sealPurdue News

January 16, 2002

Cattle eating you out of house and farm? Purdue offers feed tips

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Cows love to eat, and beef producers who expect to put food on their own tables need to keep a watchful eye on their animals' dining habits.

Feed costs are a primary topic at the annual Purdue Regional Beef Workshops. The workshops take place in late January and early February at locations across Indiana.

"This is the third year we've conducted the workshops. They're a dual effort of the Purdue University Extension beef team and the Indiana Beef Cattlemen's Association," said Craig Williams, Cass County Purdue Extension educator and a beef team member.

"We've got seven different regional meetings scattered throughout the state. They're open to any producer who wants to come and learn more about beef production."

Beef is big business in Indiana. The cattle industry contributes hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the state's agricultural economy.

In 2000 – the last year for which statistics are available – Indiana ranked 34th nationally in beef herd size, with 880,000 head of cattle and calves. The production value of the Indiana herd totaled $171.6 million.

All those cattle consume tons of feed. Animal nutrition is a topic that will be addressed at all seven beef workshops, Williams said.

"As I work with cow-calf producers, the bottom line is knowing their cost of production," he said. "Once we know what that cost is, we see feed costs eat up a lot of that expense.

"It's so critical that we try to control feed costs as much as we can, and to match the cow herd to the feed resources we have on the farm."

Other topics covered at selected workshops include marketing, herd health and carcass ultrasound. Speakers include Purdue Extension beef specialists Kern Hendrix and Matt Claeys, veterinarians and beef producers.

Workshops include dinner and a regional business meeting of the Indiana Beef Cattlemen's Association.

Following is the workshop schedule, locations and local contacts:

• Jan. 21, 6-8:30 p.m. – Orange County 4-H Fairgrounds, Paoli, Ind. Andy Boston, (812) 723-7107.

• Jan. 22, 6-8:30 p.m. – Center Lake Pavilion, Warsaw, Ind. Kelly Easterday, (219) 372-2340.

• Jan. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Southeast-Purdue Agricultural Center, Butlerville, Ind. Dan Wilson, (812) 663-8388.

• Jan. 28, 6-8:30 p.m. – Morgan County Fairgrounds, Martinsville, Ind. Chris Parker, (765) 342-1010.

• Jan. 29, 6-8:30 p.m. – Smith Hall, Henry County Fairgrounds, New Castle, Ind. Carl Hylton, (765) 825-8502.

• Jan. 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Shore Club, Bass Lake, Ind. Mark Kepler, (219) 223-3397.

• Feb. 7, 6-8:30 p.m. – Pike County Fairgrounds, Petersburg, Ind. Ken Salkeld, (812) 354-6838.

The workshops are free or can be attended for a nominal fee. Registration is encouraged a week prior to the workshop date. For more information about individual programs or to register, call the local contact person for the session you wish to attend.

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415;

Source: Craig Williams, (219) 753-7750,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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