The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and Virginia Cooperative Extension are hosting the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Designed to give beef cattle producers an opportunity to learn strategies to improve the health of their herds, the conference will take place on the veterinary college’s Blacksburg campus, located at 245 Duck Pond Drive.

The morning program will include presentations from faculty members in the veterinary college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and elsewhere, including:

  • Dr. John Currin, clinical associate professor of production management medicine and Extension veterinarian, on “What can we afford to do with the current price of calves and feed?”
  • Dr. Hillary Feldmann, food animal ambulatory and production medicine intern, on “Current issues with cattle poisons”
  • Jon Vest, Floyd County Extension agent, and Terry Slusher, a beef cattle producer in Floyd, Virginia, on “Tweaking your handling facilities”
  • Dr. W. Dee Whittier, professor of production management medicine and Extension veterinarian, on “The cost to create a pregnancy: Artificial insemination and natural service”
  • Dr. Terry Swecker, professor of production management medicine and clinical nutrition, on “Stretching hay”
  • Dr. Sierra Guynn, clinical assistant professor of production management medicine, on “Water-related cattle disease”
  • Dr. Kevin Pelzer, professor of production management medicine and epidemiology, on “Current health issues”

The afternoon will feature rotating, 30-minute labs at Virginia Tech’s Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena. Presenters include Dr. Hollie Schramm, clinical assistant professor of food animal ambulatory and production management medicine, on “What happens in a rumen?”; Dr. Sarah Holland, production animal medicine resident, on “Current cost of energy and protein: What feeds are deals?”; Whittier on “Warming a cold calf”; and Andy Allen, Craig County Extension agent, on “Body condition scoring.”

Attendance will meet the requirement for beef quality assurance recertification for those already certified in the Virginia Beef Quality Assurance program.

Registration is $5 per person and free for anyone under 18. This includes lectures, laboratories, proceedings, and lunch. Registration will be in the college commons areas. Ample parking will be available in front of the veterinary college complex.

To register or learn more about the program, please contact Ralph Roop, production management medicine technician, at 540-231-9041.



Written by Michael Sutphin.

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