MU Extension schedules summer feedlot schools, cattle feeder tour

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The University of Missouri (MU) Extension is set to host two feedlot schools and a cattle feeder tour this summer. These events aim to educate producers on feeding their cattle locally instead of shipping them out of state.

“We will cover health, nutrition, and economics; tour multiple local feedlots; give producers opportunities to interact with representatives from local packing plants; and engage with MU Extension faculty,” said Eric Bailey, MU Extension state beef nutrition specialist.

The first feedlot school will be held on July 9-10 in Boonville, led by MU Extension livestock field specialist Gene Schmitz. “We’ll teach everything from feedlot performance expectations to fat cattle marketing with tours of two confinement barns,” said Schmitz.

On July 20, MU Extension will host a cattle feeders tour in northwestern Missouri, led by MU Extension’s Jim Humphrey and Shawn Deering.

A second feedlot school is scheduled for August 29-30 in Kirksville, led by Zac Erwin, MU Extension livestock field specialist.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority has provided grant funding to support these feedlot schools.

“MU Extension has the goal of doubling the economic impact of agriculture in Missouri by 2030,” Bailey said. “Currently, 1.4 million out of 1.7 million beef calves raised in Missouri are harvested out of state. We can have a big impact on Missouri agriculture by increasing cattle feeding capacity now that a new harvest facility, American Foods Group, is coming to the state,” said Bailey. A new beef packing plant is opening in 2025 in Warren County. Clay Boyles of American Foods Group will be a featured speaker at the July feedlot school.

“There is a steep learning curve if you are traditionally cow/calf and looking to finish cattle, but there’s an opportunity, especially for young producers, to add value,” said Mike Erwin, Adair County farmer and cattle feeder.

Erwin, who has hosted a previous feedlot school, added, “Feedlot school is a great place to start if you want to feed cattle. The connections you can make with the speakers and other attendees and the information you can learn about what not to do is invaluable.”

The July 9-10 feedlot school will be held at the MFA Training Building, 1761 Industrial Drive in Boonville. A registration fee of $75 includes materials, a steak supper on July 9, and lunches on both days.

MU Extension has been hosting feedlot schools since 2021. “Seventy-eight percent of attendees have started or expanded their operations after attending a school,” Bailey said.

For more information and registration for the Boonville feedlot school, contact Gene Schmitz at [email protected] or call the MU Extension Center in Pettis County at 660-827-0591. Registrations are due by Tuesday, July 2.

The July 20 cattle feeder tour begins at 2 p.m. at 5029 County Road 203 in Rea, Andrew County. Confinement, hoop structure, and open lot facilities will be toured. RSVP by July 10 at 660-726-5610.

The August 29-30 feedlot school in Kirksville will be held at White Oaks Barn, 23255 State Highway 11. The cost is $75 per person. Register by contacting the MU Extension Center in Adair County at 660-665-9866.

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