North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC-Marianna) Panhandle Cattlemen’s College. Photo taken 10-26-23.

The 2023 Panhandle Cattlemen’s College is in the books. This intensive three-day program was developed to meet the needs of cattlemen as they work to improve their reproductive success and expand their knowledge of basic management skills. The program was a total success, being at full capacity, 15 producers received certification in Artificial Insemination (AI), 23 producers were certified in Applied Beef Cattle Skills, and over 40 producers became BQA certified. The key highlight of this program was the hands-on nature of these trainings. Producers left the class having practiced every skill they were taught on live cattle. The event was hosted at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida, on October 25-27, 2023. The program featured three tracks:

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Training

Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that raises consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. A BQA certification was offered as a stand-alone program on the morning of Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Completing this program resulted in BQA certification. Thank you to Dr. Todd Thrift facilitating the certification.

Artificial Insemination Course

Artificial Insemination is a reproductive technology that allows producers to have accesses to industry leading genetics and increases their ability to manage the reproductive success of their herd. This was an applied hands-on course training participants in all aspects of A.I. and synchronization. Each day clients spent time in cows, practicing the chute-side A.I. techniques. This course concluded with the opportunity for participants to receive a certificate of certification for AI. Producers spent multiple days, being led by Dr. Angela Gonella and Kasey Aukema.

Applied Beef Cattle Skills

The chute side practicum focused on basic cattle production skills that enhanced their ability to manage their herd by not only learning about production strategies, but also practicing the skills they need to implement them. An array of basic skills was covered such as cattle handling, pulling calves, tubing calves, tagging, castration, dehorning, giving injections, implanting and more. This course was designed for participants who are looking to expand their knowledge of applied management practices with the opportunity to practice these skills on live cattle. During the program the producers were led by Kalyn Waters and Nick Simmons. Each day was filled with learning basic and advanced skills that are need to manage cattle. At the end of the class the group processed and worked a group of 74 head of calves. They were able to operate the hydraulic chute, give injections, take blood samples and more.

This program is presented by a team in the Northwest District including Kalyn Waters, Dr. Angela Gonella, Nick Simmons, Kasey Aukema and Daniella Castaneda. If you are interested in attending the 2024 Panhandle Cattlemen’s College, please contact Kalyn Waters at 850-547-1108. 2024 class registration will open in February 2024.

Our key sponsors for this program were Farm Credit of Northwest Florida, represented by Logan Chappell, Quality Liquid Feeds (QLF), represented by Randy Davis and Brad Carter, Merck Animal Health represented by Josh Churchwell, and Farm and Pet Veterinarian Services, represented by Dr. Todd Anderson, DVM.

Participants learned to take blood samples from both the neck and tail.  Photo Credit: Cat Wofford, UF/IFAS Extension

Dr. Todd Anderson and Kalyn Waters teaching about semen motility and morphology after taking a fresh sample from a bull. Photo Credit: Cat Wofford, UF/IFAS Extension

Kasey Aukema teaching reproductive anatomy to AI participants. Photo Credit: Cat Wofford, UF/IFAS Extension

Dr. Todd Anderson, DMV, teaching producers how to assist with calving issues during BQA certification. Photo Credit: Cat Wofford, UF/IFAS Extension

Kalyn Waters leading the chute skills portion of the class where the capstone was participants working 74 head of heifer’s through the chute. Photo Credit: Cat Wofford, UF/IFAS Extension

Dr. Angela Gonella leading the AI portion of the class. Photo Credit: Cat Wofford, UF/IFAS Extension

Kalyn Waters