In spite of a major arctic cold front that dropped a mix of snow and ice on northern New Mexico this week, livestock producers opened the four-day Joint Stockmen's Convention Thursday with the well-attended annual Cattlemen's College at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North.
The annual event is a joint program of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, New Mexico Wool Growers, Dairy Producers of New Mexico and the New Mexico Federal Lands Council.
Hundreds of ranchers and farmers from across New Mexico braved the weather and the threat of icy roads to discuss issues facing the industry, including agricultural policy, land management, property rights and state and federal legislation.
The Cattlemen's College centered on issues involving herd health, marketing and rebuilding herds following a period of historical drought that crippled the livestock industry nationwide. The one-day College/seminar was sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, which recently underwent a name change to Zoetis, the largest global animal health company.
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"The Cattlemen's College is a great opportunity for producers—both old hands and those new to the business—to get practical information they can put to use in their cattle operations," said Rex Wilson, New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association (NMCGA) president.
Dr. Doug Hilbig of Zoetis discussed Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, also known as shipper's disease, a primary cause of epizootic pneumonia in the herd. It is usually secondary to viral infections such as parainfluenza - 3 or IBR, bacterial infections such as Mycoplasma or environmental stress. M. haemolytica may contribute to Enzootic pneumonia of calves, Enzootic pneumonia of lambs and peritonitis in sheep.
Hilbig spent the last 20-plus years consulting with major feedlots, farmer feeders, stocker, cow-calf and large dairy operations. His practice also dealt with many equine clients with performance, pleasure, breeding and ranch/feedlot horses.
Also on the opening day agenda was Dr. Manny Encinias, New Mexico State University, who talked about "Reproductive Advancements," and Jeff Witte, director and secretary of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and Matt Rush, executive vice-president of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, who warned producers of political "climate change."
During the Joint Cattlemen's Convention featured speakers will include Derrell Peel, the Charles Breedlove Professor of Agribusiness in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University. Peel has served as the Extension livestock marketing specialist for OSU since 1989. With degrees from Montana State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, he previously served as the Superintendent of the Southeastern Colorado Range Research Station in Springfield Colorado. His main program areas at Oklahoma State include livestock market outlook and marketing/risk management education for livestock producers.
Also speaking is Todd Johnson, Vice President of Federation Services for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Todd oversees services provided to forty five State Beef Councils, works closely with Federation officers, executive committee and members of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. He joined the NCBA team in December 2009.
Prior to working at NCBA, Todd was on staff at the American Hereford Association, Kansas Livestock Association and last served as the Executive Director of the Kansas Beef Council.
Many participating organizations will also stage membership and director's meetings during the four day program.