200 cattle ranchers, industry representatives, and extension professionals attended the Beef Cattle Conference in 2023. Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS


Beef Cattle Conference logoRanchers, family members, and ranch hands are invited to attend the 39th annual Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show to be held Wednesday, February 14, 2024. This event will be held at the Jackson County Extension Office Auditorium, located at 2741 Penn Ave, Marianna, Florida.  Registration and the Trade Show will open at 7:30 AM central time, and the educational program will start at 8:15 AM and conclude with a sponsored grilled steak lunch.

Due primarily to continued widespread drought, the national cattle inventory grew even smaller in 2023.  Because of this reduced supply, cattle prices improved significantly and are forecast to remain high in 2024.  The focus of the 2024 Beef Cattle Conference is “Calculated Investment to Add Value to Your Beef Herd.”  Input costs have moderated to some degree but remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.  Ranchers need to carefully consider options to take advantage of the higher income while still carefully monitoring their operating costs.

Dr. Darrh Bullock, Kentucky’s Cattle Genetics Extension Specialist, will be the keynote speaker this year.  He will discuss improving herd performance through investment in improved genetics.   Dr. Bullock will discuss the tools available to use for quality replacement bull and heifer selection including genomically enhanced EPDs, percentile tables, and breed indexes developed from combinations of EPDs based on how cattle will be managed.  Other presentations, provided by UF/IFAS Extension faculty, will focus on the market outlook for 2024, adding value to weaned calves, marketing cattle as beef, and improving pasture performance.  The goal for the speakers is to share ideas to help ranchers make wise investments into their cattle operations this year.  The five presentations will not provide all the answers to the challenges to be faced in 2024, but they will help producers develop a strategic plan for their operation.

Conference Agenda

This sponsored educational event is provided at no cost to cattle ranchers, but online registration is requested to assist with food preparation and to minimize registration time at the door.  To reserve your seats, use the following link:

Beef Cattle Conference Rancher Registration

2023 Beef Cattle Conference Trade Show

Industry Representatives from 25 organizations that offer goods and services for cattle ranchers consulted with participants through the Trade Show in 2023. Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS

In addition to the educational program, the conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that offer goods and services to cattle producers in the region. The representatives in attendance are trained professionals in specific areas of cattle, forage, and farm management. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with so many resource people in one place.  If you are interested in representing your organization as part of the Trade Show, use the following link to reserve your booth, or contact Doug Mayo, at 850-482-9620, or demayo@ufl.edu.

Trade Show Exhibitor Booth Reservation

The University of Florida is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. For disability accommodations, such as sign language interpreters and listening devices, please contact Doug Mayo: 850-482-9620 or demayo@ufl.edu at least 1 week in advance. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With offices in each of Florida’s 67 county, UF/IFAS Extension works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS Extension web site at SolutionsForYourLife.com and follow us on social media.

Doug Mayo
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