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 Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, will continue that successful tradition.

“The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference has been, and will continue to be, successful because it provides information on current topics relevant to cow-calf producers in Iowa,” Wall said. “This year’s event will offer free admission and will be preceded by the KIIC Farm Show on Friday afternoon prior to the conference.”

The 2015 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 and farm transition planning, professionals from universities and private industry as well as cow-calf producers in the Midwest will lead these sessions and offer attendees valuable information to put into practice on their farms.

“The first of our three keynote speakers is Congressman Frank Lucas, chair of the house agriculture committee and key author of the most recent farm bill. He’ll talk about key areas of the bill specific to livestock producers, the future of CRP, and young farmer programs,” Wall said. “Ron Bolze will describe how to use EPDs and other genetic tools to select cattle that fit your environment, and Dan Shike of the University of Illinois will present recent research regarding cow efficiency.”

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 producers 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. William Edwards, retired professor of economics at Iowa State, 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 Stategies, will share strategies for future uncertainty and discuss how recent economic issues affect farm succession.

Doors will open for this year’s conference at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa at 8 a.m. on 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 in the auditorium, followed by two repeating breakout sessions with five choices. Admission is free, and includes a copy of the show guide and conference proceedings. No preregistration is necessary. See and download the conference brochure at

IBC was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit