Hemphill County beef conference April 24-25 to address market turning points

The 2018 Hemphill County-Texas A&M AgriLife Beef Cattle Conference and Ag Tour set for April 24 to 25 will include experts who will help participants understand how and what they do on their ranches makes a difference in the market.

Ranchers in the Texas Panhandle and throughout the beef-producing regions of the U.S. play a role every day in establishing the market; their actions create turning points for the industry, said Andy Holloway, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agriculture and natural resources agent for Hemphill County.

Holloway said the cattle conference has grown in size and emphasis, bringing producers from across the nation to hear experts address industry hot topics.

“This beef conference has truly become more than a regional event,” Holloway said. “Last year we had participants from 11 states and 22 Texas counties. We really try hard to address important, critical issues and select the top speakers on these subject matters from throughout the nation,”

The main conference will be in the Jones Pavilion, 1101 N. Sixth St. in Canadian. For both the beef conference and tour, there will be 15 nationally recognized speakers, three beef meals, a trade show with 50-plus agribusinesses represented, two ranch tours, a tour of the Hemphill County Pioneer Museum and entertainment from the Sons of the Pioneers.

Registration is open at www.hemphillcotxbeef.com. Participants can also call the AgriLife Extension office in Hemphill County at 806-323-9114 or contact Christa Perry at [email protected] to register or receive additional information. The cost is $100. A spouse ticket is $85.

The theme this year is “How to produce more calves out of your cowherd,” Holloway said.

The topics on the first day will address more of the state of the industry and what can be done to make the cowherd more efficient to sustain profitability for the next generation on the ranch, he said.

The second day is aimed more at production practices on the ranch, including how to best match the cattle to the environment and actions that can improve the overall herd health and productivity year after year, Holloway said.

“We wanted to concentrate on where we are, how we got here and what we need to do to get to where we want to be in the beef industry,” he said.

This discussion will open with Troy Applehans, CattleFax market analyst, Denver, Colorado, providing an examination of where the industry stands regarding markets and cowherd size, Holloway said. Applehans will address both the actual size and weight of the cows as well as the numbers of cows nationally.

Applehans is a cow/calf and stocker market analyst specialist responsible for the feeder cattle and cow/calf regions of the Southern Plains region as well as Southeastern states of the U.S. He also covers feedyards in the Midwest, Colorado and western Nebraska regions.

“The way CattleFax assists beef producers is knowing the vital facts, figures and potential turning points in the industry relative to the supply and demand of our U.S. beef both nationally and internationally,” Holloway said.

Second on the speakers list will be George Perry, a South Dakota State University beef reproduction specialist. His research focuses on factors that impact pregnancy success in beef cattle. His presentation is titled “Factors that impact fertility: this generation and the next.”

“Dr. Perry will display important research on beef cow reproduction and the factors involved in day-to-day production that may be keeping the cowherd from being as reproductively efficient as it could be due to present day management and protocols of health that are deeply affecting production,” Holloway said. “He has a very expansive research trial on thousands of cows and heifers spanning a number of years.”

Clay Mathis, King Ranch Institute of Ranch Management executive director in Kingsville, will discuss the factors regarding making the cowherd more efficient and profitable for the rancher.

“Dr. Mathis will examine what our cows will need to be like in the year 2037 to be a viable part of the protein business for the future needs of the consumer,” Holloway said. “This presentation will be compelling and most inspiring to prepare for the demands that ranchers will face in both the near- and long-term future of the beef industry.

“I truly believe this conference this year may be the most important and impactful beef cattle event I have put together thus far,” Holloway said.

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