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Symposium to examine future of beef cattle industry

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation's Agricultural Division and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service will host the 19th Southern Plains Beef Symposium from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Ardmore Convention Center in Ardmore, Okla.

Entitled Beyond the Horizon: The Changing Environment Facing Today’s Beef Industry, this year's symposium brings together six speakers from Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas who will discuss how they and other agricultural producers are coping with the challenges of today’s ever-changing environment and trends in the beef industry.

"The Southern Plains Beef Symposium is a one-day event that enables beef producers to gain insight and information into current issues and production situations," said Shan Ingram, who serves as education and special projects manager. "We are fortunate to have sponsors and partners who help with the symposium; this allows us to bring a quality, national-level program to our agricultural producers.

The six speakers are:

• Billy Cook, ¬ Sr. Vice President and Director of the Agricultural Division at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Cook oversees the Noble Foundation’s effort to assist regional agricultural producers in meeting their financial, production, stewardship and quality-of-life goals. The Noble Foundation achieves this objective through its consultation, education and outreach, and research programs with an emphasis on forage-based beef cattle production systems. Cook has experience as a livestock consultant and also managed the Agricultural Division’s research efforts prior to becoming the division director.

• Daren Williams, ¬ Executive Director for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Williams manages the spokesperson development, media relations, public affairs and organizational communications functions for NCBA – the voice of the beef industry and beef producers.

• Ben Wileman, beef cattle clinician and research associate at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Wileman’s research investigates life cycle beef production management with emphasis on animal welfare, vaccine technology development and application, and management effect measurements.

• Tommy Beall, cattle market analyst for Beall Consulting Group. Beall served as director of market research for Cattle-Fax and was an executive at ContiBeef before establishing his own firm. He has more than 35 years of experience in cattle market analysis, risk management, procurement, marketing and feedlot management.

• Dave Lalman, extension beef cattle specialist and professor at Oklahoma State University. In this role, Lalman developed a statewide educational program in beef cattle nutrition and management, focusing on beef production systems. His primary research areas are nutrition and management of beef cattle.

• Scott Dewald, Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. Dewald also serves as the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation. He is the chief lobbyist for the organization in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C.

At the conclusion of the presentations, there will be a question-and-answer session with the speakers. Various door prizes will be given throughout the day and a grand door prize will be given at the conclusion of the program.

The Noble Foundation's Leonard Wyatt Memorial Outstanding Cooperator of the Year Award will be presented at the symposium as well. The award honors one of the 1,700 farmers and ranchers who best exemplifies the cooperative relationship between the regional producers and Noble Foundation's Agricultural Division. The symposium also will feature a trade show with more than 40 booths.

Registration for the symposium is $25 per person and includes the entire program and a prime rib lunch. For additional information or to register, contact Tracy Cumbie at 580.224.6411 or by e-mail at

TAGS: Management
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