Cow/Calf College

The annual Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College “Partners in Progress – Beef Seminar” will be held at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and Great Plains Veterinary Education Center near Clay Center on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:00 a.m. and going till 9:45 a.m.  The program will run from 9:50 a.m. until approximately 3:45 p.m. This program is sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension’s Farmers and Ranchers College and will feature several outstanding speakers discussing issues and management strategies that can affect the profitability of all beef producers.

This year’s theme will center on recovering from the 2012 drought and preparing for the potential of a 2013 drought. There is no cost for the event and the public is invited. It does include a noon meal which means that early registration is necessary to reserve a plate. The seminar is packed with experts in climate, forages, animal nutrition and reproduction and will provide information that should help in planning for the upcoming year.


The “Cow/Calf College” will kick off at 9:50 a.m. with a welcome by Dr. John Pollak, Director of USMARC. He will also give a short overview on research that is happening at the Meat Animal Research Center. He will be followed by the first speaker, Allan Vyhnalek, UNL Extension Educator who will present: “Hay, Stalks, & Pastures: Costs & Considerations for 2013” which will give information on values, rental rates and considerations for coming out of a drought and possibly going into another. He will be followed by Dr. Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist, who will give producers information on “Forage Planning for the Possible 2013 Drought”. This could be critical as beef producers face a shortage of pasture and now hay and other forages in 2012 and preparing for 2013.

The afternoon session will be kicked off by Dr. Rick Funston, UNL Beef Reproductive Physiology Specialist. In light of current feed costs many producers are looking at options and strategies for replacement heifer development in the months ahead. It may be advantageous to benefit from what he has learned in research on “Cost Effective Replacement Heifer Development”. He will be followed by Dr. Al Dutcher, UNL State Climatologist, who will give his take on the “Potential for 2013 Drought: Weather Update”. There is no doubt that most producers and especially beef producers are worried about what may be ahead for climate that will affect grass and forage production. We hope that he has good news for us, but must brace for the potential of bad news considering weather conditions ahead.Lunch will be provided and will be handled with a rotation system during two noon sessions featuring Aaron Stalker, UNL Beef Range Systems Specialist, who will provide two concurrent presentations on: “Corn Stalk Grazing: Values to Cattle Producers and Corn Farmers”. Also in the rotation will be a chance to see and hear about the new “New UNL Beef Body Condition Scoring App” developed by Dr. Rick Rasby and ready for distribution.

All presenters will then join on stage to pull everything together, give their final thoughts and considerations and then avail themselves for a coffee-shop style panel discussion during which cattlemen can ask questions and get answers on topic questions that came to them during the day’s sessions. A chance for door prizes will be awarded to those that stay for the entire event.

Any beef producer or other interested individual should pre-register by noon on Friday, January 18th, 2013, at the Webster County Extension Office at (402) 746-3417 to insure a seat, lunch, and proceedings for the day. You may also email your registration to Dewey Lienemann at:

Source: Dewey Lienemann, Extension Educator

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