A three-day late summer bus tour across Iowa featuring some of Iowa’s successful grazing and confinement cow operations is planned by Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University. The tour is a component of the center’s Cow Systems Project, created to evaluate management practices among operations ranging from extensive grazing systems to year-round confinement. The primary goal of the 24-operation project is to aid in increasing producer profitability through identifying challenges for each system and determining how best to use production and financial records to develop best management practices.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Joe Sellers is coordinating the event, which will run from Aug. 29-31, and said the tour will begin and end in Ames each day. It includes stops in south central and southwest Iowa on Aug. 29, eastern Iowa on Aug. 30, and north central Iowa on Aug. 31. See the entire tour agenda here.

“Interest in alternative cow-calf production systems has been increasing over the past few years as producers look to expand the cow herd with limited forage resources,” Sellers said. “This tour will give producers an opportunity to see multiple management systems each day and learn from other producers’ success and challenges.”

Need more enticement? The tour itself is free, whether you attend one, two or all three days, and you do not need to ride the bus. However, to assist planners in making appropriate preparations, Sellers said all participants are required to RSVP no later than Friday, Aug. 18. Those who wish to attend should contact IBC by email or phone 515-294-BEEF (2333) and provide their name, address, phone number and whether they plan to ride the bus on any or all days.

Attendees are responsible for evening meals and their own lodging.  A block of rooms has been reserved under “Iowa Beef Center” in Ames at both the Quality Inn & Suites Starlite Village Conference Center, 2601 E 13th St, phone 515-232-9260) and Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 2600 E 13th St, phone 515-232-2300.

For more information about IBC, visit www.iowabeefcenter.org.