The public is invited to a feeder calf grading and evaluation clinic starting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 1 at Joplin Regional Stockyards (JRS) in Missouri on November 1. The evening includes a free meal from Cowboy Catering sponsored by Superior Steel of Carthage.

The calf grading begins at 7 p.m. The calves being graded are part of the Missouri Steer Feedout and come from 14 different farms in southern Missouri.

"Immediately after the grading, the calves will load up and head to Atlantic, Iowa to a feed yard. They'll be there 5 to 6 months on a finishing diet and be harvested and carcass merit determined," said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

Missouri Department of Agriculture market news Rick Huffman will explain the USDA feeder calf grading process. Earlier in the day Huffman will grade each of the 104 calves and place a price on them. The price reflects how they would have sold the previous day during the JRS regular Monday sale.

"That price is used to establish their beginning value and is factored in when feedlot profitability is calculated," said Cole.

In addition to Huffman's grading, two or three market reps and order buyers will offer their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each group of steers.

"This review brings out their different opinions regarding weight, breed, uniformity, body condition and fill," said Cole. "At the conclusion of the program, those attending should have a better perspective of what type of feeder calf receives the top price in today's market."

The Southwest Missouri Cattleman's Association cooperates with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and University of Missouri Extension in presenting this clinic. Telephone the Lawrence County MU Extension Center in Mt. Vernon at 417-466-3102 before Oct. 28 to reserve a meal and space.