On Jan. 12-15, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, and the Virginia Cattleman's Association are joining forces to host educational workshops on optimizing livestock and forage efficiencies in times of change.

The conference will be offered on

  • Monday, Jan. 12, at the Reva Fire Department in Reva, Va.;
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Mrs. Rowe's Country Buffet in Mt. Crawford, Va.;
  • Wednesday, Jan. 14, at the Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, Va.; and
  • Thursday, Jan. 15, at the Wytheville Meeting Center in Wytheville, Va.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and events will conclude at 3:30 p.m. each day.

"During challenging economic times, Virginia's livestock producers are looking for ways to increase the efficiency and the profitability of their operations by improving their livestock quality and enhancing their forages," said Gordon Groover, Extension farm business management specialist at Virginia Tech. "Many Virginia farmers will recognize our excellent lineup of speakers who will address these key issues."

Presenters at the conference will cover a wide variety of topics:

  • Harlan Hughes, professor and Extension livestock economist emeritus at North Dakota State University, will deliver a morning keynote address on key issues affecting the beef industry. After lunch, he will facilitate a discussion on helping Virginia producers understand the importance of making key changes to remain profitable. Virginia beef producers know of Hughes because of his "Market Advisor" column that appears monthly in BEEF magazine.
  • Scott Greiner, associate professor of animal and poultry sciences at Virginia Tech and Extension beef specialist, will discuss cow size, efficiency, and profit.
  • Robert Shoemaker, nutrient management specialist at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and a cow-calf producer from Fauquier County, Va., will share his knowledge and experience in managing stocking rates for profitable beef production.
  • Chris Teutsch, associate professor of crop and soil environmental sciences at Virginia Tech's Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, will help participants understand the science and art of building and maintaining soil fertility in times of high-input costs.
  • Local producer panelists will share their strategies and plans for addressing the challenges presented by the markets, weather, and the current economic issues.

For more information or to register for the conference, contact your local Extension office, the Virginia Cattleman's Association at (540) 992-1009, or the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council at (434) 292-5331.