The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association is adding University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Wisconsin Dairy and Beef Well-Being Conference to the educational program of the association’s annual winter conference. The event will be held on Feb. 21-22 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The Wisconsin Hereford Association and Wisconsin Shorthorn Association will host their annual meetings in conjunction with the conference’s educational program, trade show and reception.
“Producers from all over the state gather together at the conference for a mix of business, education and fun,” says Anna Boschert, newly elected WCA board member. “It is a great opportunity to connect with fellow cattlemen, learn new practices that can be implemented on your operation, and stay up to date on current state and national issues.”
This year’s agenda is highlighted by a presentation from the industry perspective of Henry Zerby, vice president of protein procurement and innovation for Wendy’s restaurants. Zerby and his team are responsible for the supply chain development and acquisition of all animal protein products on the Wendy’s menu.
The educational session on the morning of Feb. 21 will include updates on the Beef Quality Assurance and National Dairy FARM programs, followed by presentations from the following industry experts:
Session 1. “Taking the Pain Out of Disbudding” by Dr. Charlotte Winder, University of Guelph, and “Exploring the Behavior and Management Components of Beef Cattle Welfare” by Dr. Courtney Daigle, Texas A&M University
Session 2. “Corkscrew Claw Syndrome — A New Twist on an Old Hoof Lesion” by Dr. Nigel Cook, UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and a BQA discussion with Chase DeCoite, director of Beef Quality Assurance Programs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Zerby’s presentation will kick off the afternoon’s general sessions, followed by the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Beth Ventura and Iowa State University’s Dr. Jesse Robbins discussing the public’s perception of animal welfare. The educational program will conclude with a panel discussion, allowing attendees the opportunity to ask questions and further interact with Zerby, Ventura and Robbins.
Following the panel discussion, Don Schiefelbein, NCBA policy chairman, will provide an update on federal policy efforts in Washington, D.C. The Schiefelbein family owns and operates Scheifelbein Farms, a registered Angus operation in Kimball, Minn. The WCA Legislative Committee and Jordan Lamb will discuss and answer questions regarding state legislative issues and WCA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of Wisconsin’s beef producers.
On the evening of Feb. 21, Pam Jahnke, the Fabulous Farm Babe, will host a Checkoff Chat with the Wisconsin Beef Council, followed by the popular Beef and Brews trade show reception featuring local beef products made by the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors. Jahnke will host an awards recognition program, accompanied by 72nd Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin assisting with the presentation of awards.
Down From the Hills, a local bluegrass band, will provide entertainment for the evening, and a silent auction will be held to raise funds for young cattle producers to attend the annual NCBA convention.
On the morning of Feb. 22, WCA committees will meet, followed by the WCA annual meeting. All members are encouraged to attend both a committee meeting and the annual meeting, as this serves as a great opportunity to get involved in WCA. After lunch, the Wisconsin Shorthorn and Wisconsin Hereford association annual meetings will be held.
“Winter Conference is a great place for cattlemen and women alike to network with like-minded individuals, as well as become informed on current industry topics to keep our operations profitable and sustainable,” says Nate Moll of Sleepy Hollow Ranch, Poynette, Wis. “Furthermore, it keeps me updated on important legislative issues that could affect my operation.”
Lodging is available at the Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., by calling 833-865-8789.
Registration discounts are being offered for new and current WCA members for the conference. The deadline for registration is Feb. 14. Registrations submitted after that date will incur a $10 late fee. The complete conference schedule, registration and sponsorship information can be found on the WCA website or by contacting the WCA office at 608-228-1457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.