Livestock, Programming

Cow/Calf College – January 14th

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 January 14, 2019 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:30 a.m. The program will run from 9:55 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. This program is sponsored by Nebraska 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. 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 materials and a meal.

close up photo of white and brown cattle
Photo by James Wheeler on

The “Cow/Calf College” will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome by Dr. Mark Boggess of USMARC and Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, Director of the Great Plains Veterinary Education Center. Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Specialist will kick off the presentations with “To Graze or Not to Graze?  Factors that Affect Risk Nitrate Toxicity in Annual Forages”.  Mary is a cattle nutritionist with expertise in growing calf and cow nutrition, currently focusing on use of cover crops and crop residues as forage sources.

Rick Funston, Nebraska Extension Reproductive Physiologist will present “Increasing Production Efficiency”. Rick has been honored for his beef and heifer management work and has helped provide ranchers new market options and reduced feed costs. He has been a leader in the concept of fetal programming, a concept in the livestock industry based on the notion that the nutrient status of gestating cows has various long-term implications on their offspring.

Lunch is provided and will be handled with a rotation system featuring a session on: “Family Farm Stress” from Nebraska Extension Educator, Brandy VanDeWalle. As margins continue to tighten, there is an additional amount of stress on producers and their families. Strategies for handling stress and open communication among family members is important to address.  

The afternoon session will start with Amy Schmidt, Associate Professor with Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science with “Top 3 Environmental Considerations During Short-Term Cow-Calf Confinement”. Amy’s extension interests include manure management, nutrient management and water quality. Her areas of research and professional interest include nutrients fate and transport, pathogen fate and transport and water quality.Logo

Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz, Production Animal Consultation will lead you through “Animal Husbandry Strategies to Improve One’s Efficiency”.  Back by popular demand, Dr. Kip is sure to entertain you while being right on target to address some of critical information on cattle health, antibiotic use and also inform participants on effective animal husbandry and stockmanship techniques. Dr. Kip spends his days working with farmers and ranchers and teaches people to better understand our animals.

All presenters will then pull everything together, give their final thoughts and considerations and provide a coffee-shop style panel discussion during which cattlemen can ask questions and get answers on 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.

Preregistration is preferred by January 8th, to the Nebraska Extension Office in Fillmore County or call (402) 759-3712 to assure a seat and lunch. Walk-ins are accepted, but may not get a lunch. You may also complete your registration online on or  Remember, your contact information is required to be on the U.S. MARC property, so pre-registration is helpful and will save you time at the door!

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