“Stocker Solutions for Challenging Times” is the theme for the 2009 Mid-South Stocker Conference scheduled for Feb. 24-25 at the Lake Barkley Resort Park Lodge near Cadiz, Ky.

Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service of the universities of Kentucky and Tennessee and each state’s Cattlemen's Association, in partnership with Bayer Animal Health and BEEF magazine, the conference aims to assist cattle producers with an interest in stocker production.

Stocker production is the phase of beef production between weaning and placement in the feedlot for finishing. Producer interest in this phase of beef production has grown as market demand for heavier, healthier cattle for feedlot placement has increased.

The stocker phase of beef production fits producers in both Tennessee and Kentucky as well as operations throughout the Mid-South due to abundant supplies of forages for efficient gains and a ready supply of quality calves.

The conference will start at noon (CST) on Tuesday, Feb. 24, with a tour of area cattle operations including stocker operations and buyers of feeder cattle.

The day will conclude with a “flat iron” steak dinner, a reception and trade show at the lodge convention center.

Cattle industry agri-businesses will serve as sponsors of the conference also.

The program on Wednesday, Feb. 25, will start at 7 a.m. with a continental breakfast in the trade show area.

The formal program, which begins at 9 a.m., will include topics concerning the proper use of veterinary services, a marketing update, survival and sustainability of stocker operations, implications of COOL, and implications of lower P in fertilizer and minerals.

The afternoon program will feature successful backgrounders discussing tips regarding techniques that work for their operations. The final program will be available online at www.midsouthstocker.org.

Lakeview rooms at the Lake Barkley State Resort Park Lodge are available at the special rate of $44.95 per night, if reserved by Jan. 24. The preregistration fee for the conference, which includes the tour, reception meals, proceedings and access to the trade show, is $95 per person.

You may register online www.midsouthstocker.org or contact John Bartee with UT Extension’s Montgomery County office at (931) 648-5725 or jbartee1@utk.edu.

Registration after Feb. 15 and on-site at the conference will be $145.

If you have any questions about the conference, call Roy Burris, (270) 365-7541, ext. 208; or Jeff Lehmkuhler, (859) 257-2853.