Drought happens. Just like blizzards, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, drought is part of the many uncontrollable things that cattle producers face.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for drought and come through it as well as possible. That’s one of more than 20 presentations you’ll hear at the upcoming Range Beef Cow Symposium that will be held Nov. 28-30, 2017 at the Little America Hotel and Resort in Cheyenne, Wyo.

By Kindra Gordon

The popular event, which is held biennially and is a joint effort coordinated by the Extension programs of South Dakota State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska and University of Wyoming, aims to provide practical management and research information to cattle producers across the region. The event rotates between Colorado, western Nebraska, western South Dakota and Wyoming, and 2017 marks its 25th anniversary.

Attendees at this year’s symposium will hear from two producers. South Dakota Red Angus breeder Craig Bieber will share the management decisions his family operation has made to adapt to drought. Also from South Dakota, cattleman Troy Hadrick will share the genetic tools he has utilized for selection and marketing.

The symposium begins on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. with an update on international beef trade and insight into factors affecting the 2018 outlook for livestock and feed grain prices. Greg Hanes with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and Jim Robb with the Livestock Marketing Information Center will kick-off remarks on those topics that opening day.

Also presenting on Tuesday, University of Nebraska’s Mary Drewnoski will offer insight on range mineral nutrition, while K-State’s Bob Weaber and UNL’s Matt Spangler are slated to discuss and debate genetic testing versus visual evaluation.

Additionally, on Nov. 29, the second day of the conference, a Cattle-Fax analyst will share ideas with attendees for managing risk in the beef industry, Colorado-based meteorologist Brian Bledsoe will offer his weather outlook for the coming year, and Clay Mathis, director of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, will speak on key drivers for profitability.

New to the symposium this year, on Thursday, Nov. 30, the concluding day of the event, hands-on sessions will be held at the Laramie County Community College indoor arena located in Cheyenne. Participants will have the opportunity to rotate to three different 45-minute sessions, selecting from topics including body condition scoring with ultrasound, frame scoring, reproduction and artificial insemination with ultrasound, and range monitoring sampling and analysis. The event will adjourn at noon.

Throughout the two-and-a-half day conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a variety of other speakers on beef industry topics, as well as network at the trade show with nearly 80 industry vendors. Evening bull pen sessions also afford the opportunity for attendees to engage and ask questions of the day’s presenters.

View the full line-up of speakers and preregistration for the symposium online at www.rangebeefcow.com. Registration prior to Nov. 15 is available for $120 per person or $60 per student. After that date, prices increase to $160 and $80 respectively.

Single-day registration passes are available for $50 and increase to $60 after Nov. 15. For individuals wanting to attend only the half-day, hands-on sessions on Nov. 30, registration is $35 prior to Nov. 15, and then increases to $60. Evening meal tickets for Nov. 28 and 29 are also offered for an additional fee.

For hotel accommodations, a “Range Beef Cow” block of rooms have been reserved until Oct. 27 at the Little America Hotel and Resort where the symposium will be held. Book online or call (800) 445-6945.