More than 500 producers, educators, researchers and others with an interest in beef cattle gathered in Mitchell this week.

The Range Beef Cow Symposium took place Monday-Wednesday at the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds and featured a number of demonstrations and informational sessions.

The demonstrations were a new element this year, but Karla Wilke, a cow-calf/stocker specialist at the University of Nebraska’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center, said they went well.

“I was nervous about the logistics of rotating 500 people through stations, but in the end it worked out pretty well,” said Wilke. “People seemed to enjoy the change of pace and got a lot out of the sessions.”

Among the demonstration topics were assisting a cow during pregnancy, stockmanship, cattle dogs, nutrition, embryo transfers and technology used to determine pregnancy.

The sessions also covered a number of topics including artificial insemination, cattle health and nutrition, alternative meat and ranch transitions, among others.

Wilke said the Symposium is important because it gives producers an opportunity to learn about research based practices that could improve the profitability and sustainability of their operations.

In addition to producers, educators working in agriculture can attend to catch up on research, Wilke said.

“It is also a chance for them to visit with vendors who may be selling products or services they need in a ‘one stop shop’ atmosphere,” Wilke said. There were 60 vendors on site. “It also gives them a chance to network with other producers who make have tried practices that they want to try.”

The symposium started in 1969 and takes place every other year, rotating between venues in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.

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Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at

Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at

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