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Southwest Beef Symposium to address current issues facing the industry

AMARILLO, TEXAS - The Southwest Beef Symposium, jointly hosted by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 18-19, in the Grand Plaza Room of the Amarillo Civic Center, 401 S. Buchanan St., Amarillo.

The Southwest Beef Symposium, a forum for beef producers that offers timely information about current industry issues and practical management, will take Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 18-19, in the Grand Plaza Room of the Amarillo Civic Center, 401 S. Buchanan St., Amarillo. (NMSU Photo by Jesse Ramirez)

The educational forum, tailored for beef producers, was established seven years ago to provide timely information annually about current industry issues and practical management. The event alternates between locations in New Mexico and Texas. NMSU hosted the event last year in Tucumcari.

"The symposium is an annual opportunity for beef producers to get a bona fide perspective of current issues facing the industry from nationally recognized speakers," said Manny Encinias, NMSU Extension beef specialist.

Guest speaker Dennis Avery, director of the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., will open the symposium on the topic of feeding the world.

"Dennis Avery is sure to provide a thought-provoking platform that producers will find beneficial," Encinias said.

Avery served as agricultural analyst for the U.S. Department of State from 1980 to 1988, where he was responsible for assessing the foreign-policy implications of food and farm developments worldwide.

At the Hudson Institute, Avery continues to monitor developments in world food production, farm production demand, the safety and security of food supplies and the sustainability of world agriculture. As a staff member of the President's National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber, he wrote the commission's landmark report, "Food and Fiber for the Future."

The Jan. 18 program will begin at 1 p.m. with the Current Issues: Stand Up and Be Counted session, followed by an evening steak dinner. The Jan. 19 program will run from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and include a lunch sponsored by Hi-Pro Feeds.

In addition to Avery's talk, the current issues section features discussions on "The Carbon Cycle and Beef Production" by Dr. Brent Auvermann, Texas AgriLife Extension; "Management Technologies and the Carbon Footprint of Beef Production" by Dr. Jim MacDonald, Texas AgriLife Extension; and "Management Technologies and Food Safety" by Dan Upson, Kansas State University.

"The second day of the symposium has always been focused on addressing timely management issues," Encinias said.

The morning production session, Setting the Stage for the Next Five Years, will include talks on "Production Costs and Parameters for Cow-Calf Production in North Texas and New Mexico" by Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension; "You and Your Heifers" by Rob Hogan, Texas AgriLife Extension; "Managing Fertility in Cows and Bulls" by Encinias and Bruce Carpenter, Texas AgriLife Extension; and "Cow Fertility in Arid Environments" by Milton Thomas, NMSU professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences' Animal and Range Sciences Department.

The program concludes with the afternoon Stocker/Feeder Cattle production session addressing "Weight Considerations" by Ted McCollum, Texas AgriLife Extension; "Vaccine Technology: What is on the Horizon?" by Glenn Rogers, Pfizer Animal Health; and "Managing the Weight Gain in Stockers" by McCollum.

There is a $50 registration fee for the symposium. Checks should be made payable to SWBS Acct. #229100. For more information and to register for the program online, visit the Southwest Beef Symposium website at swbs.nmsu.edu. Registration forms can also be mailed to: Bruce Carpenter, Texas AgriLife Extension Center, Box 1298, Ft. Stockton, Texas, 79735.