Cattle producers can expect to receive the tools they need to better manage their herds at the 2010 Southwest Beef Symposium, Jan. 20-21 in Tucumcari.

The Southwest Beef Symposium is a joint effort between the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Extension. The symposium provides decision-making tools to beef producers in the Southwest.

“At the symposium we are going to have a number of nationally recognized guest speakers address animal welfare issues facing the beef industry today. These speakers will provide insight on how cattle producers can tell their true story of beef production and animal care in a manner that consumers understand,” said Clay Mathis, an Extension livestock specialist. “We are going to talk about animal welfare practices and management throughout the beef industry.”

Producers can attend the stockmanship and stewardship session taught by Ron Gill and Curt Pate. The session offers a unique approach, with live cattle demonstrations to teach effective stockmanship skills and inform cattle producers about the importance and benefits of proper cattle handing. The techniques capitalize on improvements in the performance of livestock and of the critical role of proper cattle handling in increasing consumer confidence in beef.

Cattlemen will receive a “toolbox” of ideas that will help them sort through and identify the values of technologies in cattle nutrition, health diagnostics, genetics and financial risk management. Plus, Dale Blasi, of Kansas State University, will present a special session on stocker cattle health and management.

Jason Henderson, the executive vice president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in Omaha, Neb., will speak about the country’s economy and its impact on the agriculture industry.

Lowell Catlett, dean of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will also be a guest speaker at the event.

“The purpose of this symposium is to provide producers more tools and better decision-making skills to manage their operations,” Mathis said.

The symposium is from Jan. 20-21 at the Tucumcari Convention Center. The cost to attend the event is $50 per person.

For questions about the symposium or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Mathis by Jan. 5 at (575) 646-8022. For information about the Southwest Beef Symposium, including the agenda and registration form, visit http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/swbeef/.