Speakers

  • Casey Allison
    director of industry relations, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Ames, IA

    Casey manages the BQA, education & youth, and producer communication programs for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. She's an Iowa State University Animal Science Alum and currently resides in Eldora, IA with her husband Brandon. Together they raise registered Simmentals and market their genetics to a diverse customer base.

    Presentation title: Consumer buying trends and perceptions


  • Elliott Dennis
    assistant professor, Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraksa-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

    Presentation title: Feedlot risk

    Presentation title: Market outlook


  • Mary Drewnoski
    beef systems specialist and associate professor, Animal Science, University of Nebraksa-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

    Dr. Mary Drewnoski is a Beef Systems Specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a beef cattle nutritionist with expertise in forage based production systems and is a part of an interdisciplinary team evaluating Economical Systems for Integrated Crop and Livestock Production in Nebraska. She has spent the last 8 years researching and providing education on the use of crop residues and cover crop forage for backgrounding calves and feeding beef cows.

    Presentation title: Cow-calf systems with limited perennial grass


  • Ron Gill
    extension livestock specialist and professor, Animal Science, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Chico, TX

    Dr. Ron Gill is professor and Extension livestock specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and also serves as Associate Department Head and Program Leader for Animal Science Extension faculty in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas and his doctorate from Texas A&M University. He has worked for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension for 37 years. He provides leadership in Extension programming related to animal well-being and low-stress livestock handling and assists in providing leadership to statewide programming efforts for Beef Safety and Quality Assurance programming, and since 2008 has worked with NCBA to conduct the Stockmanship and Stewardship and BQA programs throughout the US and its Territories Serves as a member and Honorary Director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and NCBA Cattle Health and Well-Being Committees and serves on the NCBA Animal Health Advisory Committee.

    Presentation title: Where is the beef industry going in the future?


  • Bill Halfman
    professor, University of Wisconsin Extension, Sparta, WI

    Bill Halfman has 27 years of Extension experience in a number of programming areas. Bill’s recent work in beef production and management has centered on developing and sharing numerous decision-aid spreadsheets, as well as coordinating and presenting beef production and management programs across the state, including collaboration with neighboring states of Iowa and Minnesota. He has been the Agriculture Agent for the UW Madison Division of Extension in Monroe County since 2003. Prior to that he worked in Extension in southern Minnesota and in a statewide position in Tennessee. He is a leading contributor to Extension’s statewide beef programming efforts in Wisconsin. He is a Professor within the Department of Extension Faculty. He earned B. S. from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and an M.S. from The University of Tennessee- Knoxville.

    Presentation title: Understanding what influences your ROI

    Presentation title: Bunk management: Slick bunk vs not


  • Terry Houser
    associate professor, Animal Science and Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension, , Ames, IA

    Terry is an Associate Professor and the Smithfield Chair in Meat Science Extension at Iowa State University. He grew up on a cow-calf and feedlot operation in Southwest Nebraska and gained interest in Meat Science through FFA Meat Judging. Terry has held positions at the University of Florida and at Kansas State University and has been in his current role at ISU since November of 2019. In their spare time, Terry and his wife Amanda and their two boys Hank and Clay raise registered Hereford and Angus cattle.

    Presentation title: Adding value to the carcass


  • Dan Loy
    University Professor and director, Iowa Beef center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

    Dan Loy is a University Professor of Animal Science at Iowa State University and Director of the Iowa Beef Center. He has also served as an Extension Beef Specialist for Iowa since 1982, giving leadership to ISU’s program to the cattle feeding industry. His research interests have focused on applied feedlot nutrition and beef production and management systems. He is also an instructor for an advanced Beef Systems Management course. Dan has a B.S from Western Illinois University and a Ph.D. from Penn State.

    Presentation title: Relationship of beef quality and reproduction in Angus cattle

    Presentation title: Bunk management: Slick bunk vs not


  • Matt Ludlow
    partner, Rush Creek Ranch and BEEF Magazine's 2020 National Stocker Award winner, Rush Creek Ranch, Viroqua, WI

    Matt and his Father, Reid, own and operate Rush Creek Ranch, an intensive rotational grazing stocker operation near Viroqua, WI. Rush Creek Ranch was established in 1976, and Matt has been a part of the business since 2008. By sourcing lightweight calves from the Southeastern United States, Rush Creek Ranch is able to best utilize the rough terrain and forages of the Driftless area of Southwestern Wisconsin.

    Presentation title: Rush Creek Ranch: A Wisconsin stocker operation


  • W. Travis Meteer
    beef extension educator, University of Illinois, Baylis, IL

    Travis is a Beef Cattle Educator with University of Illinois Extension. He holds a master's degree in ruminant nutrition and a bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Illinois. He grew up on a family farm that included a diversified livestock operation in central Illinois. He is involved with statewide programming for Illinois beef cattle producers. Programming involves nutrition, genetics, reproduction, grazing, and marketing in the areas of cow-calf, stocker, and feedlot production.

    Presentation title: Bull pen discussion


  • Mark Renz
    extension weed specialist and professor, Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

    Mark Renz (PhD) is a professor and extension weed specialist with the University of WisconsinMadison. Dr. Renz researches and extends information about the biology and management of weeds in perennial cropping systems and natural areas. Mark is originally from California, where he completed his bachelors and PhD at the University of California Davis. Mark has over 20years of experience conducting weed management research throughout the United States, and has enjoyed the last fifteen years working in Wisconsin. Current efforts have focused on weed management in alfalfa, alfalfa interseeded into corn and in pasture-based systems.

    Presentation title: Managing weeds in pastures to optimize forage production and utilization


  • Denise Schwab
    Extension beef field specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Vinton, IA

    Schwab is the ISU Extension Beef Specialist for 16 counties in northeast Iowa. She has worked for ISU Extension for 39 years with experience in 4-H programs, general livestock production, and almost 20 years as a beef specialist.

    Presentation title: Annual forages to fill the gap


  • Michael Slattery
    veterinarian and partner, Risius Family Veterinary Service, Maquoketa, IA

    Dr. Michael Slattery is a second generation food animal veterinarian that practices in Maquoketa, Iowa. Originally from Winthrop, Iowa, Dr. Slattery is a 2013 grad of the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. The scope of Dr. Slattery's practice is almost exclusively beef cattle with a nearly 50/50 mix of cow/calf and feedlot.

    Presentation title: What did I do wrong? Considerations on receiving calf health


  • Tammy Vaassen
    executive director, Wisconsin Beef Council, Verona, WI

    Tammy Vaassen is the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Beef Council. She joined the council in 2018, and is responsible for working with the board and staff to work towards the organization’s mission – to grow beef demand that is sustainable for future generations. She grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm near Platteville. After obtaining her Animal Science degree from UW-Platteville, Tammy spent the next 25 years on the staff of the Wisconsin Pork Association. She enjoys working to support farmers, promoting agricultural products, and serving as a face to the consumer to answer their questions about beef production. Tammy and her husband Brian reside near Cuba City, WI and have two adult children.

    Presentation title: Consumer buying trends and perceptions



The Driftless Region Beef Conference is presented by

University of Illinois

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

University of Wisconsin Extension