September 26, 2008

While it's true Kentucky beef producers have enjoyed higher prices in the past couple of years, feed costs have soared leaving producers wondering what the future holds. The Kentucky Beef Conference Oct. 28 at the Fayette County Cooperative Extension office aims to teach producers how to plan today for tomorrow's markets.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture is hosting the conference, which will focus on current marketing trends in the beef industry and show producers how they can manage higher feed costs and the current market volatility. Producers will have the opportunity to hear pearls of wisdom from top speakers in the country, at virtually no cost, thanks to corporate and industry sponsors.

After registration at 9 a.m., UK Associate Dean for Extension and Cooperative Extension Service Associate Director Jimmy Henning will give a brief overview and discussion of long-term marketing trends. Next up is Randy Blach, executive vice president of Cattle-FAX and CF Resources, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cattle FAX. A Colorado native, Blach was raised on a commercial and purebred cattle operation. He has served as a cow-calf and feeder analyst for the Western Region and as the Kansas Feedyard Region analyst.

UK's own Kenny Burdine, an agricultural economist, will discuss livestock risk protection insurance before the lunch break followed by Cory Walters, also a UK agricultural economist. Walters will discuss the feed grain outlook. Jeff Lehmkuhler, UK animal scientist, will talk about strategies for controlling winter feeding costs. At 2 p.m., Blach will wrap up the meeting and discuss marketing strategies for 2009.

Organizers request participants preregister by Oct. 22. To register or for more information, contact a local county extension agent. Registration is $10 and includes lunch and refreshments.

Corporate and industry sponsors include Kentucky Beef Network, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Central Kentucky Ag Credit, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Credit Services, Kentucky Bank and Southern States.

The Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service is located off Red Mile Road between South Broadway and Versailles Road at 1140 Red Mile Place. For more detailed directions, contact the office at 859-257-5582.

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