Writer: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Producing the highest quality of beef is as important to Native American cattle producers as it is to others, and those Native producers will have the opportunity next month to learn more about the guidelines provided by the national and New Mexico Beef Quality Assurance program that can help accomplish that goal.
During the New Mexico Indian Livestock Days conference, May 14-16 at the Route 66 Casino and Hotel west of Albuquerque on Interstate 40, Native American producers will have the opportunity to learn the BQA guidelines and test for certification.
“Through the years, our Native American livestock producers have gained information at the Indian Livestock Days that has helped them to improve their herd and quality of meat produced, and to stay informed on vital issues.” said Kathy Landers, McKinley County Extension agricultural agent and chairperson for the one of the larger conferences hosted by New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service. “We have had a lot of interest in the BQA program, including offering the certification test.”
The New Mexico BQA Program asks producers, veterinarians and all others involved in the production of beef to use common sense, reasonable management skills and accepted scientific knowledge to avoid defects in the product delivered to the consumer.
Areas of discussion will include trichmoniasis management, BVD vaccination program, herd management during drought, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, leptospirosis, campylobacteriosis and calf vaccination programs.
NMSU Extension agricultural agents and specialists, as well as private industry experts, have designed sessions addressing many issues that producers are facing.
The drought and wildland fires are very real threats to the survival of livestock operations, and that fact has shaped the conference agenda this year.
The conference will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 14. During the afternoon, presentations will be made on drought management and being fire wise. Updates will also be presented by the Intertribal Ag Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and National Cattlemen’s Association.
Thursday, May 15, the main theme will be Beef Quality Assurance.
“Providing the best quality beef to consumers is the goal of producers,” Landers said. “To accomplish that, the national program, Beef Quality Assurance, has provided guidelines for beef cattle production. BQA certification helps producers receive the best price for their cattle.”
The BQA track of the conference will begin Thursday morning outdoors, where demonstrations will be conducted. After lunch, further information will be shared indoors and those wishing to become BQA certified will have an opportunity to take the test. After the test, a presentation will be given on the marketing of BQA cattle.
For those not interested in the BQA programs, there will be presentations indoors on food sovereignty and gardening, improving sheep and goat herds, and water management.
Friday, May 16, herd health will be the theme of the day. Presentations will be on dealing with trichomoniasis – known commonly as trich; answering the question of restocking herds or not; and dealing with the impact of wolves on range herds.
The event will close with a presentation by Labatt Food Services regarding processing Navajo produced beef for sale on the reservation.
The registration fee is $75. Registration deadline is May 1. Online registration and payment available at http://indianlivestock.nmsu.edu or by mail at McKinley CES, 2418 E. Hwy. 66, PMB 470, Gallup, NM, 87301. Make money orders payable to McKinley CES; no personal checks will be accepted.
Route 66 Casino Hotel registration may be made at 1-866-352-7866. Deadline for special room rate is May 1. Ask for the Livestock 2014 group rate of $69.
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