Tyson vice president to discuss marketing at Beef/Forage Field DayApril 16, 2012
Whitney A. Whitworth, Ph.D., P.A.S., Associate Professor of Animal Science
Southeast Research and Extension Center
University of Arkansas at Monticello
Kelly Bryant, Director, Southeast Research and Extension Center
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Beef cattle producers will learn what happens to their cattle after it leaves the sale barn in a “Beef Merchandising 101” presentation by Tyson Foods Senior Vice President of Research and Development Craig Bacon at the Beef/Forage Field Day April 26 at the Southeast Research and Extension Center (SEREC) on the University of Arkansas Monticello campus.
The program will include exhibits at the SEREC headquarters starting at 4:30 p.m. and a field tour at 5:30 p.m. followed by a complimentary meal.
The center, which is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, conducts research and extension programs with a herd of about 100 cows. Division of Agriculture faculty members also work with vegetable crops at Monticello and row crops at the 800-acre Rohwer Research Station in Desha County.
Whitney Whitworth, associate professor of animal science, said the annual field day is planned with the assistance of county Cooperative Extension Service agents to address current issues for beef producers.
“Dr. Bacon will discuss how producers can benefit from understanding the processing and marketing chain that begins on the farm and ends on the consumer”s plate,” Whitworth said.
At Tyson Foods corporate headquarters in Springdale, Bacon oversees more than 100 food technologists, culinologists, food scientists and chefs who develop products for the company and its customers. He has a B.S. degree from the University of Missouri and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee in Food Science and Technology. He has been with Tyson Foods for 21 years and has served as president of the American Meat Science Association.
Bacon and his family operate a ranch near Siloam Springs that produces registered Hereford cattle, club lambs and a registered Shropshire sheep flock. The operation sells bulls to commercial cattlemen and market lambs to 4-H and FFA youth.
Animal Science Department Head Mike Looper will give an update at the field day on the statewide research and extension programs he coordinates. He is also head of the animal science academic program on the Fayetteville campus.
With cattle prices at historically high levels, selection of high quality replacement heifers to restock depleted herds is an important concern. Whitworth will demonstrate ways to evaluate and select replacement heifers. “In today”s market, you want to be sure you keep only the best of the best,” she said.
Farm Manager Gregg Montgomery will show how SEREC uses rotational grazing to get the most benefit from forage resources. Practices such as strip grazing and stockpiling forage in the pasture rather than cutting and baling have improved cattle performance and reduced reliance on hay, Whitworth said.
Montgomery will discuss how rotational grazing practices were developed in part from a long-term study of grazing behavior and a stream-bank restoration project.