Temple Grandin on Feb. 11 will kick off Colorado State University’s six-week Cow College continuing education program that is focused on beef-cattle production.
Grandin is a world-renowned expert in the understanding of animal behavior and facility design. In North America, almost half of the cattle processed for food are handled in a center-track restrainer system that she designed. Her impact also reaches back to farm and ranch cattle handling management systems. In addition, many of the major food producers, including McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and others, now require that animals entering their food-supply chain are handled using animal welfare guidelines established with Grandin’s input. Grandin has also inspired people around the world as a champion for individuals with autism and their families.
Topics of Cow College include beef cattle nutrition, reproduction, genetics, management practices and health management will be taught. Cow College is designed for all types of beef cattle producers regardless of size of cattle operation or years of experience. This course will provide a refresher for experienced producers and new learning opportunities for those less experienced.
Cow College Schedule
Sessions will be held Tuesday evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. at CSU Agricultural Research Education and Development Center (ARDEC) Taylor Conference Center located at 4482 East County Road 56 in Fort Collins.
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Session 1 – Feb. 11
Animal Handling and Animal Welfare — Their impact on production and marketing in today’s world. Guest speaker: Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Grandin talk about such topics as: behavior of cattle during handling and transport; design of working facilities, corrals, chutes, and loading ramps; design of restraining systems for harvest facilities; humane slaughter; animal stress and meat quality. She also will talk about changes in the food industry that have developed as a result of better understanding the importance proper handling of animals.
Session 2 – Feb. 18
How to Save More Calves at Calving Time. Guest Speaker – Clinical veterinarian Bob Mortimer
Mortimer uses real-life props as he teaches methods to assist cows while delivering calves in both normal and abnormal positions. Whether you are a long-time beef producer, or a novice, we are certain that you will pick up valuable pointers on how to save more calves at calving time by attending this session of Cow College.
Session 3 – Feb. 25
Cost Effective Cow Nutrition for Optimum Productivity in Cow-Calf Herds
Feed costs represent at least 75 percent of all costs in cow-calf operations. Management practices such as the relationship of body condition and reproduction, forage testing, ration formulation, , purchasing feeds, and feeding for reproduction will be covered during this session. Presenters: Jason Ahola, Ph.D., and Jack Whittier, Ph.D.
Session 4 – March 4
Genetics and Reproduction of Beef Cattle
During this session, principles of genetic evaluation, prediction of genetic merit, using DNA information to improve genetic prediction accuracy will be covered. Cow reproductive cycles, using artificial insemination, estrus synchronization, and implementing fixed-time AI programs will also be taught during this session. Presenters: Igenity technical service director Jim Gibb, Ph.D., and Genex Cooperative associate vice president for beef development Willie Altenburg.
Session 5 – March 11
Managing for Healthy Cattle
Vaccination programs in cow-calf business, beef-quality assurance practices, establishing a working relationship with your veterinarian, purchasing veterinary supplies are all part of having healthy, productive cattle. Presenters: CSU beef-quality assurance coordinator Katy Lippolis; Dr. Tim Holt, CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital (invited); and Bill DeMoss, Mountain Vet Supply.
Session 6 – March 25
Marketing, Carcass Quality and Tying it all Together for Successful Beef Production
Safe, healthy, nutritious, great-tasting beef is the end product of all we do in beef production. Better understanding the process of converting animals into food is important to know for successful cattle producers. Beef carcass quality, and value differences of various types of carcasses will be discussed in this session of Cow College.
Cost for the entire six-session course is $100 per person. Additional members from the same family or ranch operation will receive a discount to $75 for the second person and $50 for each additional person. Individual sessions may be attended for $25 each. Registrations should be sent to Linh Niesent, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, 1171 Campus Delivery Fort Collins, CO 80523-1171, Office 970-491-6672, email to firstname.lastname@example.org (make checks payable to CSU). Please include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address with your registration. Walk-ins are also welcome to pay at the door.
CSU Cow College is coordinated by the Department of Animal Science Beef Management Systems program. Additional details and updates are available at the CSU Animal Science Department website at http://ansci.agsci.colostate.edu/ .