The upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference will spotlight several big picture issues facing the beef industry, according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab. The conference will be Jan. 26-27, at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque.

“I have worked on the planning committee with colleagues from Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota to be able to invite really great speakers to address major issues facing our industry,” Schwab said.

The Thursday afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. with a welcome and sponsor recognition. Sessions focusing on risk management topics begin at 1:15 with these speakers:

  • Alfredo DiCostanzo from University of Minnesota will discuss that university’s research on focused interactions of yield and conversion efficiency to optimize gross return to corn acres.
  • Mary Drewnoski from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln will present her research related to cattle grazing corn stover.
  • Cliff Shipley from the University of Illinois veterinary school will address production risk mitigation in light of the changes in antibiotic regulations.
  • Carl Babler and Karen Voights from Atten Babler in Galena, Ill., will share marketing risk management tools for cattle producers.

The evening bull pen session with veterinarian and producer panelists will focus on raising cows in intensive housing systems.

Friday morning kicks off with a presentation by the Farm Babe, Michelle Miller, followed by six breakout sessions. Breakout topics focus on limit feeding hay to cow herds, designing grazing systems, feeding cattle to heavier weights, supplementing cows on new spring grass, the BQA feedlot self-audit and herd health to maximize reproduction.

Following a market outlook provided by Lee Schulz, ISU agricultural economist, the conference concludes 11:45 a.m. Friday.

The early registration fee of $85 per person must be received prior to midnight, Jan.13. The price increases to $115 after that date. More information on topics, speakers and lodging is available at www.aep.iastate.edu/beef. Registration with links for online and mail forms are available on the conference website.

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