Stocker cattle operators looking to make the best possible business decisions can pick up practical management tips by attending the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service's Stocker Receiving Management Conference on Jan. 21.

The conference will take place at the Chisholm Trail Pavilion, located at 111 W. Purdue on the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Enid. Conference sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and will finish at approximately 6 p.m.

Cost is $20 per person to attend the conference. Lunch will be provided at no extra charge.

“The conference is a great opportunity for stocker operators to interact with nationally recognized speakers and instructors,” said Greg Highfill, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension area livestock specialist. “We're asking everyone to pre-register to help ensure we have sufficient numbers of lunches and refreshments on hand.”

To pre-register, contact Highfill by e-mail at greg.highfill@okstate.edu, by phone at 580-237-7677 or by fax at 580-242-1955.

“People can still pay at the door if pre-payment is not convenient, but it really helps if we know how many folks will be attending,” Highfill said.

The conference will primarily focus on three major facets facing stocker operators today: Stocker health management, stocker cattle business issues and practical techniques for reducing animal stress during cattle handling.

Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University veterinarian and director of the KSU Beef Cattle Institute, will lead the stocker health session. Subjects will cover management issues that should be addressed with every load of calves, key steps to ensure receiving success, addressing animal welfare and factors that affect overall animal health, among others.

The stocker cattle business session will be led by Derrell Peel, OSU Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist. Primary points of discussion will be making good cattle market business decisions in turbulent times and what producers should be doing relative to Country of Origin Labeling requirements.

Cattle handling and behavior experts Curt Pate of Helena, Mont., and Ron Gill of Stephenville, Texas, will lead discussions on the use of position, distance, angles and speed to communicate with cattle; teaching cattle to respond in a positive manner; pulling single cattle; removing cattle from pens or pastures; and training horses for low-stress handling of cattle, among others.

Pate also will conduct a live animal demonstration in the arena as a part of the afternoon presentation.

Anyone seeking additional information about the Jan. 21 stocker conference should contact Highfill by e-mail at greg.highfill@okstate.edu or by phone at 580-237-7677.