More than 700 attended the Range Beef Cow Symposium last November in Cheyenne, drawn by the information geared toward producers.
The conference is a joint effort coordinated by the extension programs of South Dakota State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Wyoming.
The symposium – held every other year and rotated through the extension programs – offered more than two days of user information, something Steve Paisley says separates the symposium from other livestock conferences.
“We made it a point to gear it toward producers,” says Paisley, UW Extension beef specialist. “There are not a lot of academic presentations, not a lot of literature cited. We spend a lot of time selecting speakers who are going to communicate well with ranchers.”
Speakers are recognized leaders in the industry with no hidden agendas and have the producers’ best interests in mind, he says.
“There are a lot of livestock meetings out there, but this is one of the few remaining producer-based. They can come and learn something from this they aren’t going to learn anywhere else.”
He says he hopes producers took home some optimism.
“There’s still opportunity for profitability and improvement in production,” Paisley says.
Ditto, adds Mike Day, who presided over morning sessions the first day.
“The biggest (benefit) is new ideas,” says Day, head of the Department of Animal Science, which hosted the event. “Am I doing what I can to be the most efficient? The most profitable? They might go home and not change a thing, but they know what some of the options are and what the impacts are.”