Cattle Trails Wheat and Stocker Conference to be held Aug. 5 in Lawton

LAWTON, Okla.  – The annual Cattle Trails Wheat and Stocker Conference will be held Aug. 5 at the Comanche County Fairgrounds Coliseum, 920 South Sheridan Road, in Lawton, Okla.

The conference is a joint effort between the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. The meeting is alternated between a Texas and Oklahoma location each year.

Conference planners expect to provide wheat producers and/or stocker cattle operators the latest information on topics that influence wheat and stocker cattle profits, said Stan Bevers, professor and AgriLife Extension economist in Vernon, Texas.

The conference will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and end at 4 p.m. Registration is $20 per person, which includes educational materials, a copy of the Cattle Trails Stocker Conference Proceedings, a noon meal and refreshments. Additional information can be obtained at http://agrisk.tamu.edu.

While early registration is not required, participants are encouraged to do so by Aug. 1 to help with the planning process, Bevers said.

Producers can register by contacting their local AgriLife Extension county agent or Oklahoma Cooperative Extension county educator. Or, they can contact Karen Thompson with the AgriLife Extension district office at 940-552-9941, ext. 217, kethompson@ag.tamu.edu, or the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension district office at 580-255-0546.

“We hope the conference will assist producers in driving their operation to profits,” Bevers said. “Producers in this area are facing major issues from varying fronts. Most obvious is the ongoing drought and its impact on production and commodity prices.”

Information on marketing wheat and cattle during these times will be provided by Bevers, who will give an overview of the entire marketing environment; Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension livestock marketing economist in Stillwater, the cattle market; and Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grain marketing economist in College Station, developing a wheat marketing plan and update on the grain market.

A second issue is the current environment in Washington, D.C. regarding the federal budget and its potential impact on the 2012 Farm Bill, Bevers said.

Dr. Joe Outlaw, professor and AgriLife Extension economist in College Station, will provide an update of ongoing discussions regarding possible reductions of agricultural producers’ support and safety nets.

Outlaw is also co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and regularly provides legislators with analyses of possible changes. Most recently, Outlaw provided testimony to the Senate Agriculture committee regarding the state of the national agriculture economy.

The afternoon session will include four area producers who have experienced these issues discussing how their operations have changed over the past five years. The producers are Steve Marten, Holliday, Texas; Terry McAlister, Electra, Texas; Dennis White, Ninnekah, Okla., and Jimmy Kinder, Walters, Okla.

The conference will conclude with Dr. Jeff Edwards, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension associate professor and small grains specialist in Stillwater, Okla., and Dr. Todd Baughman, AgriLife Extension professor and agronomist in Vernon, discussing the challenges and successes of dual purpose wheat and varietal updates.

Industry sponsors will have their products on display during the event. There will be opportunities during the conference to visit with these representatives to discuss their products and how they might fit into your operation, Bevers said.
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