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Master Cattleman program

Classes for the Butler/Conecuh (counties) Master Cattleman Program will conclude November 14 with a graduation dinner in Evergreen.

Twenty cattlemen from both counties have participated in this year's program.

Butler County participants are:

Will and Melissa Crenshaw, Wayne and Susan Lynch, Gary and James Seale and Thomas Till.

The first class began October 3 with Dr. Lisa Kriese-Anderson teaching &uot;Selection for Optimum Genetics.&uot;

The next class on October 10 was &uot;Cattle Marketing&uot; taught by Dr. Walt Prevatt.

Dr. Darrell Rankins taught the October 17 class on &uot;Beef Cattle Nutrition.&uot;

He stressed that the highest nutritional requirements in terms of protein and energy for beef cattle occur when cows have just calved and are lactating.

There is also a high nutritional requirement for growing weaned calves.

During this period, especially during the wintertime, hay alone will probably not meet all the requirements of lactating cows.

In order to maintain a yearly calving interval, the cow has approximately 80 days from calving to rebreeding.

Without adequate nutrition, the cow will not be able to rebreed in time and she will wean a lighter than normal calf.

Dr. Diego Gimenez taught the next class, &uot;Reproductive Management.&uot;

He brought out the three most important factors the herd manager must consider age, weather, and nutrition.

He stressed that there are four major physiological functions in the cow, and all have priorities for nutrients.

The priorities relative to reproductive functions are in order of priority:

1. Lactation; 2. Body growth; 3. Fetal growth; and 4. Estrous cycle.

Lactation has priority over all the other reproductive functions, and most importantly over resuming the estrous cycle.

We will have our dinner and graduation on November 14.

Our dinner will be sponsored by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

They produce many of the health products and vaccines used in the beef industry.

If you have any questions or would be interested in participating in a Master Cattleman course for next year, please get in touch with me.