MANHATTAN, Kan. - A face-to-face exchange between Kansas' cattle producers and Extension specialists is the new approach to K-State's 2014 Winter Ranch Management Seminar Series, set to run from mid-January to mid-February.
The series has a history of being a successful stretch of meetings, which are hosted throughout the state of Kansas, said Bob Weaber, beef breeding, genetics and cow/calf specialist for K-State Research and Extension. Unlike previous years where the program has had a Web-based delivery for part of the content, originating on campus or at a particular ranch, this year the specialists will deliver the series in a face-to-face "town hall" meeting format.
Weaber, along with other state, district and local Extension staff, will take part in the series to help answer producers' questions about beef cattle issues surrounding animal health, nutrition, management, genetics and reproduction.
"Because of the wide range of topics and variety of climatic conditions over the past year in Kansas, there are many different issues facing producers," Weaber said. "This is a great opportunity for us as state specialists to take our expertise out in the country and do a series of ‘town hall' format meetings, where we don't have a specific agenda. We want to be responsive to the questions and needs of our producer clientele."
Weaber said producers should come to the meetings prepared with questions. Some of the hot topics he foresees discussing include drought management and recovery, winter feeding and cow management, preparation for calving season, and, as the bull buying season approaches in the spring, new trichomoniasis regulations, bull selection and genetics issues.
Although most of the questions will probably focus on winter issues, Weaber said extension staff is open to questions regarding producers' plans next year for breeding, calving and weaning.
"January is always a great time for producers, when the weather is bad and after they get chores done, to sit back, think and plan for the coming year, the calves that will be born in the spring and how they might manage those," he said. "Certainly think about business strategy opportunities moving forward in terms of expansion."
Meeting locations and contacts:
Paola - Tuesday, Jan. 14, evening, Lighthouse Presbyterian Church. Rick Miller, Johnson County, 913-715-7000; Cody Sloan, Miami County, 913-294-4306; Abbie Powell, Linn County, 913-795-2829
Maple Hill - Thursday, Jan. 16, evening, Maple Hill Senior Center. Austin Sexten, Pottawatomie County, 785-457-3319; Kara Mayer, Wabaunsee County, 785-765-3821
Eureka - Tuesday, Jan. 21, noon, Eureka Livestock Sales. Anna Curry, Greenwood County, 620-583-7455; Richard Fechter, Rolling Prairie District, 620-374-2174
Hepler - Tuesday, Jan. 21, evening, Ag Choice, 113 W. Fourth St. Delta George, Southwind District, 620-223-3720; Keith Martin, Wildcat District, 620-784-5337
Downs - Thursday, Jan. 23, evening, Memorial Hall, 500 Morgan Ave. Neil Cates, Post Rock District, 785-738-3597; Rachael Boyle, Phillips-Rooks District, 785-425-6851
Colby - Tuesday, Jan. 28, noon, 4-H Building, 1100 Cedar St. Kurt Sexton, Thomas County, 785-460-4582
Ness City - Tuesday, Jan. 28, evening, Comm. Bank of Midwest, 210 S. Kansas. Jared Petersilie, Walnut Creek District, 785-222-2710
Wichita - Wednesday, Jan. 29, evening, Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st St. North. Cody Barilla, Reno County, 620-662-2371; Zach Simon, Sedgwick County, 316-660-0100 ext. 0153
Greensburg - Thursday, Jan. 30, evening, Kiowa County Fair Building. Barrett Smith, Kiowa County, 620-723-2156
Cottonwood Falls - Tuesday, Feb. 11, noon, Community Building, Swope Park. Mike Holder, Flint Hills District, 620-273-6491; Lori Bammerlin, Flint Hills District, 620-767-5136; Brian Rees, Lyon County, 620-341-3220
Concordia - Wednesday, Feb. 12, evening, Cloud County Community College, 2221 Campus Drive. Robin Reid, River Valley District, 785-325-2121; Anthony Ruiz, Central Kansas District, 785-392-2147
Meeting times may vary by location. Evening events start at approximately 5 p.m. with registration, dinner at 6 p.m. and program 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mid-day meetings will begin with registration at approximately 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and program 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Participants are asked to RSVP for a selected location by the close of business the Friday before the event. Registration fees, which cover a meal, vary by location. Interested participants should reach out to their local host contact for registration and RSVP details.
More information about the K-State Winter Ranch Management Seminar Series is available at www.ksubeef.org.