Animal welfare, cattle handling, livestock facilities and their impact on beef cattle production will be the focus of the 2015 Little Red River Beef Cattle Conference on March 18 at the Stone County Fairgrounds in Mountain View.

“There is no question about it. Cattle producers must pay more attention to how they handle their cattle. Research has demonstrated working cattle calmly and quietly improves cattle performance and efficiency,” said Tom Troxel, associate head-Animal Science for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Research has also demonstrated disposition is hereditable, therefore culling excitable cows will improve the overall disposition of the herd.”
 
“The 2015 Little Red River Beef Cattle Conference will offer ideas to best address many of these questions and concerns,” he said.
 
Among the questions the conference will help answer:

  • How can animal welfare issues affect cattle producers’ bottom line?
  • How have other cattle producers changed their operations to improve animal handling?
  • What options are available to assist cattle producers in improving cattle handling? 

“Cattle prices are at historic highs, so now is the time to invest in cattle handling facilities,” Troxel said. “This conference will give every producer some excellent ideas on how they can improve cattle handling facilities and improve the way they handle cattle, keeping both cattle and handlers safe.”

The Little Red River Beef Cattle Conference is a joint educational effort by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Ag Heritage Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit of Western Arkansas. 

Speakers at this year’s conference include:

  • Yvonne Thaxton, director of the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing at the University of Arkansas - “How Does Animal Welfare Affect the Cattle Producer’s Bottom Line.”
  • Matt Flynt, owner-operator of the FYN/N “T” Cattle Company of Lonoke, Ark. -  “How Animal Welfare Has Changed My Operation”
  • Representatives from Pearson Livestock Equipment, Priefert manufacturing, Powder River and W-W Livestock Systems at an equipment industry panel

A registration fee of $20 will be collected at the door. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. For more information about the event, contact Phalon Montgomery at 501-671-2177.