With nearly 2.5 million cattle in four Midwest states, university extension services in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin are teaming together to offer the Driftless Region Beef Conference. The annual event will be held Jan. 30-31, 2020, at the Grand River Convention Center in Dubuque, Iowa.
The driftless region in these states contains rolling hills, streams and karst soil topography. Since soil and water conservation is best accomplished when much of this land is seeded for forage and livestock consumes those forages, the conference will focus on efficient and economic forage and beef production.
The conference will begin at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 with a program concentrating on sustainable beef production at the national and local levels. Two nationally-known keynote speakers will kick off the conference. Sara Place, currently Director of Sustainability for Elanco, and formerly Senior Director, Sustainable Beef Production Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, will discuss sustainable beef production and the role of cattle in protecting the environment. Following Place, Lacey Alexander from Cargill with discuss the role of animal welfare and handling in the beef industry and how Beef Quality Assurance fits that role. Alexander is the animal welfare lead for beef, Cargill Protein North America. An evening discussion on cattle health will feature a panel of practicing veterinarians. Friday morning will feature Place sharing how to talk with consumers about science and agriculture,and eight breakout sessions for feedlot operations and cow-calf producers followed by a market outlook.
Other speakers include Grant Dewell, Terry Engelken, Katy Lippolis, and Lee Schulz,Iowa State University; Wayne Coblentz,University of Wisconsin; Josh McCann, University of Illinois; Eldon Cole, and Allison Meyer, University of Missouri; Darrell Peel, Oklahoma State University, and Galen Erickson, University of Nebraska Lincoln.
The early registration fee is $85 per person and must be received prior to midnight, Jan. 17. The price increases to $115 after that date. More information on topics, speakers and lodging is available at www.aep.iastate.edu/beef/. Online and mail registration forms are available on the conference website.
The Driftless Region Beef Conference is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, University of Illinois Extension, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. For more information or to receive a brochure, contact Denise Schwab, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach,at 319-472-4739.