The 19th Annual Cattlemen's College will take place on Feb. 1, day one of the 114th annual Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The schedule is packed with more than 15 sessions that highlight topics from reproductive technology applications to finding profitability to improving beef safety. Among the presenters is Western Kentucky University Professor of Animal Science Dr. Nevil Speer.
"The primary focus is to really look at the industry in terms of a business perspective," Speer said. "We'll look at the changes that are occurring up and down the value chain an what that ultimately means for producers."
When producers leave the session Speer says he is hopeful they'll realize it's not about the question of what's going on in the market but in their business.
"I would hope they would leave asking the question of what is going on in our business and where do I need to position myself in terms of a decision making process to fit within that," Speer said. "The markets are a day to day type of thing. I always like to say that every day is game day in the markets, but it is more about the long term perspective, so how do I manage my risk and how do I manage my future decision making process within the overall context of our business."
Speer says this is becoming increasingly important because of the turbulent conditions farmers and ranchers are facing today.
"The overwhelming issue is that everything becomes increasingly complex and increasingly volatile," Speer said. "There is more and more capital at risk every single day, so we really have to be on our toes about everything we do and ultimately it's the fact that everything is interconnected. Something may happen somewhere else and we think it doesn't matter, but it ultimately has some kind of influence on our business, whether we see it quickly or not."
Speer says Cattlemen's College participants that take a seat in his session will leave with a better idea of how they fit within the beef industry, and ultimately the food industry.
Cattlemen's College kicks off at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Attendees will get to choose three morning sessions and an afternoon panel session. For more information, visit www.beefusa.org.