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Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools Off to a Great Start

Livestock Update, November 1998

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

The 1998 Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools started off well with classes at 4 locations meeting on October 16 or 17. One hundred and ninety-one producers are enrolled in this year's cow calf management schools. Producers range in experience from those who are new or "to be" cattle producers to producers who have been raising cattle for over 30 years. New producers were interested in learning cow/calf production in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. Most experienced producers indicated they wanted to refresh or enhance their skills.

Producers receive written materials at home to read before coming to monthly hands-on workshops. Course participants will attend a total of 5 workshops. October's workshops covered body condition scoring, basic nutrition, grading of feeder cattle, types of cattle needed to meet Virginia's major markets and proper use of vaccination and injections. Subsequent workshops will focus on reproduction, bull and heifer selection, breeding programs, herd health and more. The course also is experimenting with the internet as a teaching tool for extension courses.

The 1998 courses at Lynchburg, Marshall, Orange, and Blackstone are full, but this program will be repeated in other areas of the state in 1999 and 2000. Tentative locations for two of next year's four schools are the Richmond area and the New River Valley. The Virginia Cattlemen's Association and Virginia Cooperative Extension sponsor the Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools with a grant from the EPA-USDA Ruminant Livestock Efficiency Program.

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