The popular Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has provided timely, accurate and important information to Iowa’s beef cattle industry for more than 40 years; now you can get that information for free according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Patrick Wall. He said people can attend the Jan. 31 event at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa at no charge thanks to a cooperative effort with KIIC Radio.

“We teamed up with the KIIC Farm Show to offer a two-day educational event that’s second to none,” Wall said. “The station will hold its Second Annual Regional Farm Show on Friday afternoon and the cow-calf event will take place during the day Saturday as it has in years past.”

This year’s program targets a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals. From selection for maternal efficiency to fescue management strategies to farm transition planning, professionals from universities and private industry and cow-calf producers from the Midwest will lead these sessions, Wall said. All will offer valuable information to help attendees wisely reinvest record profits in Iowa’s beef industry.

“Our three keynote speakers are Congressman Frank Lucas, Dr. Dan Shike of the University of Illinois and Dr. Ron Bolze from Chadron State College in Nebraska,” Wall said. “As key author of the most recent Farm Bill, Lucas will talk about areas of the bill that are specific to livestock producers, the future of CRP and young farmer programs.”

Shike will present recent research regarding cow efficiency, and Bolze will describe how to use EPDs and other genetic tools to select the right cattle for specific environments, Wall said.

Afternoon breakout sessions include a panel discussion with representatives from Iowa’s beef packing industry (Tyson Foods, Iowa Premium Beef, and Lime Springs Beef) as they describe what they desire to buy from Iowa’s cow-calf sector. ISU Extension cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn will teach producers how to interpret a forage analysis and apply it to their nutritional program. Two talks will feature producer experience managing fescue: David Hall from Ozark Hills Genetics will describe how he manages fescue tolerance and Darrell Franson will present his experience in Missouri with novel-endophyte tall fescue.

Also in the afternoon, retired Iowa State professor of economics William Edwards will unveil a new “Corn vs. Cows” Decisions Tool and lay out how to budget alternatives for land use in southern Iowa. Steven Bohr, founder of Farm Financial Strategies, will share strategies for future uncertainty and discuss how recent economic issues affect farm succession.

Doors open for this year’s conference at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa at 8 a.m. Jan. 31. The official welcome is at 9 a.m., followed by two general session speakers, lunch and exhibit viewing. The afternoon begins with Congressman Lucas’s session in the auditorium, followed by two repeating breakout sessions with five choices.

The free admission also includes a copy of the show guide and conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. See and download the conference brochure at