2016 Cattle Feeder Days

Over a hundred cattle feeders took an evening away from other obligations at the farm and home to attend the December 2016 University of Minnesota Extension Cattle Feeder Days program, a flagship program of the University of Minnesota Beef Team with a long history of delivering a quality program of research-based topics tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities associated with feeding cattle in Minnesota.

The program featured four invited speakers that focused on managing feedlot cattle to optimize performance, profit and cattle welfare with a focus on addressing the challenges of Minnesota weather extremes. Mr. Ed Greiman, a cattle feeder from Iowa and chair of the NCBA Cattle Marketing Committee, discussed price discovery in the fed cattle market and addressed the challenges of the recent volatile market environment. Mrs. Ashley Kohls, Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator and Executive Director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, presented on the BQA feedlot self-assessments and the importance of documenting the steps that cattle feeders take to ensure the production of a quality product with a focus on maximizing cattle welfare.

The two final presentations of the night were presented by Dr. Sheri Bundy and Dr. Sean Montgomery, both consulting feedlot nutritionists with Cornbelt Livestock Services who work with feedlots across the nation and internationally. Dr. Bundy presented results from a recent research analyses, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Alfredo DiCostanzo of the University of Minnesota, on the impact of feedlot environment on weather environment and its role in determining the economic sustainability of constructing confinement cattle feeding facilities. Dr. Montgomery wrapped things up with a detailed look into strategies to mitigate heat and cold stress in feedlot cattle which gave a detailed overview of the available research but also focused on tips he has employed with success in his role as a feedlot consultant.

Over 95% of producers indicated they were likely or would definitely implement the information covered at the meeting within their own operation. With a combined one-time feeding capacity of 22,000 head, in addition to the attendance of industry professionals who can further expand the reach of the program, the 2016 Cattle Feeder Day program was able to reach a significant portion of the Minnesota Cattle Feeding Industry with timely, relevant information that stakeholders can directly implement to improve and support the production of high quality beef. 

For more information on this program and others offered by the University of Minnesota Beef Team please visit www.extension.umn.edu/beef and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @UMNBeefTeam.