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Beef Producer University Will Focus on Professional Heifer Development

Livestock Update, December 2006

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

Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Beef Producer University will be offered as a one day program in early February 2007.  Beef Producer University locations are Wytheville, VA (February 7) and Charlottesville, VA (February 8).  The topic of Professional Beef Heifer Development applies to producers of replacement beef heifers as well as producers that purchase bred heifers.

This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Patsy Houghton, President and General Manager of Heartland Cattle Company.  Heartland Cattle Company, located in McCook, Nebraska, is a custom heifer development operation that has developed over 60,000 bred heifers in the past 16 years.  In addition, Heartland Cattle Company conducts research on heifer reproduction and health programs for backgrounding cattle.

Other speakers include Virginia bred heifer producers as well as Extension Specialists and Agents from Virginia Cooperative Extension.  The program will begin in mid-afternoon with information on reproductive physiology of the heifer, and presentations on the impacts of nutrition, genetic selection, and health management on successful heifer development.  After supper, the program will split into two tracks – one for producers of replacement heifers and one for purchasers of replacement heifers.  Topics for replacement heifer producers include estrous synchronization, bull selection, heifer marketing, and adding value to open heifers.  A special feature in the heifer producers track will be a panel of four VA heifer development operations representing a variety of production goals.  Topics for purchasers of replacement heifers will include selecting bred heifers, pre-calving management of heifers, handling calving problems, and improving re-breeding of first calf heifers.

Beef Producer University was started in 2000 to provide experienced beef producers with in-depth information and current concepts of beef production.  This program provides access to researchers, producers, and specialists from around the region and across the nation.

A complete schedule and registration information for Beef Producer University 2007 will be available by the first week in January 2007.  For more information contact Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Specialist at or 540-231-9153.

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