Cattle producers, veterinarians, students, and industry personnel from across the country have the opportunity to participate in a conference of the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle program. The two-day educational event will be held Oct. 15-16, at the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center in Staunton, Va.

“Reproductive technology holds the key that will allow beef producers to quickly achieve the best genetics suited to their cattle production goals," said Dee Whittier, professor of large animal clinical sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and veterinarian for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

The concept of applied reproductive strategies in beef cattle began about 10 years ago when leaders in the science of beef cattle reproduction recognized the need for in-depth education to increase reproductive performance in beef cattle and encouraged the use of new technologies. In particular, new techniques for estrus synchronization had recently been developed that held promise for making artificial insemination in beef cattle much easier and more profitable.

Some of this year’s sessions will address

  • Profiting from reproduction;
  • Achieving success with estrus synchronization and artificial insemination programs;
  • Managing factors to improve pregnancy rates;
  • Using genetic tools to get the most from reproductive efforts;
  • Current issues in reproductive management; and
  • Pregnancy and birthing losses.

Featured speakers and panel members will include the following

  • Larry Corah, vice president, Certified Angus Beef
  • Michael Smith, professor of reproductive physiology, University of Missouri
  • Dave Patterson, reproductive specialist, Missouri Cooperative Extension
  • Cliff Lamb, assistant director and professor, Northern Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida
  • Sandy Johnson, Extension livestock specialist, Northwest Research and Extension Center, Kansas State University
  • Dr. Brad Stroud, veterinary specialist, BioTech Productions
  • Carl Dahlen, beef cattle specialist, North Dakota State University
  • George Perry, Extension beef cattle reproduction specialist, South Dakota State University
  • George Seidel, professor emeritus, Colorado State University
  • Keith Inskeep, professor of reproductive physiology, West Virginia University
  • Larry Holler, professor and Extension Specialist, South Dakota State University
  • Dan Drake, farm advisor, University of California-Davis
  • John Hall, professor and superintendent of the Nancy M. Cummings Center, University of Idaho
  • Rick Funston, associate professor and beef reproductive physiologist specialist, University of Nebraska

Virginia experts will include

  • Dick Saacke, professor emeritus of dairy science, Virginia Tech
  • Dr. John Currin, clinical associate professor, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Mark McCann, beef cattle Extension specialist, Virginia Tech
  • Scott Greiner, beef cattle Extension specialist, Virginia Tech
  • Dr. William Dee Whittier, Extension veterinarian, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Randall Hinshaw, veterinarian, Ashby Herd Health Service Inc.

In addition, outstanding Virginia producers Terry Slusher of Slusher Family Farms in Floyd and Paul Bennett of Knoll Crest Farm in Red House, along with Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Steve Hopkins will describe successful Virginia reproductive programs.

The conference qualifies for 16 continuing education hours for veterinarians.

The registration fee is $150 for those registering by Sept. 16; after that date, it increases to $200. Full-time students can register for $100. The registration fee includes five meals and refreshment breaks during the two-day event.

Online registration — along with additional information about the conference, schedule of events, speakers, and travel and lodging — is available online. For questions about the conference, email Dr. Dee Whittier. Questions about registration should be directed to Dawn Bradbury or call 540-231-1779.