The Woodward News

Local News

August 14, 2012

Wheatland Stocker Conference coming up

Woodward, Okla. — ENID - OSU Extension will hold the 26th Annual Wheatland Stocker (cattle) Conference later this month.

The conference is set to kick off at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 29 at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center, 123 W. Maine on the south side of the downtown square.

The event, including lunch, is free, said Garfield County Extension Agent Greg Highfill.

About 200 attend each year, Highfill said, including several from the Woodward area.

"We put the conference on because it provides an opportunity to give producers  the latest information on animal research and cattle marketing," he said.

"It's a good conference," said Woodward County Extension Educator Dana Bay. "Those who go will learn a lot."


The conference starting with a future beef cattle production forecast, a discussion of cattle prices and happenings in the new beef industry presented by Dr. Darrell Peel, OSU Extension livestock marketing specialist.

Some new industry happenings Peel may discuss include a revived spotlight on food safety, innovative marketing steps to help keep current demand strong, and help that is available for cattlemen from business and agricultural education as they work to make decisions on where to sell their stock, Highfill said.

That is to be followed by a presentation on Oklahoma and U.S. economic projections by Chad Wilkerson from the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Next will be Dr. Dan Thomson, a Kansas State University (KSU) veterinarian. Thomson is professor of production medicine and epidemiology at KSU. His topics will include the management of health and production involving high-risk cattle, Highfill said.

High-risk cattle include animals who have weakened health conditions that make them susceptible to illness, especially potentially-fatal bovine respiratory (BRD) disease, Highfill said, which restricts breathing through causing brochopneumonia and subsequently, may lead to the animals' death.

The morning sessions wrap up with a presentation from the Northwest Area Extension agronomist, Roger Don Gribble. His topic will be wheat varieties named for buildings and the buildings' strong foundation.

Two of the names of the wheat varieties will catch your attention.

"They are called Gallagher and Iba, named after those historic buildings on the Stillwater campus," Highfill said.

During lunch, Dr. Clint Rusk, the new head of the OSU Animal Science Department, will be introducing himself to the audience.

"He has just arrived from South Dakota," Highfill said. "So this will be a get-aquainted session for him, as he learns about the particulars of the Oklahoma beef industry."

After the meal, Highfill said Dr. Thomson returns with another presentation on animal health, this one noting that maintaining positive health factors in the herd is the key to producers' bright future.

The conference concludes with a discussion on high grain and cattle prices conducted by Dr. Chris Richards, OSU beef specialist. Those subjects likely influence producers decisions about how, or whether, to conduct supplemental feeding of their animals, Highfill said, and the costs associated with those procedures.

There is also a trade show with some 25 to 35 booths expected.

"About half of the exhibits are animal health and feed companies, while the rest are a little of everything - including banks and other financial services, like Farm Credit of Oklahoma."


Pre-registrations should include the visitors' name and address and how many complimentary lunches will be needed.

"We'd like pre-registrations to be in by Aug. 24," Highfill said.

Send pre-registrations to the OSU Extension Center, 316 E. Oxford, Enid, OK 73701; fax them to (580) 242-1955; or by email to

Contact him for more information at (580) 237-7677.

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