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1999-2000 Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools To Begin In October

Livestock Update, September 1999

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

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Cattlemen's Association will be holding the Virginia Cow-Calf Management Schools for the second 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 the course was developed.

One hundred and ninety-one producers participated in last year's 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 in 1998" 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 last year's 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 4 to 6 hours.

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 Page-Shenandoah-Rockingham, Richmond/Powhatan, New River Valley and Russell-Tazewell. For more information/registration contact Dr. John B. Hall, Ext. Beef Cattle Specialist at (540) 231-9153 or or visit the Virginia Cow-Calf Management Course website at

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