PULLMAN – Beef industry professionals and interested students can learn about the research, teaching and extension of WSU’s Department of Animal Sciences at “Beefing Up the Future” Oct. 22-23.
 
Tours and presentations will showcase science, technology and solutions for Washington’s beef cattle industry, focusing on target areas of research and extension that will help shape the future.
 
“We anticipate participation from all over the region… To that end, we’re arranging for a bus to bring folks from the west side of the state to Pullman on Friday and take them home again on Saturday,” said Margaret Benson, chair of the WSU Department of Animal Sciences.
 
Information about transportation, meals (including a Friday night beef BBQ with optional beef and wine tastings created by WSU executive chef Jamie Callison), hotel rooms, program details and registration is available on the animal sciences website: http://www.ansci.wsu.edu.
 
The Friday program will include faculty-guided tours of El Oro Cattle Feeders and Bar-U Ranch. The El Oro feedlot in Moses Lake is a high-efficiency facility that, by leveraging economies of scale in procurement and marketing, is able to maximize profits.
 
Bar-U owners Dick and Paula Coon work closely with WSU researchers to translate grazing science from the lab to the ranch. The Coons, of Benge, Wash., and their research partners will discuss innovative strategies of rangeland management.
 
After arriving in Pullman, participants will tour the WSU Ensminger Beef Center facilities where they will see research, teaching and extension programs firsthand.
 
On Saturday, the program will include a keynote address from Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef. Corah is nationally recognized for his visionary perspective on the beef industry. He will offer his vision of the future by outlining challenges and presenting opportunities for Washington producers.
 
The program will continue with sessions and hands-on workshops that offer participants a close-up look at ways WSU research developments can be used as tools for success:
 
* Mark Nelson Jan Busboom will discuss their work in beef palatability.
 
“While it is easy to ruin good beef, it is almost impossible to make bad beef palatable,” said Busboom, animal scientist and extension meats specialist. “Our research on both pre- and post-harvest factors in beef palatability offer tools to improve beef palatability.”
 
Nelson and Busboom also will present tools for palatability evaluation and strategies for producing beef with increased omega-3 fatty acids and other potentially health-benefitting properties.
 
* Holly Neibergs, Derek McLean, Jim Pru and Dan Rodgers will present their work in genetics and its potential to reduce disease susceptibility, improve maternal recognition of pregnancy, enhance male fertility and bolster muscle growth.
 
* Kris Johnson, Jude Capper and Don Nelson will discuss and present tools that enhance productivity and beef quality while at the same time creating a sustainable landscape by mitigating the impact of beef production on the environment.
 
“Beef producers have carefully managed their resources for years to ensure the sustainability of their operations,” said Johnson, professor and animal scientist. “Increasing societal pressure to manage nutrients to reduce losses due to runoff, mitigate greenhouse gas production and produce a safe and abundant food product may require additional or different management strategies.
 
“Incorporation of management techniques to enhance production efficiency is clearly one option,” she said. “New research conducted at WSU provides opportunities for cattle producers to add to their tools, enhance sustainability of their operations and educate the general public about cattle and their role in the environment.”