At the 2014 Missouri Livestock Symposium, Dec. 5-6 at William Matthew Middle School in Kirksville, experts from across the nation will speak on topics ranging from beef cattle to forage, sheep and goats to estate planning, and horses to stock dogs.

“We try to touch base with a lot of people,” says Gary Mathes, Missouri Livestock Symposium committee chairman. “I think that is what draws people to the symposium.”

Mathes says the event usually draws around 2,000 people from the U.S. and abroad.

The symposium kicks off Friday, Dec. 5, with the trade show and classic tractor contest. Following a free beef dinner, retired University of Missouri Extension specialist Bruce Lane will be honored as 2014 Missouri Livestock Person of the Year. The winner of the Agricultural Educators Lifetime Achievement Award will also be named.

Ron Plain, MU Extension agricultural economist, will present the keynote address, “When Will Land and Cattle Prices Peak?” Other speakers include forages expert Jim Gerrish, equine clinician Ken NcNabb and sheep expert Richard Ehrhardt.

On Saturday, the trade show will continue and speakers will present on a wide variety of livestock topics. A “governor’s-style” luncheon will be served from noon to 2 p.m.

The event is free, but attendees are asked to register at the door. Mathes says that allows symposium organizers to see who is attending and what topics they are interested in.

This year the Missouri Livestock Symposium is holding a food drive for the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri. Nonperishable items or monetary donations may be left at the registration table on Friday and Saturday.

The complete schedule and other details are available at www.missourilivestock.com. For more information, call the MU Extension Center in Adair County at 660-665-9866.