Over 140 people attended the Cow/Calf Symposium in Columbus, NE on March 23 & 24, 2016. The event primary sponsors were Accu-Steel Fabric Buildings, Central Confinement Service, Ltd. and AFAN (Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska). The symposium’s main topic was cattle herd expansion without requiring additional land purchase.
Dr. Morgan Hayes, University of IL, presented the most important elements to consider when raising cattle in confinement throughout its life cycle, cow/calf, back-grounding and feeding out. These elements included air flow, proper bedding amounts, square footage space per animal required in a confinement operation and animal health care. A panel of industry experts answered questions regarding animal health care, best practices for fabric confinement facilities, and preferences regarding weaning. Dr. Kelly Jones of Cactcus Feeders presented a new cooperative program aimed at increasing their cow herd with local operators taking in heifers, breeding them to Cactus Feeders genetics and buying back up to 20 percent of the calf crop. The event concluded with a bus tour to 4 different cattle operations in the Columbus, NE area.