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Serving: IN

Livestock Groups Gather for Joint Meeting

Key issues will be on tap in Indianapolis this weekend.

For the third year in a row, Indiana's beef, dairy and forage industries are joining forces to hold a two-day informational meeting with something for everyone. This year's event is this weekend, Feb. 27 and 28. It will be held at the Hilton North hotel in Indianapolis.

Dennis Buckmaster, a Purdue University ag engineer, will be a keynote speaker, since almost everyone attending will have an interest in forage production. His all-encompassing topic is how to reduce forage losses form harvest through storage. Buckmaster has done research work in the area, and has presented on similar topics at the Indiana Forage Hay Day in the past.

Allen Bridges of Purdue Animal Science will discuss reproductive issue sin beef cattle, and Keith Johnson, long-time Purdue forage specialist, will lead a panel discussion on forages. Again, forage production, harvest, storage and handling will appeal to almost anyone in this audience of beef and dairy producers.

The various groups decided three years ago to join forces to try to attract more people to their winter meeting. That allows them to bring in big-name speakers, and share the costs. The first two events have proved successful. A trade show with various companies relating to all three industries runs from 8:30 am to 6 pm on Friday.

One of the keynote speakers coming in this time is Temple Grandin, the nationally acclaimed specialist in proper handling of animals. Unconventional in her methods, she has helped cattlemen across the country understand the psychology of working with animals, so they can do a better job and avoid using techniques that some groups consider to be not as humane, including the use of hot shots.

Another keynoter will be Andrew McCrea, a rancher from northwest Missouri. A broadcaster and a farmer, he will share his global perspective, drawing heavily upon his travels.

Other topics include an update on the beef check-off, sessions on how to reduce forage loss and a session on managing the dairy business with increasing variability in profits. That could be the hottest topic of the program for dairymen, now faced with fluctuating prices, tipping to the low to very low side of the pendulum.

Registration is $125 per person, and $95 per additional person. Check out registration details at www.indianabeef.org. Or call Ginny Tauer at 317-293-2333.

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