Without a doubt, the last week was a busy one for me. I stopped by SDSU's Beef 20/20 workshop in Brookings, SD. Beef 2020 consists of interactive demonstrations on live market cattle evaluation and beef carcass grading and pricing. Other topics discussed at the event included: feeding and management strategies to improve carcass quality, genetic prediction of carcass merit, and marketing the calf crop. Meat and food safety technology, along with factors that affect eating quality were also topics in the workshop. Beef carcass fabrication and product taste panel interactive demonstrations complete the intense three days of education.
With the help of staff, faculty and graduate students, participants break down these topics by selecting live steers to evaluate, price, harvest, fabricate and ready for the retail counter. This was truly an educational opportunity for everyone involved, and if you ever get the opportunity to participate in something like this, I greatly encourage it.
Next, I attended a Pfizer Winter Seminar, also on the SDSU campus. Guests were treated to a tri-tip dinner and a Jacks double header basketball game following the meeting. More importantly, AgReseource Company's Senior Commodity Analyst Greg Wager was the featured speaker. His presentation titled, "Trends in Domestic and World Agriculture--Implications for the U.S. Livestock Industry," covered a wide range of topics including: world food and energy consumption, commodity trends and an insightful outlook for cattle production. Pfizer's Dr. Jerry Stokka discussed practical management tips to enhance vaccinnation response in cattle. Stokka discussed the impact of stress on the immune system, vaccine selection for newly arrived feeder cattle, and low stress cattle handling tips to help maximize the vaccine response.
The past week has certainly been a time to slow down and listen to what others are saying about the future of our industry. Because the last year in agriculture has been extremely tough, now is an important time to open our eyes and ears to understand what the experts are saying. Of course, meetings have the benefit of bringing cattlemen together, as well, and that's the best opportunity to ask your neighbors how they are defeating the challenges in the current state of the industry.
The truth of the matter is, you don't need to travel to listen to the advice of others. In fact, I can't think of a better place to discuss the beef industry than right here. Let BEEF Daily be your sounding board, and we will listen. Let's get talking, everybody!