Master Cattlemen Program begins Jan. 19

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UK Extension specialists present series of four-hour sessions

By David Harrison

Beef producers in LaRue, Hardin and Meade counties have the opportunity again in 2010 to participate in the Heartland Master Cattlemen Program. This outstanding program was developed and is delivered by University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Extension Specialists. It receives financial assistance through the Kentucky Agriculture Development Board.

The Kentucky Master Cattlemen Program consists of 10, four-hour sessions focusing on beef production and the beef industry. These educational sessions cover management skills, forages, nutrition, facilities and animal behavior, environmental stewardship and industry awareness, genetics, reproduction, herd health, end product and marketing and profitability. A different topic is covered each session.

Sessions are designed to enhance the profitability of beef operations by equipping producers with vital information. Participants will be provided with a ready reference during the 10 educational sessions and will be introduced to several new concepts.

The highly successful program has been held across the state the past eight years and has allowed producers to network with specialists, facilitators and other beef producers. Eight LaRue County beef producers participated in the 2003 Master Cattlemen Program, 15 in 2004, 19 in 2005, nine in 2006, eight in 2007 and 10 in 2009.

These individuals will be willing to discuss the many benefits of the program with you. Those benefits include a greater assurance of beef quality, a Master Cattlemen farm gate sign (for those completing a minimum of eight sessions), money saving ideas, and a host of reference materials and the Kentucky Beef Book.

Any person interested in cattle production can enroll in the program by contacting the county Extension Office at (270) 358-3401, completing the registration form, and paying $50 down on the $100 registration fee. The fee covers all materials and delicious beef meals at each session. Due to financial constraints, a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 35 participants from the three counties will be accepted. Applications are on a first-come, first-serve basis until the maximum is met.

Sessions will be held 5-9 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month among the Hardin, LaRue and Meade County Extension Service offices: Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16, April 20, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 21. No sessions are planned for May and June.

Three sessions each are planned for Elizabethtown, Hodgenville and Brandenburg. The November session entitled The End Product, will be held either on the UK campus in Lexington or Boone’s Market in Bardstown.

All beef producers, regardless of age or experience, will find this to be a very meaningful program. New producers, as well as experienced producers, will gain a great deal of information and enjoy the association with cattlemen with like interests.

Joint registrations, such as producer-spouse or farm partnership are permitted, but only one person will be permitted to attend a specific session and only one farm sign and resource notebook will be given. However, if both participants pay full registration fees, they are both eligible to attend all sessions and receive the sign and resource book.

Attendance at eight sessions is required to complete the program, but absences may be made up at other programs around the state.

Call the LaRue County Extension Service office at 358-3401 for registration forms and additional information.