Blackland Income Growth Conference to feature rebuilding the beef herd

Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259,

WACO – A two-part session on Rebuilding the Beef Herd in Texas is one of several program highlights at the 52nd Blackland Income Growth Conference scheduled Feb. 4-5 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.

The center is located at 4601 Bosque Blvd.

“The Blackland Income Growth Conference has a long history of providing the latest research information and production management practices for farmers and ranchers throughout the region,” said Ronald Woolley, conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program director at Stephenville. “This year’s conference has several experts in each commodity session. We think we have something for everyone, and producers will take home plenty of strategies they can incorporate into their operations.”

The annual conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension and the Waco Chamber of Commerce.

Registration for the main Blackland Income Growth Conference on Feb. 4 is $20 per person and includes lunch. Several sessions will award continuing education units. Producers are encouraged to download the brochure at to see specific continuing education credit allocations, sessions and speakers.

The 52nd Blackland Income Growth Conference scheduled Feb. 4-5 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin)

The 52nd Blackland Income Growth Conference is scheduled Feb. 4-5 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin)

Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension director, College Station,  will be the keynote luncheon speaker Feb. 4.

At 9 a.m. Feb. 4, part one of the Rebuilding the Beef Herd session will focus on forage, said Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olsen, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton.

“Forage recovery and pasture restocking will focus on the art and science of balancing grazing pressure and forage supply,” she said. “When it rains, drought-stricken warm season forages must be allowed to rebound either from root reserves or seed while resource managers begin to restock with cattle. Flexibility has been and will continue to be an essential element.”

At 2 p.m., part two of the session will focus on replacement female options and flexibility in resource use.

Also Feb. 4, are sessions on grain, rural land management, horticulture, cotton, wildlife and horses.The following are 9-11:45 a.m. session topics and speakers:

  • Grain session: Fertility Management-Soil Applied and Foliar, Dr. Mark McFarland, AgriLife Extension state soil fertility specialist, College Station; Management in Wheat and Feasibility of Alternative Crops, Dr. Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension specialist, College Station; Farm Bill Management/Marketing, Dr. Jason Johnson, AgriLife Extension economist-management, Stephenville; New Technologies and Management in Corn and Grain Sorghum, Dr. Ronnie Schnell, AgriLife Extension cropping systems specialist, College Station.

  • Rural land management session: Vision vs. Reality, Dr. Barron Rector, AgriLife Extension range specialist, College Station; Rainwater Harvesting and Economics, Marty Vahlenkamp, AgriLife Extension agent Hood County.

  • Herbicide Application Equipment for Rural Landowners, James Jackson, AgriLife Extension program specialist, and Will Hatler, DuPont Crop Protection .

  • Horticulture session – Growing Under Cover, High Tunnel Production, Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension horticulturalist, vegetables, College Station; MarketMaker, Dr. Marco Palma, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.


The 2-4 p.m. session topics and speakers include:

– Cotton session: Dr. Tom Isakeit, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, College Station; New Herbicide Resistant Technologies, Dr. Robert Lemon, Dow AgroSciences cotton development specialist, and Dr. Luke Etheredge, weed management specialist, Monsanto; Variety and Technology Update, Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension agronomist, College Station; Blackland Cotton and Grain Association meeting.

– Wildlife session: Overview of Feral Hog Situation in Texas, Dan Gaskins, AgriLife Extension assistant; New Feral Hog Trapping Technology Demonstration, John Gaskamp, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation; Hands-on Hog/Coyote Snaring Demonstrations, Lee Harris, Blackland Income Growth Conference chairman and Terry Shriver, Texas Wildlife Services.

– Horse session: Emergency Preparedness-What You Can Do In Case of Flood, Fire, Tornado to Give Your Horses a Fighting Chance, Dr. Buddy Faries, AgriLife Extension veterinarian, College Station; What Texas Horse Owners Need to Know About Toxic Pasture Plants, Dr. Tam Garland, section head, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, and Dr. Dennis Sigler, AgriLife Extension horse specialist, College Station; Hoof Management, Pat Burton, American Farriers Association Certified Journeyman Farrier, HoofPros; Building a Foundation for the Western Performance Horse, demonstration, Sigler.

Session topics and speakers from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 5 include:

  • Private Applicator Training

  • Blackland Income Growth Recertification Program – Sprayer Calibration and Drift Management, Justin Lehrmann, Wylie Sprayers; Weed and Brush Control, David Stichler, DuPont Crop Protection; Aquatic Weed and Pond Management, Steven Barden, Texas Pro Lake Management; Laws and Regulations, Dr. Don Renchie, AgriLife Extension agriculture and environmental specialist; Insect Management for Forages, Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist.

Also, a Cooking Up Health demonstration will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. featuring cooking methods and nutritional information on the basics of beef. At noon, the Mid-Tex luncheon will be held.

For additional information, contact the AgriLife Extension agent in your county or call 254-968-4144.


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