SDSU Extension offers Feedlot Shortcourse, BQA transportation training opportunities

SDSU Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. — SDSU Extension is offering an opportunity for cattle feeders to sharpen their management skills and improve their profit potential by participating in the 2019 Feedlot Shortcourse. During the shortcourse, a training will also be offered for participants to obtain Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) certification.

The Feedlot Shortcourse is a two-day event starting on August 13 at 1:00 p.m. and concluding on August 14 at 1:00 p.m. The shortcourse will be held at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility classroom located at 2910 Western Ave., Brookings, S.D.

The shortcourse focuses on the aspects of feedlot management that impact cattle performance and profitability. A particular emphasis this year will be strategies to deal with feed challenges associated with late planting conditions, such as silage utilization and high-moisture grain management. Strategies on how to use the backgrounding phase to manage cattle’s genetic potential more precisely will be another key portion of the program. Both of these segments will be led by Alfredo DiCostanzo, Professor of Beef Cattle Nutrition & Management at the University of Minnesota.

Another opportunity offered at this year’s Feedlot Shortcourse is the chance to observe the consequences of improper implanting techniques. Brian Dorcey, DVM, with the Veterinary Medical Center in Worthington, Minn., will lead an ear necropsy session showing exactly what happens when proper procedures are not followed and how that can affect implant response. Dorcey will also present information on common mistakes and opportunities to improve cattle health and performance during the receiving and starting phases in the feedlot.

Speakers will also cover topics focused on reducing cost of gain and improving outcomes, including bunk management and feed mixing, environmental stress mitigation and growth promotant technologies. Additional speakers on the program include:

• Zach Smith, SDSU Ruminant Nutrition Center faculty supervisor and assistant professor.

• Todd Franz, J & R Feeds.

• Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension beef feedlot management associate.

Participants also have the option of obtaining BQAT certification during a training held in conjunction with the shortcourse on August 14 at 1:00 p.m. Major beef processors will be requiring any drivers of trucks delivering cattle to their facilities to have this certification by January 1, 2020. Typically there is a charge for participating in a face-to-face BQAT training, but because of sponsorship funds the training will be offered at no charge. Attendance at the shortcourse is not necessary to participate in the BQAT certification training, but pre-registration is required.

Registration for both programs is limited and open to cattle feeders, backgrounders or allied industry professionals. Cost for the shortcourse, which includes dinner on day 1 and lunch on day 2, is $150. The BQAT training is offered free of charge. Online registration for both events is available at, and search for BQA.

For more information about the Feedlot Shortcourse, contact Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension beef feedlot management associate, at or 605-688-5452.

For more information about the BQAT certification, contact Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension livestock stewardship field specialist and BQA Coordinator, at or 605-688-6623.