By MELINDA WILLIAMS
WASHINGTON COUNTY – This year’s Tri-State Beef Cattle Conference will feature, for the first time, virtual tours of four outstanding beef cattle operations.
The sixth annual event, which costs $25, will be held Thursday and Friday, Aug. 8-9, at Washington County Fairgrounds. Programs begin at 2 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. Friday. There will be an evening meal and evening speaker Thursday.
The virtual tours will include cow-calf and stocker operations from Virginia and Tennessee, with one cow-calf operation and one stocker operation featured each day. The tours consist of a video presentation of each operation, followed by an opportunity to ask the operators questions.
The Virginia cow-calf operation to be toured is Stuart Land and Cattle Company Inc. in Russell County. The 1,400-cow operation, managed by Lynda Stuart, is larger than most, but follows many practices necessary for a successful cow-calf operation.
The Virginia stocker operation, owned and operated by Bob and Butch Foster of Washington County, focuses on superior pasture management and buys high quality stockers.
Tennessee’s cow-calf operation is Riverview Farm in Knox County. The 80-cow operation is owned and managed by Lafayette and Janice Williams, who market their calves to individuals for use as freezer beef. Most are finished on grain, but an increasing number are finished on grass. Customers have purchased their beef for 50 years.
The Tennessee stocker operation is owned and managed by Terry Snyder from Johnson County. In addition to running 300 to 400 stocker cattle, Snyder helps smaller operators market calves in truckloads through a county-owned handling facility.
The conference also will feature presentations on market outlook, risk management, weed control, supplemental feeding and health management. Tom Brink of JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding will present his view of today’s cattle business.
Virginia Cooperative Extension, University of Tennessee Extension and North Carolina Cooperative Extension are sponsors of the conference.
Registration and additional information is available through county Extension offices or at http://www.apsc.vt.edu/extension/beef/index.html.