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April 15-16: Beef producers offered help in wake of wildfires

By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

boot-campKENNEWICK, Wash. – Science-based strategies to help Washington’s $5 billion beef industry in the aftermath of the 2015 wildfires will be presented at a Cattlemen’s Boot Camp April 15-16 at Kennewick’s Benton County Fairgrounds.

Cattle graze at the WSU Beef Center in Pullman. (Photo by Jennifer Michal, WSU)

“Producers in burned areas are devastated,” said Frank Hendrix, a professor and beef expert for Washington State University Extension’s agriculture and natural resources program. “They’ve lost the grass in dryland pastures for at least two years. All their fences are gone. We can’t tell if the range grasses will recover until spring.”

Boot camp registration costs $75 and the deadline is March 1. Register and find a schedule of events at

The event is offered by WSU Extension partnership with the American Angus Association.

Emergency feeds

Among the WSU animal scientists and extension researchers who will speak at the boot camp, Hendrix will discuss how producers can use irrigated pastures for higher production. As upland ranchers feel more pressure from fires and drought, he sees irrigated forage as a solution.

Since the fire, producers have had to rely on whatever feed they could find locally or have shipped in, said Don Llewellyn, an extension livestock specialist. He will share tips for emergency and alternate feeds.

Improving herds

Day two of the seminar will help producers improve their herds and put their businesses on stronger foundations. WSU and extension researchers will talk about genetics, nutrition, beef quality and the economic outlook.

The seminar will end with a discussion of the latest federal veterinary feed directive, which impacts how producers can use antibiotics.


Mark Nelson, WSU animal sciences, 509-335-5623,
Don Llewellyn, WSU Extension livestock specialist, 509-735-3551,
Frank Hendrix, WSU Extension, 509-574-1600,



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