Steelman: Cumberland Beef Day
By BRUCE STEELMAN
For 15 years, producers from across Tennessee have gathered during the spring in Sparta, TN for Cumberland Beef Day. This educational effort, which is sponsored by University of Tennessee Extension and the White/Van Buren Cattlemen's Association, is looked forward to each year by producers, educators, and livestock industry representatives. This year's event will take place on March 27, from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the White County fairgrounds and is free to the public.
With record prices being received at the auction barn, now is a great time to be in the cattle business. Last year was very good to most producers and many experts project even stronger prices will be seen in 2014. When prices are high, it might be tempting to sit back and enjoy the ride. However, proper management and using science based research to aid in decision making are principles that apply regardless of where we are in the cattle cycle. These decisions can have long term consequences for us. Hence the theme for this year's Cumberland Beef Day, "Decisions made Today…Their Impacts Down the Road."
Producers make a number of decisions each day that impact profitability, but perhaps none more important than what genetics to bring into the herd and which ones to keep in the herd. With this in mind, we will have Dr. Justin Rhinehart, UT Extension beef specialist, here to discuss "Selection and Development of Replacement Heifers". Another of our featured speakers, Dr. Roy Burris from University of Kentucky Extension, will take a look at the other side of the reproduction equation with his talk entitled "Buying a Vehicle or a Bull???"
The area of animal health brings on a whole new set of decisions for today's producers. Livestock producers believe in taking care of their animals and preventing diseases whenever possible. Diseases which are new to Tennessee such as Bovine Trichomoniasis, and changes in antibiotic requirements present new challenges which must be addressed. UT Extension veterinarian Dr. Lew Strickland will discuss "Protecting Your Livestock Investment" through not only disease treatment, but prevention through vaccination, testing, and biosecurity. Dr. Strickland will also lead our hands on tour "Inside the Mouth of a Cow" as we discover all we can learn from an animal's mouth.
In addition to these speakers we will also hear comments from UT Extension Dean Dr. Tim Cross, listen to an Agriculture Policy update from the TN Farm Bureau, and have a discussion on the topic of "Animal Welfare or Animal Rights". During our afternoon session we will have a live feeder cattle grading demonstration, which is intended to help livestock owners understand not only why their cattle go in a certain pen, but also how we can make changes to improve their grade, and therefore the price received.
As always, you can expect to see an extensive trade show where you can speak with a number of vendors such as equipment dealers, animal health and feed sales reps, livestock handling suppliers, and much more. We will also have a free meal sponsored by the White/Van Buren Cattlemen's Association. The 16th edition of Cumberland Beef Day is shaping up to be one of the best yet and we hope you will make plans to be there. Please call the Cannon County Extension office at 563-2554 if you would like more information about Cumberland Beef Day.