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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Ranch-to-Rail field day offers cattle producers latest research, programs

CLAYTON - New Mexico and Texas cow-calf producers participating in the fifth annual New Mexico Ranch-to-Rail program will come together for the program's annual field day Feb. 23 at the Clayton Air Park.


"The program allows producers to learn how their genetics and management practices back at the ranch impact performance and health of their calves in a commercial feeding environment," said Manny Encinias, coordinator of the New Mexico Ranch-to-Rail program and a livestock specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.

"It's an eye-opening experience for producers whether they are on or off the industry's target," Encinias said, "and also a real-time opportunity to use the information gathered in the program to bring greater profitability to a cow-calf operation for the future."

NMSU and Texas A&M University are co-sponsoring the free, daylong workshop, which was developed to help producers track their cattle through the feedlot to the packing plant, he said. The field day is for producers who currently have cattle in the program and for ranchers who simply want to learn more about Ranch-to-Rail. "The field day is a good opportunity to visit the feeding facility and with participating producers," said Encinias.

Encinias will begin the field day by providing an overview of cattle performance in this year's program. Nathan Elam, superintendent of the NMSU Clayton Livestock Research Center, will provide an update of ongoing research to determine how newly received calves respond to short- and long-term exposure of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) in calves persistently infected with the virus.

Ted McCollum, a beef cattle extension specialist with Texas A&M University, will inform field day participants regarding the processes, programs and incentives to verifying age and source of calves at marketing. Ron Parker, with the New Mexico Livestock Board, will conclude the presentations at the air park by providing an update on premise registration and animal identification for the national animal identification system.

Following Parker's presentation, participants will travel to view Ranch-to-Rail cattle at Double A Feeders, which is four miles east and one mile north of Clayton on U.S. 56. Double A Feeders has hosted Ranch-to-Rail for the past four years.

Field day registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at the air park, located at 1 Chestnut Street. Please contact Encinias at (505) 374-2566 or mencinia@nmsu.edu before the event for registration 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.