The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

December 18, 2013

Cattle producers stampeding to Ottumwa

OTTUMWA — Iowans who are involved with the cattle business, or those who are interested in learning about the industry, flock once every year to the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.

The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference, which will be held in Ottumwa for the 43rd successive year on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, brings together beef experts, producers and vendors for an entire day of cow talk about current topics and issues in the cattle industry.

The 2014 version of the conference features many speakers who will focus on all aspects of the business. They are a mix of producers: from those who will talk about their successful practices to veterinarians who will talk about cattle health and eating habits.

“Usually we have several producer speakers, and I think a lot of people like to hear what they are doing on their farms,” said Joe Sellers, beef specialist for the Iowa State University Extension. “This year, we have some regional speakers that are notable in the area.”

Some of the notable speakers include Dave Robison, internationally recognized speaker and writer from Legacy Seeds Inc. in Winona, Ind.; Ryan Drollette, farm management field specialist with ISU Extension; and Jim Werner, operator of Werner Family Angus in Diagonal.

“Generally we always try to have that kind of a mix,” Sellers said. “That could be anywhere from someone with certain cow genetics to semen providers, feed programs, animal health programs … all different types of programs for producers in our area.”

There are even some guests who use the conference as kind of a trade show, according to Sellers. Vendors will have a spot where they can talk with producers about their farm products, and usually there is the regular exchange of information and interest, but occasionally there will even be a sale made at the conference.

The day starts off with registration at 8 a.m. There is no preregistration required, but there is an admission charge of $15 per guest, which will cover the conference agenda and lunch. After the registration, there will be several speakers before the lunch break and then different breakout sessions during the afternoon.

Anyone who is interested in cattle production is more than welcome to attend. Sellers said that while some of the sessions focus on beef production, there will be something there for all cattle producers.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh

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