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Track 4: All About the Beef

Raising beef cattle for profit can be a satisfying enterprise. However, there are several management skills that each beef producer should have to be successful. An important aspect of the beef business is the ability to handle cattle in a quiet and efficient manner. In order to do this, beef operations should have facilities set up to manage cattle for feeding, routine health care and sorting. Facilities may also be needed for housing cattle inside as compared to managing cattle on pasture. This is just one of many management topics that will be covered in this track throughout the day. Participants will learn some best management practices, learn how to use genetics to select breeding stock, culling and selection criteria for a cow/calf operation, ways to maintain low feed costs utilizing your grass, and how to build handling facilities that work for them.

Instructors: Bruce Loyd, Ronnie Helmondollar, and Debbie Friend, WVU Extension Service and Richard Law, Farmer, Lost Creek, WV

Courses offered within this track

Best Management Practices for Beef Cattle/Understanding Genetic Data in Sire Selection
Session 1: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Presenters: Bruce Loyd and Ronnie Helmondollar

Bruce Loyd, WVU Extension Service Lewis County, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, BMLoyd@mail.wvu.edu. Bruce has a B.S. in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech and a M.S. in Animal Science from Penn State. He and his wife Kaye own and operate a small farm with beef cattle and hay close to Weston, WVa. Bruce coordinates the educational dinner meetings, the private pesticide applicators re-certification video for the state, and assists with many state events sponsored or co-sponsored by WVU Extension including the State Dairy Show and the WV Beef Expo. Bruce’s area of expertise includes livestock production and marketing, pesticide use and safety, brush and weed control, and youth agriculture. In 2011, Bruce received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Ronnie Helmondollar, WVU Extension Service Randolph County, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, RRHelmondollar@mail.wvu.edu. Ronnie is B.S. in Agriculture from Ferrum College and a M.S. from West Virginia University in Animal and Veterinary Sciences. Ronnie’s thesis was on the improvement of beef cattle through selection of bulls. Ronnie and his wife Lisa and their two sons reside in Taylor County where they raise beef cattle. Ronnie is an essential member of the quality assurance feeder calf sale program in the state as well as the Wardensville Bull Evaluation team. He has received many accolades throughout his career with Extension including the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 2006.


Cattle Marketing Options and Making Cull Cow Decisions
Session 2: 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Presenter: Debbie Friend

Debbie Friend, WVU Extension Service Braxton County, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Debbie.friend@mail.wvu.edu. Debbie Friend received a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Science from WVU and a M.S. in Animal Science from Michigan State University. She and her husband David manage a small cow/calf and sheep operation. She is the Extension Agent in Braxton County for both Agriculture and 4-H. Debbie is the co-Chair for the WVU Extension Service Youth Agriculture team which coordinates statewide educational programs. She has worked with area cattle producers to add value to their feeder calves through pooled marketing and has implemented the local Master Gardener program.


Maximizing Your Grass Resources/Facilities That Work
Session 3: 2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Presenter: Bruce Loyd, Ronnie Helmondollar and Debbie Friend

Bruce Loyd, WVU Extension Service Lewis County, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, BMLoyd@mail.wvu.edu. Bruce has a B.S. in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech and a M.S. in Animal Science from Penn State. He and his wife Kaye own and operate a small farm with beef cattle and hay close to Weston, WVa. Bruce coordinates the educational dinner meetings, the private pesticide applicators re-certification video for the state, and assists with many state events sponsored or co-sponsored by WVU Extension including the State Dairy Show and the WV Beef Expo. Bruce’s area of expertise includes livestock production and marketing, pesticide use and safety, brush and weed control, and youth agriculture. In 2011, Bruce received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Ronnie Helmondollar, WVU Extension Service Randolph County, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, RRHelmondollar@mail.wvu.edu. Ronnie is B.S. in Agriculture from Ferrum College and a M.S. from West Virginia University in Animal and Veterinary Sciences. Ronnie’s thesis was on the improvement of beef cattle through selection of bulls. Ronnie and his wife Lisa and their two sons reside in Taylor County where they raise beef cattle. Ronnie is an essential member of the quality assurance feeder calf sale program in the state as well as the Wardensville Bull Evaluation team. He has received many accolades throughout his career with Extension including the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 2006.

Debbie Friend, WVU Extension Service Braxton County, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Debbie.friend@mail.wvu.edu. Debbie Friend received a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Science from WVU and a M.S. in Animal Science from Michigan State University. She and her husband David manage a small cow/calf and sheep operation. She is the Extension Agent in Braxton County for both Agriculture and 4-H. Debbie is the co-Chair for the WVU Extension Service Youth Agriculture team which coordinates statewide educational programs. She has worked with area cattle producers to add value to their feeder calves through pooled marketing and has implemented the local Master Gardener program.