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Past Events

Natural Livestock: Production, Care, & Marketing

March 29, 2008
Connors State College
Warner, OK

This event presented in cooperation with the USDA Risk Management Agency

Risk MAnagement Agency

The demand for goat meat and grassfed beef is skyrocketing. At this workshop, learn about raising pasture-fed beef and goat meat and selling to consumers who want “natural” meats. Speakers are experienced ranchers, livestock specialists and veterinarians from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.

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Presentation Details

New Developments in Risk Management Insurance
Presentation will provide participants a basic understanding of the current livestock programs RMA is insuring.  These programs include Lamb, Sheep & Cattle.

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Producing and Marketing Burgundy Pasture Beef—How We Do It
Details of our production system including cattle type, grazing, supplements, cattle handling, and finished product. Details of our marketing system including niche markets, customer relations, delivery system, restaurant sales.

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Ozark Pasture Beef—Our Experience
Ozark Pasture Beef started as a vision among a group of family farmers in Northwest Arkansas. Our goal is to provide high quality beef produced naturally on green grass, clean country air and sunshine.  The unique climate of the Ozarks allows us to graze virtually year round and the key to great grass-finished beef is the grass. We intensively manage the pastures for both quantity and quality. For without quality inputs, it is hard to make a quality product.

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The Art and Science of Pastured Beef Production
We will discuss the theory and practicality of managing a grazing system for production of natural, grass-fed beef.  An emphasis will be placed on pasture management and meeting nutritional requirements of beef cattle (conception to harvest) through grazing and year-round forage systems.  Some discussion will focus on selection of types of animals, matching animal production with availability of quality forage, and minimizing use of harvest forages and feed.

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Management and Care of Meat Goats on Pasture
Management of meat goats will be discussed, with pasture management the focus. Methods to provide browse will be covered, along with nutrition of pasture plants.  Breeds will be compared and contrasted.  Maintaining good health will be discussed, with an emphasis on how to manage against internal parasites in the face of increasing loss of chemical dewormers. There will be some discussion of feed and mineral supplementation.

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Perspectives on Multi-Species Grazing (Panel)
Multi-Species grazing provides several advantages to today’s stockman.  Not least among them is the fact that cattle and small ruminants have different parasites and each is a dead end host for the others worms.  The net effect is that they clean the pastures of infective larvae reducing dependence on chemical dewormers, costs, and the development of parasite resistance to dewormers.  Also, since cattle prefer grass while goats prefer weeds and browse, together they can utilize all forage species, maintain pasture balance, and produce two income streams from one land resource.

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Speaker Background

Jim Horne, Ph.D., President and CEO, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
The son of a sharecropper, Jim Horne was born on a farm in western Oklahoma. He earned his B.S. in Agricultural Education in 1969, his M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1972, both from OSU, and his Ph.D. in Biology, with a minor in Agroecology, from the Timirayzev Academy in Moscow, Russia, in 1995. Under his dynamic leadership, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture has worked for over twenty years to make sustainable agriculture and sustainable local food systems a reality in Oklahoma and the region. Since 1985, the non-profit Kerr Center has offered Oklahoma farmers, entrepreneurs, and educators an extensive array of educational resources, including events, publications, website, and grants.

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Ron Morrow, Ph.D., Grazing Lands Specialist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Dr. Morrow earned his B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas, and his Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee.  He worked for twenty years with University of Missouri, initially as Area Livestock Specialist, and then as Professor of Animal Science.  He taught beef cattle production, livestock management, introductory animal science, and conducted research in cow-calf management, forage systems and grazing management. He also co-founded the Missouri Grazing Schools. He presently works for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as state grazing lands specialist in Arkansas.  He also owns a farm in Northwest Arkansas, where he raises grass-fed beef as a farmer member of Ozark Pasture Beef.

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Blake Nelson, Director of Farm Operations, Connors State College
Mr. Nelson has been involved in the beef cattle business for over twenty years. He currently oversees the Connors State College Performance Bull Test Station and the 250 head cowherd. As an educator and a cattleman he is constantly on the lookout for new technology and marketing options in the beef cattle business.

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Donnie L. Nero, Ph.D., President, Connors State College
Dr. Nero earned his B.S. in Social Studies from East Central University in 1971, his M.S. in Educational Administration from Oklahoma State University in 1977, and his Ph.D. in Occupational and Adult Education from Oklahoma State University in 1993.  He worked as Dean of Student Services, and later Provost, at Tulsa Community College, before becoming President of Connors State College in 2000.

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Mary Penick, Pineywoods Cattle Manager and Livestock Specialist, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Ms. Penick earned a B.S. in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and is working to complete her Master’s degree in Ecological Preservation from OSU.  Currently she oversees the responsibilities of expanding the herd of Pineywoods while maintaining the genetic and physical characteristics of this endangered breed. She is also working jointly with OSU Extension Service to provide comprehensive training and research in the field of meat goats for Oklahoma producers. She is the Test Manager for the Oklahoma Commercial Meat Goat Forage Performance Test.

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Donna Reynolds, Risk Management Specialist, USDA Risk Management Agency
Ms. Reynolds serves as the liaison for her office on several Research and Outreach partnerships, working with various entities, such as the Kerr Center, on congressionally mandated educational programs.  Additionally, she works with reinsurance companies on insurance programs for all the different crops within her region of NM, OK and TX; and serves as the Regional Office Human Pandemic Coordinator.  She is certified by FEMA as the Emergency/COOP (Continuity Of Office Procedures) Manager for the Regional Office.  She is also certified as Mediator through the Federal Executive Board.  She was honored as RMA’s Employee of the Year in 1996.

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David Sparks, D.V.M., Area Extension Food-Animal Health Specialist, OSU Cooperative Extension
Dr. Sparks earned a BS in Animal Science from OSU in 1972 and a DVM from OSU in 1976.  He has practiced veterinary medicine in Oklahoma, Kansas, California, and Arizona. He joined the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in 2006.  He is currently involved with producer education programs, the Oklahoma Forage Buck Test, and research in multi-species grazing. Although officed in Muskogee, his area of responsibility covers 40 Eastern Oklahoma counties.

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Jon Taggart, Burgundy Pasture Beef, Grandview, TX
Mr. Taggart graduated from Texas A&M University in 1979, and completed the Ranch Management Program at Texas Christian University.  He has been ranching for 25 years.  He and his wife Wendy have owned and operated Burgundy Pasture Beef since 1999.  They raise high-quality grass fed beef and process it on their own farm in the Burgundy Boucherie.

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Ann Wells, D.V.M., Springpond Holistic Animal Health, Prairie Grove, AR
Dr. Wells graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has more than 20 years experience in livestock production, including producing and selling lamb and now grass fed beef. In private practice for eleven years, with seven of those running an exclusively small ruminant practice, Dr. Wells now has a business helping livestock producers set up animal wellness programs, through the use of controlled grazing and stress reduction.  She is also a farmer member of Ozark Pasture Beef.

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