Form-A-Feed Beef Conference Showcases the Diversity of the Beef Industry

Posted: February 27, 2019

beef conference

If you were able to fight through the snow and join us at the Form-A-Feed Professional Beef Conference this past Wednesday and Thursday in Sioux Falls, SD, you were treated to some very candid conversation and presentations on how best to Face Forward with all the dynamics in our current beef industry.

Opening our beef conference was a very dynamic panel with Kim Ulmer, Ulmer Cattle Co, Jared Kelly, Pro Cattle Solutions, and David Herbold from Producers Livestock. These three gentleman covered panel questions answering many topics related to buying ranch cattle direct to selling directly to packers. All types of cattle were represented in this question and answer. Including Crossbred Holsteins and where their market is at; is there going to be a better market for these types of cattle in the future? Both Jared Kelly and David Herbold spoke on the amount of competition there is for shackle space with these types of cattle and why the discount remains. Kim shared numerous examples of buying the right type of cattle or placing an order with the order buyer and knowing who you are competing against with these bids. This panel garnered a lot of interest and was a highlight to those in attendance.

Answering the age old question of putting up the right feeds was Form-A-Feed’s talented duo of Troy Brown and Dan Kohls. Deciphering between high moisture corn and earlage, cost of production, cost of performance and best management practices to be certain you get the most out of both types of feeds were covered in their presentation. It’s always beneficial to see real feeding scenarios and add the cost back associated with it when recognizing where your gain is coming from.

A highlight, as always, is the Outstanding Cattleman of the Year which was awarded to Ahrendt Brothers of Luverne, MN. This trio of brothers then graciously paid it forward through the Ron Noren Memorial Award by nominating the Luverne Area Community Foundation which strives to support arts and humanities, community and civil affairs, social and economic growth, environmental and beautification, community wellness and a focus on people.

Ending out the night was our keynote speaker Jerred Sebesta who’s intriguing talk had many of us focusing on what our ‘purpose’ was with many laughs and thoughtful insight as to how our family, faith and well being should not be directly related to what society dictates, but rather what purpose makes our lives enriched.

Day two allowed an insight into the cattle markets with Dave Karnopp from Farm Credit Services of America. Interesting that the same discussion of shackle space keeps seemingly to pop up as one of our beef markets major hurdles. Additional foregn policy and trade tarriffs were on the front end of impacting our markets as we head into the future.

Once again a topic of large interest to the beef industry is hairy heel wart. Dr. Dorte Dopfer from the University of Wisconsin College of Veterinary Medicine gave a very visual presentation on the stages and recognition of hairy heel wart. In addition she covered ways to help manage through the disease with a large focus that this is not a curable disease, but something we must manage and help reduce the spreading with solid animal husbandry.

Rounding out the seminar was Dr. Kelly Bruns from the University of Nebraska. Kelly’s focus on precision backgrounding highlighted many areas when it comes to backgrounding cattle and understanding your end goals prior to placing these cattle on feed. The type, kind, sort, marketing window, facility and variation are all major factors that combine to suggest how one should best manage a set of cattle.

It is always great to see all of the sponsors, presenters, and attendees in deep communication throughout this event. We can’t thank our sponsor group enough for the support in helping make this event what it is today. We look forward to having everyone join us again next year with hopefully less snow to deal with!