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Animal Identification Highlights Southwest Beef Symposium Dec. 14-15

LAS CRUCES - A leading authority on America's new national animal identification plan will lead a panel of beef experts at the Southwest Beef Symposium Dec. 14-15 at the Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, Texas.

Gary Wilson, co-chairman of the U.S. Animal Identification Plan Cattle Working Group, will speak Dec. 14 at the Southwest Beef Symposium in Odessa, Texas. Coordinated by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service and Texas A&M University Extension, the program will also feature talks on range management and nutrition, early weaning, and feed cost reduction. (10/12/2004) (Courtesy Photo from Ohio State University

Coordinated by New Mexico State University and Texas A&M University, the two-day program brings together some of the top names in the beef world.

Gary Wilson, co-chairman of the U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP) Cattle Working Group, will focus on the ramifications of traceback guidelines aimed at improving capabilities for animal disease surveillance and monitoring.

"Whether a producer has one cow or thousands, each has a responsibility in national animal identification," said Wilson, an Angus cattle producer from New Concord, Ohio. "Every operation - no matter what the size - has cattle with the potential to shut down markets."

The USAIP's goal is to achieve a traceback for foreign animal disease within 48 hours, he said. The plan has been developed over two years by a group of more than 100 industry professionals, representing 70 associations and organizations.

"The system combines individual animal identification numbers and premises numbers, allowing records to show where the animal moves throughout its life," said Clay Mathis, a livestock specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.

Registration for the symposium begins at 9 a.m. and the program starts at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $25.

This year's meeting will feature talks on a broad range of issues facing the beef industry, including an update on the value of animal identification information by Tom Woodward, manager of the Broseco Ranch in Omaha, Texas, and former director of the Northeast Texas Beef Improvement Association.

In addition, Wilson and Woodward will be joined by Manny Encinias, a livestock specialist at NMSU's Clayton Livestock Research Center, and Bob Hillman, executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission, in an afternoon animal identification panel discussion.

Other attractions include a review of grazing systems by Chris Allison, an NMSU Extension range management specialist with NMSU's Range Improvement Task Force. Ted McCollum, an Extension beef cattle specialist at the Texas A&M University Science Center in Amarillo, will discuss nutritional management of grazing cattle in the Southwest.

NMSU's Mathis will review how early weaning fits into a beef management program, while Bill Thompson, an Extension agricultural economist at the Texas A&M Center in Fort Stockton will update producers on feeding costs for range cattle.

During the afternoon, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist Derrell Peel will discuss the beef market outlook. Stirling Spencer, owner of the Bar W Ranch near Carrizozo, N.M., and Paul Coleman, vice president of Cactus Feeders, a large cattle feeding operation in Amarillo, will then take part in a calf marketing panel discussion for commercial feedlots.

The following day, Bruce Carpenter, an Extension livestock specialist at the Texas A&M Center in Fort Stockton, will demonstrate a new and efficient chute-side fertility procedure. The test, which detects a protein in bull semen called fertility associated antigen or FAA, now can be conducted chute-side with results being ready within 20 minutes instead of three days.

Other morning attractions include demonstrations on animal identification technology and equipment from national suppliers and manufacturers.

Current plans call for the Southwest Beef Symposium to rotate next year to the Tucumcari Convention Center near the Quay County Fairgrounds.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, please contact Mathis at (505) 646-8022 or cpmathis@nmsu.edu before the event. Additional registration information is available at