Iowa beef symposium begins with look at industry's future

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Livestock News

DES MOINES, Iowa — The opening general session of the 2021 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention gets right to the point: Where is the beef industry going? Speakers in the June 23 morning session will bring unique perspectives on topics that matter most for beef producers.

Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director and a member of the planning committee, said that as the pandemic disrupted the beef supply, consumers changed their cooking and eating habits. Now, as things move forward, it's not clear what the future of beef on the table will look like and what factors will influence consumer decisions. The first general session of 2021 BIF is designed to address these questions.

"Will consumers be looking once again for verification of how the beef was raised? Will consumers continue to pay for quality? How will these changes affect how cattle are raised?" Loy said. "Every decision in the value chain from breeding decisions to production practices and marketing is impacted by these factors."

The upcoming session speakers and topics are:

  • Meat Consumer Purchasing Trends and Expectations — Michael Uetz, Midan Marketing managing principal.
  • Lessons from Other Industries in Genetics — Jim Pillen, Pillen Family Farms owner.
  • We Can Sell More Beef — Dan Thomson, Iowa State University department of animal science chair.

All presenters will be part of a panel discussion following the individual presentations.

The 2021 BIF Research Symposium and Convention will be June 22-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. All schedule and registration information is available on the event website at