Conference to “reclaim high ground” for ag

Mar 19, 2010
by WLJ

This year’s Montana Livestock Forum and Nutrition Conference will address misinformation, innuendo and anti-meat agendas that have plagued the agriculture industry in the past year, said organizer and Extension beef specialist John Paterson at Montana State University (MSU).

The conference, titled “Challenge for Agriculture: Reclaiming the High Ground,” will be held April 6 and 7 in the ballrooms of the Strand Union Building on the MSU campus. That is a change in location from previous years.

“It is no secret that animal agriculture has been under attack by organizations that want to change the way that livestock producers raise and care for animals,” Paterson said. “... We must become better informed.”

Speakers will discuss a variety of topics, including “Taking Back Agriculture for the Beef Industry” and “The Science and Politics of Animal Welfare.” The keynote speaker, who will address animal welfare, is Janice Swanson, director of the Animal Behavior and Welfare Group at Michigan

State University. Her lecture is funded by a new endowment created by Paul and Barb Grieco with the MSU Foundation. Paul Grieco is a professor in MSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

In other presentations, MSU economist Gary Brester and Butch Bratsky from Stockman Bank will predict calf prices. Mark Petersen, the new research leader at Fort Keogh, will discuss protein supplementation, while another nationally known scientist, Bret Hess, will discuss fat supplementation. Mac White, a rancher from Two Dot, will give his perspective on the true costs of feeding hay during the winter.

The cost to attend both days of the conference is $70. The price for attending one day only is $50 for Tuesday and $25 for Wednesday.

Parking permits are required on the MSU campus.

They cost $2.50 per day. To register, call 406/994-3414, send an e-mail to anitag@ or mail a check to Anita Gray, 220 Linfield Hall, MSU, P.O. Box 172820, Bozeman, MT 59717. — WLJ