The 2008 Mid-South Stocker Conference is Feb. 12-13 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon, Tenn. The conference is a cooperative educational program by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and University of Tennessee Extension in partnership with Bayer Animal Health. Those of you who attended in 2007 remember that this is the conference we hosted at Cave City.

The conference theme is “Plan for Success.” The conference offers practical information to aid stocker operators in planning and managing their operations to maximize profit.

Stocker production is the sector of beef production between weaning and the feedlot. The market currently has greater demand for healthier feeder cattle. Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as the Mid-South area, produce thousands of cattle that would increase in market value by “stockering” them.

The conference gets under way at 1 p.m. Feb. 12 with a tour of stocker operations and other stops of interest. The tour will conclude with a reception and Certified Angus Beef steak meal at Horn Springs Angus Farms, hosted by Quinton Smith.

Mark McCauley of Certified Angus Beef will make a presentation to wrap up the tour. The tour will also provide an opportunity for stocker operators to interact with each other and the program presenters in an informal environment.

The following day’s program includes topics related to successful stocker operations presented by nationally recognized experts in the stocker industry. Topics include health and management of stocker cattle, risk management, outlook for the stocker industry and using byproducts from ethanol production in stocker cattle rations.

The day will conclude with a panel discussion by successful stocker operators from the Mid-South area who will share what they do to be successful with their operations.

Pre-registration for the conference is $95 and must be made by Feb. 5. Registration the day of the conference will be $145. Registration forms, hotel information and other materials are available at www.mid southstocker.org.

For additional information, contact John T. Johns, UK beef cattle specialist, at (859) 257-2853 or jtjohns@uky. edu. In Tennessee, contact Jim Neel, UT Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, at (865) 974-7294 or jneel@utk.edu or John Bartee, Montgomery County director, UT extension at (931) 648-5725 or jbartee1@utk.edu.



Master Grazer Course Registration

Folks, don’t forget that if you are interested in participating in this year’s Master Grazer program, the registration deadline is Feb. 1. Simply stop by the Barren County Extension Office and complete a registration application for the class. There is a $65 registration fee to cover meals during the course. The first session will be on Feb. 11 and the remaining six sessions are scheduled throughout the spring, ending in May.

This is an excellent course in which we will teach (along with several expert specialists) many aspects of forage production and use. I encourage any producer, experienced or novice, to consider taking this course and learning about better management to achieve excellent forage production and use.

Don’t forget that the final day to register for this course is Friday, Feb. 1.

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