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Cattlemen's Survival Course set to resume in Animas

The fourth annual Southwestern New Mexico Cattleman's Survival Course is set for Feb. 26, at the Animas Community Center in Animas.

The course, designed to fill farmers and ranchers in on what's new and developing in livestock and range sciences, this year will feature five speakers and run from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per person, payable in advance by check or in person on the day of the course.

"Each year this event brings livestock producers from around Southwestern New Mexico and Southeastern Arizona to Hidalgo County. This year my advisory committee and I have put some pretty good topics together that we feel will make and impact in these tough times. It is also a time for producers to come together socially and learn from each other," said Christy Rubio, agriculture agent for Hidalgo County.

The Hidalgo Soil and Water Conservation District and Hidalgo County Cattlegrowers Association are sponsoring the event, which is a joint venture of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Clay Mathis, NMSU's Extension livestock specialist who focuses primarily on beef cattle and sheep production, will kick off the day with a presentation on the "Ins and Outs of Yield and Quality Grades and Grid Marketing." Mathis earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's in physiology of reproduction from Texas A&M University. He also earned his Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition from Kansas State University. Mathis has been with NMSU since 1998. He also consults cattlemen throughout the Southwest in tailoring cost-effective nutrition and management programs.

Jerry Hawkes will host a session on ranch insurance. Hawkes is the range livestock economist for the Range Improvement Task Force and a member of the Extension animal sciences and natural resource department. His primary focus is related to economics of the New Mexico range livestock industry via cost and return estimates, tax implications of the firm, marketing assessments and financial management of the business. Hawkes earned his bachelor's in economics and agricultural economics, and his Ph.D. in range science.

John Wenzel, NMSU Cooperative Extension's veterinarian, will deliver a pair of presentations?one an update on general animal diseases, the other specifically focusing on bovine viral diarrhea persistent infection (BVD PI). Wenzel has a private practice in Silver City and has many clients in Grant, Hidalgo, Catron and Luna counties.

Hidalgo County Extension Agent Christy Rubio will close out the day with a seminar on communicating with consumers. Rubio has been with the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service since 2007. Before that she was a research assistant at the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center, a university-owned research ranch. She earned her bachelor's in animal science and her master's in range science from NMSU.

In addition, Hidalgo County producer pooling groups will update the audience on the program, and there will be a panel discussion on how health care reform may affect ranchers.

To register, call Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service at (575) 542-9291 or mail payment ($10 per person) along with the names of each person attending, address and phone number to Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service, 524 East DeMoss, Suite 4, Lordsburg, N.M. 88045.

If you are an individual with a disability and need an auxiliary aid or service, call Hidalgo Extension to let them know by Feb. 20.

For questions e-mail chrblack@nmsu.edu.