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Spring Forage Conference is Feb. 28 in Springfield

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Missouri

The 28th annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference will be Feb. 28 at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield. Each year this conference attracts an increasing number of people interested in learning more about management strategies for forages and livestock. Last year's event drew over 400 participants to Greene County.

This year's keynote speaker will be Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Grandin is one of the world's leaders in the design of live ­stock handling facilities. She has designed livestock facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and others.

In North America, almost half of all cattle processing facilities include a center track restrainer system that Grandin designed for meat plants. Her curved chute sys ­tems are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many producers to reduce stress during handling.

Grandin has also de ­signed an objective scoring system for assessing handling of cat ­tle and pigs at meat plants. This system is being used by many large corporations to improve animal care. Other areas of research are: cattle temperament, environmental enrichment for pigs, reducing dark cutters and bruises, bull fertility, training procedures, and effective stunning methods for cattle and pigs at meat plants.

Grandin has provided worldwide media exposure for the livestock industry and, in particular, with issues relating to animal care. She has appeared on television shows such as 20/20 and 48 hours, and has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and Time magazine. She was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential people and HBO made a movie about her life starring Claire Danes. Temple's topic for the noon luncheon is called "Understanding Animal Behavior."

The conference will also feature several breakout sessions in the morning and the afternoon. Topics will include: managing the spring flush of forage, nutrition from forages, carrying capacities, minimizing hay feeding/storage losses, weed management, grazing records, trichomoniasis in cattle, profiting from woodlands, roles of forage in a changing beef industry, and stocker cattle performance and pasture costs.

More than 30 companies and organizations will have exhibits, and have representatives available to discuss their products and services.

Conference registration begins at 8 a.m., with sessions running from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A banquet luncheon is included with the registration. The cost is $25 per person in advance or $35 at the door. To pre-register (by Feb. 22) or to get more information, contact the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District at 417-831-5246, ext. 3. Conference information and a registration form are also available at http://agebb.missouri.edu/sfc.

The conference is co-sponsored by several southwest Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri State University, University of Missouri Extension, MU Southwest Center, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the USDA Farm Service Agency.



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