The Edmond Sun

July 22, 2013

Southern Plains Beef Symposium set for Aug. 10 in Ardmore

Donald Stotts
Special to The Sun

STILLWATER — Cattle producers seeking ways to better manage their operations in ever more challenging business conditions should register now to attend the Aug. 10 Southern Plains Beef Symposium in Ardmore.

 “Today’s beef industry climate is perhaps unprecedented with stratospheric cattle markets and volatile input costs; cattle producers are challenged as never before to remain profitable in a sustainable way,” said Leland McDaniel, Carter County Extension director and agricultural educator. “The symposium can provide valuable insights in that regard.”

Celebrating its 23rd year, the 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. symposium will take place in the Ardmore Convention Center, at 2401 N. Rockford Rd., just off Exit 33 from Interstate 35.

Cost is $25 per participant if preregistering and $30 at the door.

Includes all conference sessions, the trade show and the traditional prime rib lunch.

Registration forms are available on the 2013 Southern Plains Beef Symposium website at http://www.southernplainsbeefsymposium.org/ via the Internet.

Steve Meyer will lead a session about the U.S. cattle inventory and structural changes in the beef industry.

Meyer is the president of Paragon Economics Inc. of Adel, Iowa, which provides expert economics analysis of agricultural markets and business decisions.

James Henderson with the Bradley 3 Ranch in Memphis, Texas, will provide insights about drought recovery strategies, especially as they pertain to the use of native range.

Henderson is a 35-year veteran of the meat packing and processing industry.

Larry Redmon also will provide insights about drought recovery strategies, focusing mostly on the use of introduced pastures.

A state forage specialist with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Redmon is widely recognized for his work related to the identification and evaluation of management strategies that allow beef producers to reduce input costs and promote maximum cash flow in their operations.

Warren Welbert, owner and general manager of the Decatur County Feed Yard in Oberlin, Kan., will lead a session about cow-calf traits in demand by that segment of the industry.

Welbert also will take part in a panel discussion about the reality and perception of heifer development.

The symposium’s final session will be led by Tom Gardner of Tyson Foods, and will focus on the communication, collaboration and innovation required to promote beef product development. An Oklahoma State University animal science and agricultural education alumnus who also earned his master’s degree in meat science from OSU, Gardner serves as principal scientist for the Tyson Foods Discovery Center’s research and development team.

McDaniel said the basics always sound so simple: Manage your beef operation so that you will have something to sell; however, ensuring your operation is profitable means effectively handling a host of production and economic considerations.

Anyone seeking additional information about the Aug. 10 beef symposium should visit the website or contact the Carter County Extension Office at 580- 223-6570.