Producers and agribusiness professionals have a unique opportunity to see how dairy steers are managed and marketed in the upper Midwest. A special tour will be offered Tuesday, March 27 along the I-29 corridor, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The tour is an educational pre-event associated with the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, and will depart from the Denny Sanford Premier Center that morning.
“An ISU survey indicates that roughly 15 percent of the cattle placed on feed in Iowa are dairy steers,” said Fred Hall, dairy program specialist with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach.
“Yet, raising dairy steers differs from beef steers,” said Beth Doran, beef program specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. “The tour will feature stops at two dairy steer operations and an auction facility.”
The first stop is at Binford Farms near Luverne, Minn. This family-farm operation houses dairy steers in several kinds of facilities – open lot, deep bedded monoslope and slatted floor barns. This is a great chance to see how steers perform in each type of facility.
The second farm stop is Rock River Feeders north of Sioux Center. Kent and Sylvia Pruismann, along with family members, have taken great care to develop the 3,500-head open feedlot with special attention to animal well-being, Beef Quality Assurance, environmental sustainability and the incorporation of new technologies.
Over the noon hour, participants will have the opportunity to hear from Mike Koedam, co-owner of Tri-State Livestock Auction located in Sioux Center. Tri-State Livestock is a diversified auction market selling all classes of livestock and specializing in dairy for over 80 years. Mike will share what kind of dairy steer and management protocols command higher premiums in the sale ring.
Garret Englin, regional buyer for JBS USA, will visit about marketing finished dairy steers. JBS USA is one of the largest dairy packers with harvest plants located in Grand Island, Neb., Greeley, Colo., and Green Bay, Wis. Garret will discuss what kind of dairy steer carcass commands “top dollar” and his recommendations on how to achieve a quality carcass.
Registration, which is $30 and due by March 23, includes bus transportation, noon meal and educational materials.
Registrations with digital payment should be made at http://igrow.org/events/2018-i-29-moo-university-dairy-beef-short-course-tour/. All other registrations may be sent to ISU Extension and Outreach – Sioux County, 400 Central Ave. NW, Suite 700, Orange City, IA 51041.
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