Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension
What a year 2020 has been. Are you looking to improve herd efficiency and profitability to weather the storm? Look no further than the slate of winter programming to be offered by the OSU Extension Beef Team. Programs planned for early 2021 are designed to provide valuable information for all segments of Ohio’s beef industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge to the beef industry to say the least, and the effects will continue to linger for some time. One thing we have learned this year is there continues to be need for gained efficiency and improved management within all segments of our beef cattle industry. This winter’s Ohio State Extension Beef School series will focus on both of those topics. Given current university policies regarding COVID-19, this years Beef Schools will be offered as a virtual series of programs.
What was originally planned as two on-farm face-to-face Cow-Calf Management Schools has now been redesigned as a series of 6 consecutive two hour webinar programs. While perhaps being less ‘hands-on” this webinar format now opens up the opportunity for more cattlemen throughout Ohio to participate. These presentations will occur on Monday evenings from 6 until 8 p.m. beginning on January 18, 2021. The first three evenings will be focused on producing quality forages while the final three will address reproduction and cow/calf management.
The Cow-Calf Management School series is being offered for free, and may be enrolled in as a one time package for all six programs. Find more details including registration under this registration link. Additional information will be available in the coming weeks.
In addition to the Cow-Calf School series, four additional programs focused on single topics are also scheduled.
A Cow-Calf Outlook meeting via webinar has been set for 6:30 p.m. on January 26. Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Extension Specialist from the University of Kentucky will be the featured speaker. Dr. Burdine will give a market outlook for 2021 and discuss how cow and calf management plays a role in determining value at the time of marketing. Registration for this free program is available here.
The need for increased risk management for fed cattle has been highlighted by a couple of “Black Swan” events: COVID-19 and the 2019 Tyson packing plank fire. Via webinar on Feruary 24 beginning at 6 p.m., the 2021 Cattle Feeding and Management School will feature Justin White of Hudson Insurance who will present on risk management for fed cattle, specifically the Livestock Risk Protection and Livestock Gross Margin Insurance programs. To finish up the program Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Crawford County will discuss feedlot ventilation needs. This program will be held via webinar, pre-registration for this free program will be required.
Rounding out our winter programs will be a webinar addressing a fairly new topic for Beef Team programming. Ohio’s dairy industry is a significant contributor to beef production across the state. On March 10 at noon Allen Gahler, Extension Educator in Sandusky County will be teaching a session entitled Beef Sire Selection for the Dairy Herd, taking a look at what EPD and genetic criteria should be considered when mating beef sires to dairy cattle. The registration for this program is linked here.
Find additional detail on each of these programs on the 2021 Ohio Beef School page.
Ohio cattlemen will also enjoy the virtual Pastures for Profit series that will begin in January. Details and registration information will be available soon.
Lastly, continue to stay up to date on county based Beef Quality Assurance education opportunities. Many producers here in Ohio were certified in three years ago in 2018 and will be due for recertification in 2021. Beef Quality Assurance training dates and information as well as registration for the above mentioned programs can all be found at beef.osu.edu.
Not knowing what COVID-19 has in store for this winter, we hope these virtual programs are beneficial until in-person programs can be returned sometime in 2021. We are looking forward to working with as many of you as possible in the coming year. Stay safe!