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2000-2001 Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools to Begin in October

Livestock Update, September 2000

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech

The Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and the Virginia Cattlemen's Association will be holding the Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools for the third year this fall. The schools are aimed at improving the skills and profitability of beginning to mid-level beef producers. Producers expressed an interest in more in-depth information than can be provided by the typical evening cattle meetings, so extension beef specialists and animal science agents developed the course.

From 1998-2000, three hundred and fifty producers participated in the Virginia Cow/Calf Management Course. Most were very pleased with the course and producers rated it a 9 out of 10 compared to other extension programs. Producers also made comments about the course like "We used what we learned in class to turn a calf's head and pull it successfully. Both cow and calf are doing fine" or "Best $60 I spent this year" or "After the class on bull selection, I went home sold my bull and bought a performance tested one." This year's course has been updated based on comments of previous participants.

Producers will receive home-based learning and 5 hands-on workshops. Participants will receive sections of the new Virginia Cow/Calf Management Guide each month to read at home. Then they will come together on one Saturday in each of the following months: October, November, January, February, and March for hands-on workshops lasting 5 to 6 hours. The S.E. Virginia location will run on a slightly different schedule having all 5 workshops in December and January.

Subjects taught include nutrition, reproduction, genetics and breed, herd health, and others. Participants will get to learn a wide variety of skills from baby calf processing and calving assistance to breeding stock selection to body condition scoring and more. The cost of the course will be $60 to cover meal and supply expenses. Most of the cost of the course is covered by a grant from the EPA-USDA Ruminant Livestock Efficiency Program.

This year's schools will be taught in Botetourt/Alleghany, N.E. Piedmont/Fredericksburg, Danville/South Boston and S.E. Virginia. For more information/registration contact Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at (540) 231-9153 or or visit the Virginia Cow-Calf Management Course website at

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