Record high calf prices and projected cow-calf profitability have many producers considering expansion. Selecting, feeding and breeding the right replacement heifers could have a large impact on future profits.
With that in mind, the 2015 K-State Winter Ranch Management series of meetings will focus on best management practices for developing replacement heifers. The meetings will also feature the popular ‘town-hall’ style—a two-way verbal exchange—between Kansas’ cattle producers and extension specialists. The series is set to kick off in January.
The Winter Ranch Management series has a history of being a successful stretch of meetings, which are hosted throughout the state of Kansas, said Bob Weaber, beef breeding, genetics and cow-calf specialist for K-State Research and Extension. Weaber, along with other state, district and local extension staff, will take part in the series to help answer producers’ questions about replacement heifer development and a wide range of beef cattle issues surrounding animal health, nutrition, management, genetics and reproduction.
“Over the past few months we’ve received quite a few questions from producers regarding heifer development,” Weaber said. “The Winter Ranch Management series provides a great opportunity for us as state specialists to take our expertise out in the country for face-to-face meetings. We plan to provide educational content on a wide range of issues related to heifer development including a market outlook, heifer selection, nutrition, target development weights, breeding and estrus synchronization, and some background on the Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program.”
Weaber said producers should come to the meetings prepared with questions. Some of the hot topics he foresees discussing in addition to heifer development include drought management and recovery, winter feeding and cow management, preparation for calving season, and, as the bull buying season approaches, selection and genetics issues.
“January is always a great time for producers, when the weather is bad and after they get chores done, to sit back, think and plan for the year, including the calves that will be born in the spring and how they might manage those,” he said. “Certainly it is a good time of year to think about business strategy opportunities moving forward in terms of expansion.”

2015 Winter Ranch Management locations and contacts include:

La Crosse
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 6, evening
Location: La Crosse Livestock Market, 2340 U.S. 183, La Crosse, KS
Jared Petersilie, Walnut Creek Extension District, 785-222-2710
Stacy Campbell, Ellis County, 785-628-9430
Alicia Boor, Barton County, 620-793-1910

Mound City
Date: Thursday, Jan. 8, evening
Location: First Baptist Church, 8424 Paine Road, Mound City, KS
Abbie Powell, Marais des Cygnes Extension District, 913-795-2829
Megan Westerhold, Marais des Cygnes Extension District, 913-294-4306
Chris Petty, Southwind Extension District, 620-223-3720

Hill City
Date: Thursday, Jan. 15, late morning
Location: 4-H Building, Graham County Fairgrounds, Hill City, KS
Tressie Mitzner, Graham County Extension, 785-421-3411
Bronc Barrows, Golden Prairie Extension District, 785-743-6361
Julie Niehage, Golden Prairie Extension District, 785-671-3245
Julianne Shoup, Twin Creeks Extension District, 785-675-3268
Keith VanSkike, Twin Creeks Extension District, 785-877-5755
Rachael Boyle, Phillips-Rooks Extension District, 785-425-6851
Cody Miller, Phillips-Rooks Extension District, 785-543-6845

Date: Thursday, Jan. 15, evening
Location: North Central Kansas Technical College Student Union Conference Room, 3033 U.S. Hwy 24, Beloit, KS
Neil Cates, Post Rock District, 785-738-3597
Anthony Ruiz, Central Kansas Extension District, 785-392-2147
John Forshee, River Valley Extension District, 785-632-5335
Dusti Betts, Midway District, 785-483-3157

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 27, late morning
Location: Herington Community Building, 810 South Broadway, Herington, KS
Lori Bammerlin, Flint Hills Extension District, 620-767-5136
Laura Marks, Dickinson County, 785-263-2001
Rickey Roberts, Marion County, 620-382-2325

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 27, evening
Location: Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 17535 Say Road, Wamego, KS
Austin Sexten, Pottawatomie County, 785-457-3319
Kara Mayer, Wabaunsee County, 785-765-3821

Date: Thursday, Jan. 29, evening
Location: Grace Community Church, 310 E 8th Street, Overbrook, KS
Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District, 785-828-4438
Meeting times may vary by location but all will include either a lunch or dinner meal. Participants are asked to RSVP for a selected location by the close of business the Friday before the event.

Registration fees, which cover a meal, vary by location. Interested participants should reach out to their local host contact for registration and RSVP details.
More information about the K-State Winter Ranch Management series is available at