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50th Beef Cattle Short Course Will Review Past Accomplishments

Tim Olson, (352) 392-2367

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Fifty years of service to Florida’s $2.17 billion beef cattle industry will be reviewed May 2-4 at the University of Florida’s annual Beef Cattle Short Course.

“Like our previous short courses, the golden anniversary program will provide cattle producers with the latest research information for dealing with present and future opportunities and challenges, but we also will look back over past accomplishments,” said Tim Olson, associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“The industry needs to acknowledge those individuals who have made important contributions to the cattle industry in Florida,” he said. “We will review the impact of UF research and extension programs over the years.”

Olson, who helped plan the short course, said the program will highlight the work of Marvin Koger and other early faculty members in UF’s animal sciences department. Olson said retired faculty members have been invited to attend the short course.

Koger, now deceased, was a professor in the department from 1951 until his retirement in 1984. His pioneering work on cross breeding selection in Florida and New Mexico will be reviewed.

Alvin Warnick, a professor emeritus of animal sciences, will review the history of the annual beef cattle program that attracts producers from Florida, the Southeast and several Latin American nations.

“Alvin Warnick has been involved with the short course since 1955,” Olson said. “We expect that presentations such as Dr. Warnick’s will provide an interesting overview of past short course accomplishments along with current information that will be relevant for next 15-20 years.”

Olson said highlights of this year’s short course will include demonstrations and discussions on topics such as electronic identification of cattle, use of precision agriculture and its application to the cattle industry, weed control using the “Burch” wet blade mower and drought strategies for ranchers.

Other topics include new beef products, pros and cons of marketing alliances, and using new gene technologies to improve the quality of beef.

Registration for the short course continues, and will be available at the door for $110. For more information, call (352) 392-5930 or visit the conference Web site at: