Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference to be held Jan. 28 in Ottumwa

ISU Extension
Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference logo.

The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers is set for Jan. 28 at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. Patrick Wall, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said this year’s Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference will appeal to all kinds of beef enthusiasts, while staying true to the educational focus of topics relevant to Iowa’s beef industry.

“Producers are never short on challenges, some of them persistent, some brand new,” said Wall. “Our cost environment will certainly be top of mind, but the speaker line-up will offer producers a number of unorthodox ideas to address what keeps them up at night.”

The conference will again offer free admission and will be preceded by the KIIC Farm Show on Friday afternoon prior to the conference. The 2023 program targets a variety of topics designed to help producers of all ages and production goals. The keynote speaker will be Damian Mason, a motivational, funny presenter who’s well-known across the ag sector.

“The morning will open with an introduction of Iowa State extension’s new cow-calf specialist, Randie Culbertson,” Wall said. “Derrell Peel will then take the stage to address the market outlook, and the challenges and opportunities that lie within it. Then Damian Mason will take us into the lunch hour with his message titled ‘The Ations of Agriculture.’ The afternoon general session is sponsored by MERCK Animal Health, and will address technology and how to apply what’s new to your operation.”

Afternoon break-out sessions will offer a wide variety of topics:

  • Bill Hill, Border Bucks Outfitters, will address hunting leases as a new potential source of income for producers.
  • Craig Swaby, a local producer, will discuss year-round grazing in southeast Iowa.
  • Colby Redifer, a graduate student at University of Missouri, will summarize his research on poor late gestation cow nutrition.
  • Mike Johnson and Sara Syfert, Leading Edge Crop Solutions, will talk about price risk protection and insurance programs available for beef producers.

Doors will open for this year’s conference and trade show promptly at 8 a.m. The official welcome is at 9 a.m., followed by three general sessions, lunch and trade show exhibit viewing. The afternoon general session begins at 1:30 p.m. with MERCK in the theater; breakout sessions begin at 2 p.m. with two repeating time blocks of four choices. Again, admission is free both Friday and Saturday, and a copy of the show guide and conference proceedings is available at the door. No preregistration is necessary. Additional information is available at