures and discuss approaches to management. Techniques explored will include chemical and non-chemical approaches and focus on when to apply to maximize forage production and minimize negative impacts.

  Feedlot risk - Dr. Elliott Dennis, assistant professor, Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraksa-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Concurrent session D (select one topic)
10:15 am Cow-calf systems with limited perennial grass - Dr. Mary Drewnoski, beef systems specialist and associate professor, Animal Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

This presentation will discuss recent research on integrated cropping-cow/calf systems combining the use of cover crops, corn residue, and confinement.

  Bunk management: Slick bunk vs not - Dr. Dan Loy, University Professor and director, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; Bill Halfman, professor, University of Wisconsin Extension, Sparta, WI

Bunk management strategies will be discussed as to how they influence animal performance, and metabolic disorders. A worksheet tool to assist cattle feeders with reading bunks and making decisions on the amount of feed to deliver will be demonstrated. In addition, economic comparisons of bunk management strategies will also be discussed.

Closing session
11:00 am Market outlook - Dr. Elliott Dennis, assistant professor, Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraksa-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
12:00 pm Conference adjourns
Post-conference training
1:00 pm Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Training - Denise Schwab, Extension beef field specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Vinton, IA
3:00 pm Training concludes

The Driftless Region Beef Conference is presented by

University of Illinois

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

University of Wisconsin Extension