The 40th anniversary celebration of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), set for June 6-9 in the Hilton Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO, will focus on the future of genetic evaluation and improvement with a variety of presenters from around the country. Register and check out the program details at www.beefimprovement.org under the "conventions" tab at the top of the opening page. Or contact Willie Altenburg at 970-568-7792 or willie@rmi.net, or Mark Enns at 970-491-2722 or Mark.Enns@Colostate.edu.

BIF was founded 40 years ago as a means to standardize programs and methodology -- and to create greater awareness, acceptance and usage -- of beef cattle performance concepts. This year's meeting features opportunities for producer input on guiding the future of genetic evaluation and genetic improvement of the U.S. beef herd, as well as becoming informed about the field's latest research findings and progress.

The meeting kicks off the evening of June 6 with a National Association of Animal Breeders symposium examining "40 Years of Beef A.I." The Thursday session begins at 8 a.m. with a look back at BIF history, before moving into the day's focus of "Performance programs at a crossroads." Among the day's topics are: "Who benefits and who pays from genetic improvement," "Are beef genetics research, education and Extension relevant?" "Does the seedstock industry focus on the needs of the commercial cow-calf producer?" and "Defining the ideal beef animal -- how will we get there?"

Friday's morning program tackles the theme: "Challenges to conventional wisdom." Topics to be explored include: "Can we build the ideal animal?" "Why haven't we seen an improvement in quality grade?" and "Are there benefits to using DNA markers?" Lunch and committee meetings will make up the afternoon program.

Saturday is devoted to producer tours. The "Beef Industry Players Tour" will visit Kuner Feedot of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, a Safeway Foods distribution center, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Cattle-Fax offices, and Aristocrat Angus Ranch. Meanwhile, the "Seedstock Alliance Tour" will visit Walter Farms, Five-Star Cattle Systems and the Kuner Feedlot.

To learn more about the conference agenda, visit: www.beefimprovement.org/2007_BIF_Program.pdf.