Cattle producers seeking ways to better manage their operations in ever more challenging business conditions should register now to attend the Aug. 11 Southern Plains Beef Symposium in Ardmore.
“The basics sound so simple: Manage your beef operation so that you will have something to sell; however, ensuring that your operation is profitable means effectively handling a host of production and economic considerations,” said Leland McDaniel, Carter County Extension director and agricultural educator. “The symposium can provide valuable insights in that regard.”
Celebrating its 22ndyear, the 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. symposium will take place in the Ardmore Convention Center, located at 2401 N. Rockford Rd., just off Exit 33 from Interstate 35. Registration is $25 per participant, which covers the cost of symposium materials, refreshments and the traditional prime rib lunch.
Registration forms are available on the 2012 Southern Plains Beef Symposium website at http://www.southernplainsbeefsymposium.org/  via the Internet.
“The symposium has become one of the premier single-day beef events in the nation,” McDaniel said. “A truly excellent trade show, complimentary boot shines and door prizes are longstanding traditions, adding to the opportunity of participants to learn from and interact with renowned experts who will be leading sessions about cutting-edge beef topics.”
Kit Pharo of the Pharo Cattle Company in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., has been devoted to creating an efficient and profitable cow-calf operation for the past 25 years. Pharo will lead a discussion on how challenging conventional wisdom can be the answer to running a profitable ranch enterprise, provided one does the necessary homework first.
John Hutcheson of Merck Animal Health, Amarillo, Texas, will provide the latest insights about consumer preferences and their implications for the beef industry.
Tommy Beall of Beall Consulting Group, Mead, Colo., will speak on the potential ramifications of the most recent cattle inventory and market factors. Beall also will moderate a panel discussion on financing cattle operations in today’s economic climate. Panel members will include Robert York, president of National Livestock Credit Corp. in Oklahoma City; Butch McComas, president of Chisholm Trail Farm Credit in Enid; and Bill Crutcher, president of the cattlemen’s branch, First National Bank of Byers, Wichita Falls, Texas.
Mike Sands of Informa Economics, Memphis, Tenn., will lead a discussion about U.S. and global economic perspectives and their effect on beef prices.
Temple Grandin, Colorado State University animal scientist and autism activist whose life was made into a five-time Emmy Award winning movie, will showcase the human perspective of livestock behavior and handling.
Ron Hays, agricultural broadcaster with the Radio Oklahoma Network, will moderate the symposium’s morning sessions. Afternoon sessions will be moderated by Lyndall Stout, host and executive producer of the SUNUP agricultural TV program, a service of Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources airing on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) network.
McDaniel said symposium participants also will receive insights and updates from the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Beef Council, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the American Farmers and Ranchers organization.
“One of the greatest advantages of participating is the opportunity to speak with other beef producers who are in situations similar to your own and who may have developed solutions that could prove useful in your own operation,” he said.
Anyone seeking additional information about the Aug. 11 beef symposium should visit the website or contact the Carter County Extension Office at 580-223-6570.