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Driftless Region Beef Conference Jan. 25-26

By William Halfman

With nearly 2.5 million cattle in three Midwest states, university extension services in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin are teaming together to offer the Driftless Region Beef Conference.  The twelfth annual event will be held Jan. 25-26, 2024 at the Grand River Convention Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

The driftless region in these states contain rolling hills, streams and karst soil topography. Since soil and water conservation is best accomplished when much of this land is seeded for forage and livestock consumes those forages, the conference will focus on efficient and economic forage and beef production.

The conference will begin at 1 p.m. Jan. 25 with a program concentrating on the future of the beef industry. The keynote speaker will be Dr Kim Stackhouse-Lawson from Colorado State University. Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson is well known for her work in sustainability of beef with NCBA and JBS USA, and is now the director of AgNext, a center for research in animal and ecosystem health, and profitability throughout the supply chain. Her presentation will discuss the environmental impact of cattle and the future concerns we need to consider. Thursday afternoon also includes presentations on climate trends, risk management, biosecurity lessons, AgriAbility and the beef checkoff. An evening discussion on custom forage harvesting will feature a producer panel. Friday morning will feature Jerry Huth from Huth Polled Herefords, who was the 2022 NCBA regional Environmental Stewardship Award winner, and eight breakout sessions for feedlot operations and cow-calf producers followed by a market outlook.

Key speakers include Melanie Pimentel-Concepcion, Dennis Hancock, Dan Thomson, Randie Culbertson, Stephanie Hansen, and Lee Schulz.

The early registration fee is $100 per person and must be received prior to midnight, Jan. 13. The price increases to $130 after that date. More information on topics, speakers and lodging is available at Online and mail registration forms are available on the conference website.

The Driftless Region Beef Conference is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, University of Illinois Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension. For more information or to receive a brochure, contact Denise Schwab, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, at 319-472-4739.

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