June 1, 2010 Cattle Trails Stocker Conference Set For July 24
The Cattle Trails Stocker Conference will be held July 24 at the MPEC Center, 1000 5th Street, in Wichita Falls. This conference is a joint effort between Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
The vision of the conference planners is to create an annual meeting that will provide wheat producers and/or stocker cattle operators the most up-to-date information on topics that influence wheat and stocker cattle profits, said Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension economist. In effect, the conference will assist those producers in driving their cattle to profit.
The conference will alternate between Texas and Oklahoma each year, Bevers said. The conference is named to represent the vast area of agricultural production between the Chisholm Trail and the Great Western cattle trails of the late 1800s, both of which started in south central Texas and moved up through central and western Oklahoma.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Mike Bumgarner, vice-president for the Center for Food and Animal Issues, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. The Center was created in May 2009 to engage farmers, ranchers, consumers and others who have connections to animals in a public dialog over the proper role of animals in society.
Bevers said the spark for the Center’s formation came as, over the past couple of years, the Ohio Farm Bureau’s staff and board of trustees followed pork, poultry and veal housing debates in states like Florida, Arizona and, most recently, California with Proposition 2.
Taking a pro-active approach, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment in November 2009 creating the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. The Ohio Farm Bureau played a large role in getting that constitutional amendment on the ballot, he said.
“If we (Texas animal agriculturalists) don’t take a pro-active approach in creating legislation on safe handling and caring of livestock, someone with other intentions may do it for us, as in the cases in California, Arizona and Florida,” Bevers said.
The Ohio bill requires the board to adopt rules governing the care and well-being of livestock in Ohio, including best management practices, and establishes the amount of civil penalties to be assessed against people who violate the rules, he said.
Additional speakers include faculty from both Oklahoma and Texas. Presentations will cover marketing and outlook, animal health, wheat pasture research and wheat production.
Industry sponsors will have their products on display during the event.
The conference will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and end at 4:30 p.m. Registration is $20 per person and includes educational materials, a copy of the Cattle Trails Stocker Conference Proceedings, a noon meal and refreshments. Additional information can be obtained at http://agrisk.tamu.edu .
Producers can register by contacting their local Texas AgriLife Extension county agent, their Oklahoma Cooperative Extension county educator or Karen Thompson at 940-552-9941, ext. 217 or kethompson@.ag.tamu.edu.