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Cattleman’s Update program sets attendance record

Posted 1/11/2010

Nevada rancher Jack Walther and Ron Torell at the Elko location of the 2010 Cattlemen’s Update. Walther has attended the program almost every year since it was introduced in 1965.

Nevada rancher Jack Walther and Ron Torell at the
Elko location of the 2010 Cattlemen’s Update. Walther
has attended the program almost every year since it
was introduced in 1965.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s recently completed annual Cattleman’s Update program matched its all-time attendance record with more than 450 adult livestock producers participating in the traveling education series. The previous high was set back in 2005.

The 2010 workshops, also sponsored by the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency and Nevada Cattleman’s Association, focused on beef cow management strategies that help ranchers improve their bottom line while maintaining quality.

Cattlemen’s Update, originally called “Livestock Educational Series,” originated in 1965, the brainchild of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension field faculty. “Instead of producers coming to us, we took the information to them — a traveling road show if you will,” says A.Z. Joy, retired White Pine County Extension Educator and one of the originators of the program.

“The idea was to hold an educational program for Nevada beef producers in each ranching community,” Joy said. “The program would address livestock production, marketing or other needed topics. We vowed to never hold a time waster and to leave politics out of it. We aimed to have a quality program with top speakers who present information with a take-home message to add to the bottom line of Nevada beef operations.”

Those continue to be the goals of Cattleman’s Update, said UNCE State Specialist Ron Torell, who coordinates the program with UNCE livestock specialists Dr. David Thain and Dr. Ben Bruce.

“I can remember as a young man attending the Livestock Educational Series and thinking what a great source of information. Thirty-five years later I am coordinating the event,” Torell said.

Nevada ranchers Jack Walther, Julian Smith and Dean Baker were on hand for the 2010 program — just as they were 45 years ago for the first Cattlemen’s Update program.

“ I have attended most of the programs over the last 45 years,” Walther said. “It’s always well worth the time.”

Thain, a veterinarian with UNCE, said Cattleman’s Update now also serves ranchers in states neighboring Nevada.

“What started out as a statewide program has evolved into regional workshops. We average 400 to 450 participants yearly — from California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. Five years ago we started offering the program by interactive video in Eureka, Lovelock, Caliente, Tonopah, Logandale, Klamath Falls and Douglas County, Ore. This is just one more way of taking advantage of communication technology while sticking to the original objectives of Cattlemen’s Update -- bringing information to you.”

During the 2010 Cattlemen’s Update program, UNCE Dean and Director Karen Hinton asked participants to complete a long-term impact assessment of the Cattlemen’s Update programs they have attended. This information will help determine the future needs and direction of Extension programming, as well as secure future funding for the program. Participants can complete that survey at http://www.cabnr.unr.edu/curtis/survey.html.

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