Iowa State University Extension specialists will host several conferences of interest to beef producers over the next few weeks.

Managing Through Stress: A livestock information event

 Iowa State University  Extension and Outreach and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation are teaming up to deliver current market and management information to Iowa livestock farmers in these challenging times. The “Managing Through Stress: A Livestock Information Event” will be held Monday, Feb.  4.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with a morning general session delivered to 14 sites throughout the state via the Web. Farmers will hear from leading experts on livestock and feed price outlook and strategy, weather outlook, financial strategies and managing the stress of farming in challenging times. After lunch, each site will have local presentations geared toward the challenges faced by a specific species of livestock – beef, swine or dairy. Afternoon sessions will be facilitated by ISU Extension and Outreach livestock specialists.

 2013 Cornbelt cow-calf conference offers options and opportunities

 A full day of information awaits the attendees of the 2013 Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference (CCCC) at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa on Jan. 19. From the welcome at 9:30 a.m. through the final breakout session ending about 4 p.m., people will find knowledge and value in every aspect of the day, and that’s the goal according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Byron Leu.

 “The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has been, and will continue to be, successful because it provides information and access to speakers that beef producers have come to expect,” Leu said. “The steering committee has put together a program with information people need to prepare for the coming year.”

For more information, contact Byron Leu, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist, 641-472-4166, , or Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Beef Center, 515-294-4496,

Driftless Region Beef Conference to focus on efficiency

 Feed efficiency is a major component in the profitability of any beef operation. Just 1 percent improvement in feed efficiency during the growing and finishing phase has the same economic impact as a 3 percent increase in the rate of gain. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab said the importance of good beef production efficiency is why it’s the focus of the first day of the Driftless Region Beef Conference on Jan. 31.

 “On an individual animal basis, feed efficiency has been difficult to measure at a production level, so cattlemen have not been able to utilize genetic selection to improve this trait,” she said. “We know some animals require more feed to maintain their body before directing energy to growth, but about the only way to identify those inefficient animals has been through individual feed trials which are complicated and impractical at the farm level.”

 Three of the conference speakers play major roles in the federally funded project on evaluating efficiency in the beef industry, and will share their research and expertise with attendees.

For more information, contact Denise Schwab, ISU Extension and Outreach beef program specialist, 319-472-4739,, or Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Beef Center, 515-294-4496,

Information on all three conferences is available on the Iowa Beef Center Website.