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Beef Producers Seminar targets profits, exporting

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by Abigail Beggerly

SBJ Staff

Learning to improve management practices to increase profitability of beef cattle operations in the Ozarks was the topic of the "Beef Producers Seminar" held at Aug. 27 the Holiday Inn North.

Approximately 80 local beef cattle producers heard from two representatives of the cattle industry on improving beef marketing plans, forage and nutrition programs, along with export opportunities in the Ozarks.

The speakers at the annual cattle seminar, now in its 10th year, included Kurt Olsen, international marketing specialist for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Ed Herron, cattle buyer for Koch Beef Co., based in Wichita, Kan.

Currently there are very few exports of Missouri-raised cattle, said Gary Naylor, local University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist. "We would like to see more interest from folks in other countries in our cattle's genetics," Naylor said.

He added that it is more feasible to export frozen embryos and bull semen vs. the live animals.

However, there have been a few incidences of live bulls being shipped to Thailand and Mexico, Naylor said. "Most exports of beef to Mexico come from Texas, due to the proximity," he added.

Olsen deals entirely with exports on a day-to-day basis.

Olsen spoke to cattle producers in the Ozarks about opportunities to export beef and his duties as an export marketing specialist.

The emphasis from this portion of the seminar centered on informing cattle producers that export opportunities do exist locally.

"This seminar is an opportunity for awareness," Naylor said. Another portion of the seminar addressed new management practices in forage and nutrition programs for cattle operations.

Ed Herron, cattle buyer for Koch Industries, spoke to Ozark producers on the characteristics he looks for in the cattle he buys for Koch and the different products the company produces from that beef.

"Koch is an innovator in producing cooked beef entrees," Naylor said. "Most of today's generation doesn't know how to cook and doesn't want to learn. Producers need to be made aware that there's more to the beef industry than just raising the cattle."

Naylor added that Herron will address issues and strategies on how producers can better market their beef to companies such as Koch.

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