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News Update

February 9, 2012

NIAA Annual Conference March 26-29 in Denver

Building upon the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) 2011 Annual Conference theme, Consumers' Stake in Today's Food Production: Meeting Growing Production Demands, the 2012 Annual Conference will focus on how decreasing resources, both natural and financial, as well as increasing regulations are making it difficult for animal agriculture to advance. With issues such as drought, tight credit, increased capital requirements, environmental regulations, more demanding animal care standards, and misinformation about how animals are raised, animal agriculture is in an important period of change.

The 2012 NIAA Annual Conference will explore the many issues facing the industry. We will discuss how animal agriculture can be advanced through understanding the intricacies involved with the limited resources available and continued pressure to further regulate how animals are produced.

This year's conference includes an important and interesting tour of animal agriculture along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

Registration fee includes: General Sessions, Seminars & Committee Meetings, NIAA Awards Reception, NIAA Membership Meeting (box lunch provided to NIAA members only). Registration before Feb. 10, 2012, is $400, and $325 for NIAA members before Feb. 10. Student registration is $50 per day.

For more information on the 2012 event or to register, visit

TAMU AgriLife Extension, ABBA to host BIF symposium in Houston April 18-20

The 44th Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium & Annual Meeting will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Houston, Texas, April 18-20. This year's meeting is hosted by Texas A&M University (TAMU) AgriLife Extension Animal Science and the American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA). The symposium's focus is the impact of Bos indicus genetics in the United States.

On the evening of Wednesday, April 18, the symposium will host an opening night reception, which will include presentations regarding the influence of Bos indicus genetics in the global beef industry.

The symposium will host a variety of events Thursday, April 19, and Friday, April 20, including presentations on current beef issues, committee sessions to discuss current research, an educational event hosted by the American Breeds Coalition, and announcements of the Seedstock and Commercial Producer Award nominees.

Those who choose to remain in Houston over the weekend have the choice of three optional bus tours to South Central and Gulf Coast ranches for an additional cost of $50.

To register online for the 2012 BIF meeting, click here. For more information on the BIF symposium, contact Joe Paschal at 361-265-9203 or Chris Shivers at 713-349-0854. Angus Productions Inc. (API) will provide meeting coverage of the event at

Angus "Women Connected" Conference Offered

Women seeking to become more involved in the beef and agriculture industry should consider attending an American Angus Auxiliary conference "Women Connected," scheduled for April 14-16 in Saint Joseph, Mo.

As a celebration of the Auxiliary's 60th anniversary, the conference aims to provide women with the opportunity to connect with other ladies involved in the industry and learn how they can make an impact through their farming or ranching operations.

"The conference is about empowering, educating and enlightening women involved in the Angus industry," says Anne Lampe, president of the American Angus Auxiliary. "Whether the women are full-time ranchers, parents of junior Angus members, agriculture industry professionals or work in an outside field, the common bond for all of us is Angus."

Keynote speaker Suzy Graven, life and business strategy coach, will entertain participants by sharing about her documentary series on RFD-TV called "Woman behind the Brand." The program explores the impact and influence of women on the American West.

Other agenda items are educational sessions, networking socials and a tour of the American Angus Association. Thanks to generous support by the Angus Foundation, all registration costs, including lodging and meals, are free-of-charge. Participants are only responsible for transportation to and from the conference.

"The Angus Foundation is delighted to support an educational event geared toward women in the 'Women Connected' conference," says Katie Allen, Angus Foundation marketing and public relations assistant. "Women are such a vibrant and vital part of our Angus breed, and this conference will be a great opportunity for them to network and learn about ways they can help lead Angus and agriculture, in general, into the future."

All those interested in attending are encouraged to apply online by visiting Applications are due March 1, and the conference is limited to 20 women.

"We want to create opportunities for women of all ages and regions of the country, to broaden their industry knowledge, involvement and perspective while having the opportunity to network, share and learn from each other," Lampe says.

NFU's Beginning Farmer Institute Now Accepting Applications

National Farmers Union (NFU) encourages individuals who are contemplating starting a career in farming or ranching to apply for the Beginning Farmer Institute. The program is also open to those across the nation who have just begun farming or are in the process of transferring an operation from a parent, relative or non-relative.

Beginning farmers and ranchers face a seemingly unlimited number of decisions to make, from drawing up a business plan and arranging financing to learning what programs are available to make it easier to start up and sustain a successful operation.

"This program will answer the questions new farmers have, and more importantly share our expertise to answer questions that people do not always think of asking when they begin farming," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "The Beginning Farmer Institute underscores our commitment to growing family agriculture."

Applicants accepted into the 2012 program will attend three separate education sessions, to be in April in Washington, D.C., November in Minneapolis, Minn., and at the NFU Convention in March 2013 in Springfield, Mass. Program topics will cover business planning, understanding USDA programs, tax and recordkeeping, and marketing.

A $25 registration fee is required for accepted candidates. The NFU Foundation will cover the costs of materials, transportation, and lodging. This program is supported by the NFU Foundation, Farm Credit and CHS Foundation.

To apply, visit, fill out the form and return it by the March 14, 2012, deadline.

MSU Extension Offers Webinar Series on Beef Production and Marketing

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is offering a series of webinars starting Feb. 21 to educate beef professionals on the latest industry practices.

Beef professionals interested in learning about cost of production, cost analysis, marketing techniques and other factors affecting the beef industry should attend a webinar series presented by MSU Extension agriculture and agribusiness experts.

"It is important for beef producers to understand the end product they produce," Jeannine Schweihofer, MSU Extension meat quality educator, said. "More importantly, producers need to share their knowledge and have a conversation with their customers regarding the beef they are selling them."

Beef cattle economics 101 will fill the webinar on Feb. 21. Beef specialists will cover the current cost of beef production; annual cow feed cost analysis; the influence of cow size, grazing, management and marketing on profitability; and end-product marketing targets. Experts will dedicate the second webinar on Feb. 28 to discussing the cost of forage opportunities. Grazing costs and backgrounding calves before finishing compared to taking calves right to the feedlot after weaning are important places to look for dollars that add up these days.

The March 13 webinar will feature business planning and identify market potential and current consumer demand trends. The final webinar in the series on March 20 will focus on the end product. Attendees will become familiar with regulations for direct marketing beef, understand pricing when selling beef, and learn how decisions made in management and different production scenarios can alter beef quality.

Each session will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration costs $15 per session or $50 for all four sessions. To learn more about the webinars, visit the MSU Beef Team's website at If you have further questions, contact Schweihofer at or 989-996-0684.


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