The annual “must attend” winter meeting for Iowa cow-calf producers will again offer a comprehensive package of information. The 49th annual Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference is Jan. 25 at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.
Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, says this winter’s conference will address new, timely and even controversial topics relevant to Iowa’s beef industry. “2019 has been a battle for the agriculture, and the cow-calf sector has certainly faced a number of challenges," he notes. "This year’s Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference will address several key issues, from the global consumer view of eating beef down to the health of soil under the cow’s feet."
The annual conference again offers free admission and will be preceded by the KIIC Farm Show on the Friday afternoon before the conference. Keynote speakers are Amanda Radke of BEEF Magazine and Tom Mastrobouni of Tyson Foods.
The morning will open with a talk from Vytelle, covering the latest developments in IVF reproductive technology. Radke will then talk about her open letter to Ellen Degeneres and the role cow-calf producers should play in advocating for their industry.
“We’ll close the morning program with a contentious topic,” Wall says. “Tom Mastrobouni was asked by Tyson Foods to explore purchasing plant-based proteins. He’ll discuss current trends in consumer preferences for protein. 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.”
The speakers, their affiliations and topics to be covered during the afternoon sessions are:
- Amanda Radke, BEEF magazine, “Dynamics of Multi-Generational Family Agricultural Businesses”
- Toby Jordan, a cattle producer, “A 365-day Approach to Managing Toxic Tall Fescue”
- Cody Nelson, a cattle producer, “Soil Rx — Building Soil Health With Cows”
- Robin Pruisner, Iowa Ag Department, “Understanding the Regulatory Outlook for Hemp Production in Iowa”
- Aaron Steele, producer and owners of Goats on the Go, “Meat Goats for Pasture, Profit and Personal Growth”
Doors open at 8 a.m. for the conference and trade show at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. 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.; then break-out sessions begin 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 is at cornbeltcowcalf.com.