This year’s Mid-Atlantic Grass-Finished Livestock Conference, titled “Merging the Art and Science of Grass Finishing,” will take place Oct. 23 and 24 in Staunton, Va.

Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Clemson Extension, and West Virginia University Extension Service have partnered to organize the 2009 conference.

“This high-caliber conference will provide producers and agricultural professionals with science-based information about producing and marketing a consistently high-quality, grass-finished product,” says Chris Teutsch, Extension forage specialist at Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackstone, Va. “It will cover forage systems for grass finishing, alternative marketing outlets, small-scale processing facilities, healthy grazing systems, supplementation in pasture finishing, factors affecting meat quality, and genetics for grass finishing. It will also feature a meat cutting and cooking demonstration and a grass-finished success story from Yanceyville, N.C.

Nationally and internationally recognized experts will deliver science-based information to producers and share the art of applying that science in the field. Presentation subjects include cattle nutrition in grass-fed programs, marketing strategies, grazing systems, genetics and factors affecting meat quality in grass-finished systems.

The early registration fee is $200 per participant and must be postmarked by Sept. 15, 2009. After that date, the registration fee increases to $300 per participant. Students qualify for a reduced registration rate. Early registration is advised, as space is limited. A special conference rate for hotel rooms is available on a limited basis. For more information and contacts for registration, click here.