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Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director's monthly column featured in Cattleman Magazine. Archives

Dan Loy in The Cattleman Magazine


July 2018

It's Fair Time

Iowa has 92 county fairs that happen at least partially in the month of July. For many, county fairs bring visions of sweet corn, tractor pulls and carnival rides. For most of you reading this column, the county fair is about the opportunity to promote beef by grilling ribeyes and steaks for your neighbors and most importantly it is about the youth. For the majority of youth beef projects the county fair is the culmination of several months of hard work. For many beef industry leaders their passion for beef cattle began this way.

According to Mike Anderson, Iowa 4-H Livestock Program Specialist, this year there are 10,769 members enrolled in the 4-H beef project in Iowa with 13,704 cattle identified. Beef projects remain a popular way for Iowa youth to learn responsibility, hard work, stockmanship and business principles. So be sure to take in a county fair this summer, walk through the barns and stop and ask a young person about their calf. You might be talking to a future leader of the industry.

On July 1 we welcomed a new member to our team. Dr. Katy Lippolis is the new Extension Beef Cow-Calf Specialist for Iowa. A Colorado native, Katy joins us after finishing her Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Katy brings a research interest in weaning management and nutrition. While at Colorado State University she was the state Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator for Colorado. That experience will serve her well here in Iowa as more market outlets are asking their suppliers to be certified.

Speaking of BQA certification, look for several opportunities for in-person training and certification this summer. This includes a BQA certification and cattle handling demonstration featuring Dr. Tom Nofsinger on July 30 in West Union and Wyoming, IA. Look for an opportunity for in-person BQA transportation certification at sites in Minnesota on July 17, 18 and19. You can still attend the last of three BQA certification workshops in Northwest Iowa on July 18 at Albright Farms near Lytton. More certification opportunities are being planned, so please check the IBC website or the Iowa Beef Industry Council BQA page.

The popular ISU Feedlot Short Course will return on July 31-Aug. 2. This in-depth, hands-on program brings leading experts including Dr. Dan Thomson from Kansas State University and South Dakota nutritional consultant Dr. Robbi Pritchard to Ames along with ISU experts. Registration is limited to the first 30 participants. Topics will cover feed bunk management, cattle health and acclimation. All participants will be BQA certified. Visit for online registration and additional course details.
The use of corn silage for beef cattle continues to regain interest in Iowa. The value of using silage as way to integrate nutrient management, cover crops and cattle feed has led to this interest. To help answer these questions we have co-hosted two silage conferences this summer with the University of Nebraska and the University of Wisconsin respectively. A third opportunity for silage education will be held in Northwest Iowa on Aug. 28 at the Research and Demonstration Farm near Sutherland.

Summer is grass time and there is still time to attend the Greenhorn Grazing series sessions on July 12 and Aug. 30 at the McNay Farm in southern Iowa. Look for other pasture walks and grazing programs in your area. For a good reference on grazing, check out the completely updated and revised "Pasture Management Guide for Livestock Producers." This 167-page reference publication is available from the ISU Extension store for $10.


The IBC at Iowa State University serves as the university’s extension program to cattle producers. Our center comprises a team of faculty and staff from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. We work together to develop and deliver the latest in research-based information to improve the profitability and vitality of Iowa’s beef industry. If you’d like to be notified of updates on progress of research projects or programs that might be coming to your area, please subscribe to our "Growing Beef" newsletter by following the link on our website, If you have a question, use the "Ask our Experts" link on the website. Also, feel free to call us at 515-294-BEEF or email us at You can also follow @iowabeefcenter on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.



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