Fluctuating fuel and feed costs over the past couple of years have made the business of beef production particularly challenging. To help producers maximize their resources and operations, Kansas State University Research and Extension will host a K-State Beef Conference Thursday, Aug. 13.

Titled "Making Money in Hard Times," the conference will be in Frick Auditorium at K-State´s College of Veterinary Medicine.

"The conference is especially geared for cow-calf producers and designed to provide take-home knowledge that will enhance their ability to improve profitability," said Extension veterinarian Larry Hollis.

Troy Marshall, beef producer and a BEEF magazine contributing editor, will be the featured speaker. His presentations, "Issues Facing the Beef Industry" and "Opportunities Facing the Cow-Calf Producer," will open and close the conference.

The conference will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and the program starting at 9 a.m.

Other conference presentation topics and presenters will include:

-Replacements: Raise them or buy them? - Sandy Johnson, K-State animal scientist.

-Animal welfare: It´s your business! - Dan Thomson, K-State Beef Cattle Institute.

-Management strategies affecting calf marketability - Karl Harborth, K-State animal scientist; Lee Schulz, K-State agricultural economist; and Kevin Dhuyvetter, K-State agricultural economist.

-Options to extend the grazing season: Cool season annuals - Stacy Gunter, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.

-Options to extend the grazing season: Crop residues - Rick Funston, University of Nebraska animal scientist.

-Mineral needs to complement ethanol by-product feeding - Justin Waggoner, K-State animal scientist.

-Managing price risk in cow-calf operations - Kevin Dhuyvetter, K-State agricultural economist.

For planning purposes, organizers are asking that the $60 conference registration fee be paid by July 31, but registration will also be available at the door. The fee includes morning and afternoon refreshments, a noon meal, and conference materials. A complimentary parking pass will be mailed to those who register and request them prior to July 31 and will also be available the day of the event.

More information and registration forms are available on the Web at http://www.asi.ksu.edu/beefconference or from Linda Siebold at 785-532-1281 or lsiebold@ksu.edu.