A "natural" beef production meeting is set for Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Ramada Inn in Aberdeen, S.D.
Representatives from South Dakota State University, USDA and private industry will be on hand to discuss what's involved in operating "the natural ranch."
"'Natural' beef production continues to be one of the fastest growing and expanding segments of the beef industry. This program will focus on production practices at the ranch or farm level and give a brief view of consumer issues involved in the "natural" movement," says Tyler Melroe, SDSU Extension livestock educator for Marshall County.
United States Department of Agriculture representatives will attend the meeting and discuss the federal definition of "natural" beef. They'll also explore a variety of programs involved in verification procedures of beef cattle.
Rob Ames of Ivy Natural Solutions will tell how producers can target buyers for their production system by developing relationships and suiting production to the specifications of that buyer and provide insight to current factors influencing the price of feeder cattle.. Ivy Natural Solutions (INS), is a division of Ivy Animal Health, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa. It provides products and services that support efficient production of beef, pork and poultry without the use of antibiotics.
Marshall County Extension Educator Tyler Melroe will give a historical perspective of "natural" beef production practices. He'll also talk about the forces that are driving the marketing of "natural" cattle, and factors contributing to the success or compromise of a ranch or farm herd.
SDSU Extension Veterinarian Russ Daly will discuss health decisions in a "natural" program. He will emphasize the importance of preventative health programs and thresholds for mass treatment of "natural" pens of cattle.
SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist Joan Hegerfeld will deal with the consumer side of the "natural" movement as she focuses on issues in consumer choice besides taste and money.
Miner County Extension Educator Jim Krantz will discuss decisions at the herd level in managing "natural" calves and their dams.
A panel discussion, "Marketing natural locally," will conclude the program. Panelists include Dennis Hellwig, Hub City Livestock; Kevin Larson, Aberdeen Livestock Sales Company; Shannon Kulseth, South Dakota Certified Beef Program; and Rob Ames, Ivy Natural Solutions.
"The Natural Ranch" program is sponsored by the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service.
The pre-registration deadline is Jan. 18 and the registration fee is $30.
For additional information or to pre-register, contact: Tyler Melroe, (605) 448-5171, or Tyler.Melroe@sdstate.edu; Dr. Russ Daly, (605) 688-6589, or Russell.Daly@sdstate.edu; or Jim Krantz at (605) 772-4661, or Jim.Krantz@sdstate.edu.
Source: SDSU AgBio Communications