Wherever you are in the beef industry, the ethanol revolution is affecting your operation and the product you produce. Spurred by record crude oil prices and government mandates, increased production of fuel ethanol has changed the entire supply, demand and price picture for corn and other feedgrains. The ripple effect on the price of land is changing forage and pasture costs. And with this ethanol production comes an abundance of co-product feeds. How will you adjust your operation and production to these mega-changes affecting the beef industry?

Plan to attend the 2007 BEEF Quality Summit -- entitled "Beef Quality In The Ethanol Era" -- on Nov. 7-8 in Omaha, NE, at the Holiday Inn City Centre. By attending the two-day program, you will work with a who's who list of presenters representing the industry's top producers, marketers, researchers and academics to help uncover the answers to these questions:

  • Are we meeting the demand for quality beef today?
  • How is beef quality affected by feeding ethanol co-products?
  • How is the ethanol boom changing the beef industry?
  • What are the latest trends and recommendations for feeding co-products?
  • And, how can I survive or, better yet, thrive in this changed beef industry?
Leaders from across the beef industry will guide you through presentations and discussions that will give you answers and insights to profit from this ethanol revolution. Throughout the meeting, there will be opportunities to network with experts and other producers to discuss increasing cattle value. The program is sponsored by BEEF magazine, in cooperation with the Nebraska Cattlemen.

Wednesday morning -- The summit opens on Wednesday, Nov. 7, with a focus on beef quality and our consumers' beef-eating experience. The morning session features a keynote panel discussion on the topic "Are we filling the demand for quality beef today?" This panel features top U.S. meat executives and researchers, and, by itself, is worth the entire registration fee.
  • Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef (CAB) LLC, has been responsible for supply development and production of CAB products through the past 10 years of the program's explosive growth.
  • Angelo Fili, executive vice president of Greater Omaha Packing Co., brings his 30 years of experience on the meat side of the beef business, and an interesting perspective on the demand for quality beef.
  • Jeff Savell, Texas A&M University (TAMU) meats scientist, led the work on the Beef Checkoff-funded National Beef Market Basket Survey and National Beef Tenderness Survey.
  • Mike Connelly, regional vice president of Ruth's Chris Steak House, will share insights about their customer preferences and their concerns about supply of high-quality beef.
Wednesday afternoon -- After lunch in the trade show, Bo Reagan, National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president of research and knowledge, will moderate a panel discussion on "The ethanol effect on beef quality." This session will provide the latest findings and research on the beef carcass and consumer-experience effects of feeding ethanol co-products. Joining Reagan on the panel are:
  • Chris Calkins, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) beef industry professor, who has worked extensively on beef quality, palatability and flavor.
  • Galen Erickson, UNL Extension beef feedlot specialist, with a keen interest in use of ethanol co-products in feedlot diets.
  • Glen Dolezal, director of new technology applications with Cargill Meat Solutions, and responsible for research support for beef grading and tenderness issues.
  • Dan Faulkner, University of Illinois Extension beef specialist, who will share research on the impact of timing of starch and co-product feeding on carcass quality.
  • Alan Janzen, owner of Circle Five Beef, Inc. of Henderson, NE. Known as a "numbers" guy, Janzen is widely respected for his innovative approaches to many feedlot-management issues.
Wednesday evening -- We wrap up Wednesday with a reception in the trade show where you have a one-on-one opportunity to meet with representatives of various value-based marketing alliances in attendance. After a steak dinner sponsored by Elanco and the Nebraska Beef Council, you can meet this year's BEEF Trailblazer Award winner, Carl Crabtree of Grangeville, ID; along with the winner of this year's National Beef Stocker Award, Shawn Mercer of Richton, MS. You will be able to hear firsthand from these industry leaders in a relaxed evening session.

Thursday morning - begins with an early breakfast in the trade show, followed by a discussion of "The ethanol effect on the beef industry" moderated by John Lawrence, Iowa State University (ISU) livestock economist and director of the Iowa Beef Center. In this session, you will explore the infrastructure changes taking place in the beef industry as a result of the ethanol revolution. The panel also includes:
  • Chad Hart, ag economist in ISU's Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, who has worked extensively on the impact of bio-fuels development on ag and rural economies.
  • Jay Wolf, president of Nebraska Cattlemen, and owner of Wagonhammer Ranch in Albion, NE. He will share his perspective as a cattlemen and industry leader/spokesman on the impact of the ethanol boom, and current ethanol policy.
The Thursday morning session concludes with a look at "Current trends in feeding ethanol co-products." We will get an industry perspective from Kip Karges, nutritionist from POET Nutrition, Inc. Kip will be joined by Chris Reinhardt, Kansas State University Extension feedlot specialist. This session is your chance to bring your "How do I feed this stuff?" questions.

Thursday afternoon - Following lunch in the trade show, Barry Dunn, executive director of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management at TAMU-Kingsville, will help wrap up the conference with "The ethanol effect on your operation -- How will you survive and thrive?" Dunn will summarize what we've learned and challenge the way you think about your operation - and your future.

At $150/person, which includes the two-day conference, one breakfast, two lunches, an evening reception and a dinner, it's an educational event not to be missed by any cattleman concerned about his operation's future. Check out the agenda or register at: www.beefconference.com. Or call 1-800-722-5334, Ext. 14710. Also, call the 800 number for a special reduced rate for college students - $50 per day, or $75 for the entire conference. For specific conference questions, contact Bill Zimmerman, BEEF Quality Summit Program Coordinator at bzimmerman@beef-mag.com or call 612-875-9509.