The annual San Juan Basin Beef Symposium at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds will focus this year on resiliency, profitability and herd health.
The symposium will be held Feb. 6 at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. It will be presented by CSU Extension offices in Montezuma, Archuleta, La Plata and Dolores counties and the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension in San Juan.
Speakers include NMSU veterinarian John Wenzel, Montezuma County weed manager Bonnie Loving, CSU range management specialist Retta Bruegger, NMSU beef specialist Craig Giffard and Livestock Marketing Information Center senior agriculture economist Katelyn McCullock.
Some speakers, including Bruegger, will discuss herd and range management strategies for drought, Montezuma County Extension Director Kacey S. Riedel said in a press release.
Loving plans to discuss nitrite, cyanide and selenium poisoning, fescue toxicosis and how drought can increase these and other toxins in plants and lead to severe problems in cattle’s health. She also will discuss plant species that have detrimental effects on livestock such as lupine, milkweeds, smooth scouring rush and poison hemlock.
McCullock will speak about how the cattle industry, which has expanded for several years, faces challenges this year. Strong domestic and international demand helped support beef and cattle prices last year, but the threat of an economic slowdown could spark a reversal, Riedel said. McCullock will focus on key outlook drivers in the cattle business for the next one to three years.
After the speakers’ presentations, cattle producers will get the opportunity to become BQA-certified. BQA, which is nationally coordinated and state-implemented, gives certified producers an edge in showing consumers that they have taken steps to ensure their product is safe and healthy, Riedel said. The curriculum includes best practices in record-keeping and herd health, which can result in higher profits for producers.
Brass tacksRegistration for the symposium will be from 8:30 to 9 a.m., and speaker presentations will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beef Quality Assurance training will follow, 3 to 6 p.m.
Registration is $25 per person and includes workshop materials, lunch, refreshments, Beef Quality Assurance training and door prizes from sponsors.
No lunch or materials are guaranteed for participants who register after noon on Feb. 1, Riedel said.