Producers, retailers, food service professionals and packers should sign up now to attend the three-day Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit taking place the week of April 5.

“The summit is a practical way to get the latest hands-on information needed to improve and maintain a high standard of beef quality throughout the many and varied aspects of Oklahoma’s multi-billion-dollar beef industry,” said Heather Buckmaster, executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council.

Participants can choose to attend one of two identical three-day summits. The first summit will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 5, and finish at approximately 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7. The second summit will begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, and finish at approximately 1 p.m. on Friday, April 9.

Multiple topics will be covered, including live cattle yield and quality grading, carcass evaluation and fabrication, food safety, value-added products and current trends in the beef industry.

Sponsored by OBC, the summit will take place at Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus to enable participants to utilize state-of-the-art facilities and the expertise of faculty and staff with OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“We’re very pleased to partner with OBC in hosting the Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit,” said Robert E. Whitson, DASNR vice president, dean and director. “Past summits have proven to be an extremely useful and popular way to provide beef producers, food retailers and other agri-business operators with key information necessary to foster prosperity in today’s increasingly complex marketplace.”

Tuition, workshop materials and meals are free for beef producers, as the summit is funded through beef checkoff dollars. However, participants are required to register beforehand.

“We recognize that coming to the summit is an investment for each participant, individually and in terms of their operation or company,” Buckmaster said. “Pre-registration helps us to ensure the best experience possible for participants.”

To register, contact OBC’s Staci Amato at 1-800-235-5403. Registration forms, daily agendas and additional information are available online at http://www.beefextension.com.

OSU animal science faculty leading sessions include Deb VanOverbeke, assistant professor of meat products; Brad Morgan, professor of meats; and Bob Kropp, professor of beef cattle.

Jake Nelson, food processing specialist with OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, and Derrell Peel, OSU Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist with the department of agricultural economics, also will lead sessions.

“Increasingly, there are opportunities for producers and agri-business operators to capture additional dollars,” Peel said. “The summit helps us and our cooperating partners in industry and education to build awareness of these opportunities, thereby benefiting every aspect of Oklahoma’s beef industry. It’s time well spent.”