The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers is offering a comprehensive package of information to attendees next month. The popular Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has provided timely, accurate and important information to the state’s beef cattle industry for more than 40 years. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Patrick Wall said this year’s conference, set for Jan. 28, 2017, at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, will continue that successful tradition.

“Producers have come to expect relevant information from The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference on current topics that impact their profitability,” Wall said. “The 2017 program targets a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals. Seedstock and cow-calf producers, as well as researchers and veterinarians from across the Midwest, will lead sessions that offer attendees valuable information to put into practice on their farms.”

Wall said the 2017 event will again offer free admission and be preceded by the KIIC Farm Show on Friday afternoon prior to the conference, and attendees will hear from three keynote speakers.

“Our keynote speakers are Kim Vonnahme of North Dakota State University, Anne Burkholder of Will Feed Inc. in Nebraska and Cody Peck from Padlock Ranch in Wyoming,” he said. “Vonnahme will talk about recent NDSU research in fetal programming and how nutrition during gestation affects more than just the dam. Burkholder will describe her career transition from Ivy League psychology major to feedlot manager and explain how she improved cow-calf suppliers by giving them valuable carcass information. Peck will offer opportunities to capture margin in the cow-calf sector.”

As an added bonus, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will address current policy topics impacting Iowa livestock producers.

Several presenters and producers round out the informational sessions.

  • One highlight is a panel discussion from three young beef producers navigating the current market through diversification and unique marketing, followed by a Q&A session.
  • Ben Eggers of Sydenstricker Genetics will talk about producing seedstock in fescue country.
  • Mary Drewnowski from University of Nebraska—Lincoln will review research on cover crop grazing and compaction from cows.
  • Amanda Kreuder, with ISU College of Veterinary Medicine will explain how to keep Johne’s Disease and other infectious diseases out of the herd, and will lead a separate discussion on producing grass-fed beef.
  • Rocky Forseth with Allied Genetic Resources will explain how that company helps commercial producers source bulls and market their value-added feeder cattle.

Doors open for the 2017 conference and trade show at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa promptly at 8 a.m. The official welcome is at 8:45 a.m., followed by three general session speakers then lunch and exhibit viewing. The afternoon begins with Cody Peck’s talk in the auditorium, followed by two repeating break-out sessions with five choices. The free admission includes a copy of the show guide and conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. See and download the conference brochure.