October 26, 2009

While it's true Kentucky beef producers have enjoyed higher cattle prices in the past couple years, feed costs have soared leaving producers wondering what the future holds. The Kentucky Beef Conference Oct. 27 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 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 Director Jimmy Henning will give a brief overview. Next up is Randy Blach, executive vice president of CattleFax and CF Resources, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CattleFax. A Colorado native, Blach was raised on a commercial purebred cattle operation. He has served as a cow-calf and feeder analyst for the Western Region and as the Kansas Feedyard Region analyst. Blach will give a marketing overview and discuss long-term marketing trends.

Cory Walters, UK agricultural economist, will lead a morning session about the feed grain outlook, followed by a session on nutrition for heathly cattle from calf to market, led by Jeff Lehmkuhler, UK animal sciences extension specialist. After lunch, Larry Hollis, extension beef veterinarian for Kansas State University. Hollis will discuss health and management practices for today's market. At 2 p.m., Blach will wrap up the meeting and discuss marketing strategies for 2009 and 2010.

Organizers request participants preregister by contacting their 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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