Forage production and utilization are key components to profitability in many livestock operations. According to Garry L. Mathes, chair of the 2012 Missouri Livestock Symposium, producers have had to deal with these and more this year. As a result, our planning committee wanted to address the drought and climate impact, feed costs, and economic outlook for livestock and feed.” In order to accomplish this objective, a panel of experts will be on hand to address these topics and answer questions.

The livestock and forages panel will consist of Dr. Pat Guinan, state climatologist, who is also with the Missouri Commercial Ag Program; Dr. Justin Sexten, state beef cattle feeding specialist; Dr. Ron Plain, livestock economist; and Dr. David Davis, Forage Systems Research Center at Linneus. All are with the University of Missouri.

Mathes also said the committee wanted to address another hot topic of interest to producers—cover crops and soil health. As such, a second panel in the forages section will take a “Practiced Look at Cover Crops and Soil Health.” Moderating the panel will be J. R. Flores, state conservationist for Natural Resources Conservation Service. On the panel will be Harry Cope, a producer form Truxton , MO; Dr. Kelly Nelson, research agronomist at the Greenley Research Center; David Otte of Green Valley Seed, Inc.; and Doug Peterson, USDA grassland conservationist. Otte will also talk on “Getting Set for Growth” and Nelson will share “Cover Crop findings at the Greenley Research Center” to round out the forages section at the Symposium.

Mathes notes that there will be a lot more of interest in addition to the forages program. There is a full lineup of nationally acclaimed speakers on beef cattle, sheep, meat goats, stock dogs, farm succession, backyard poultry and short and long term weather outlook. The Symposium also features a free trade show and two free meals—a beef supper on Friday evening at 6 p.m. and a Governor’s Style Luncheon on Saturday at noon.

The Symposium will run from 4-10 p.m. on Friday, December 7 and from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 8. The event will be held at the Kirksville Middle School, 1515 S. Cottage Grove in Kirksville, MO. No pre-registration is needed and there is no cost to attend. Mathes notes, “if there is a better deal anywhere he wants to know about it!”

Additional details about speakers, topics, lodging, meals, trade show, and more, can be found at the Missouri Livestock Symposium website at www.missourilivestock.com or call Garry Mathes at 660-341-6625 or the Adair County Extension Center at 660-665-9866. You can also email Bruce Lane at lanen@missouri.edu. Please put MLS in the subject line.

The Friday night program will also feature a keynote address by Tony Clayton of Clayton Agri-marketing, who will talk on “Livestock Exports and their Effects on U. S. Agriculture.” Harold Trump f Luray, MO will be honored with the 2012 Missouri Livestock Person of the Year and State Representative Tom Shively of Shelbyville, MO will be presented with the Agriculture Educators Lifetime Achievement Award.

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