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K-State’s Winter Ranch Management Series Set for January; Focuses on Replacement Heifers

22:27PM Dec 11, 2014

The series will highlight best management and selection practices for replacement heifers and allow producers to ask questions of extension specialists.
By: Katie Allen, K-State Research & Extension News

Record high calf prices and projected cow-calf profitability have many producers considering expansion. Selecting, feeding and breeding the right replacement heifers could have a large impact on future profits.

With that in mind, the 2015 K-State Winter Ranch Management series of meetings will focus on best management practices for developing replacement heifers. The meetings will also feature the popular ‘town-hall’ style—a two-way verbal exchange—between Kansas’ cattle producers and extension specialists. The series is set to kick off in January.

The Winter Ranch Management series has a history of being a successful stretch of meetings, which are hosted throughout the state of Kansas, said Bob Weaber, beef breeding, genetics and cow-calf specialist for K-State Research and Extension. Weaber, along with other state, district and local extension staff, will take part in the series to help answer producers’ questions about replacement heifer development and a wide range of beef cattle issues surrounding animal health, nutrition, management, genetics and reproduction.

“Over the past few months we’ve received quite a few questions from producers regarding heifer development,” Weaber said. “The Winter Ranch Management series provides a great opportunity for us as state specialists to take our expertise out in the country for face-to-face meetings. We plan to provide educational content on a wide range of issues related to heifer development including a market outlook, heifer selection, nutrition, target development weights, breeding and estrus synchronization, and some background on the Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program.”

Weaber said producers should come to the meetings prepared with questions. Some of the hot topics he foresees discussing in addition to heifer development include drought management and recovery, winter feeding and cow management, preparation for calving season, and, as the bull buying season approaches, selection and genetics issues.

“January is always a great time for producers, when the weather is bad and after they get chores done, to sit back, think and plan for the year, including the calves that will be born in the spring and how they might manage those,” he said. “Certainly it is a good time of year to think about business strategy opportunities moving forward in terms of expansion.”

2015 Winter Ranch Management locations and contacts include:

La Crosse

  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 6, evening
  • Location: La Crosse Livestock Market, 2340 U.S. 183, La Crosse, KS
  • Jared Petersilie, Walnut Creek Extension District, 785-222-2710
  • Stacy Campbell, Ellis County, 785-628-9430
  • Alicia Boor, Barton County, 620-793-1910

Mound City

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 8, evening
  • Location: First Baptist Church, 8424 Paine Road, Mound City, KS
  • Abbie Powell, Marais des Cygnes Extension District, 913-795-2829
  • Megan Westerhold, Marais des Cygnes Extension District, 913-294-4306
  • Chris Petty, Southwind Extension District, 620-223-3720

Hill City

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 15, late morning
  • Location: 4-H Building, Graham County Fairgrounds, Hill City, KS
  • Tressie Mitzner, Graham County Extension, 785-421-3411
  • Bronc Barrows, Golden Prairie Extension District, 785-743-6361
  • Julie Niehage, Golden Prairie Extension District, 785-671-3245
  • Julianne Shoup, Twin Creeks Extension District, 785-675-3268
  • Keith VanSkike, Twin Creeks Extension District, 785-877-5755
  • Rachael Boyle, Phillips-Rooks Extension District, 785-425-6851
  • Cody Miller, Phillips-Rooks Extension District, 785-543-6845


  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 15, evening
  • Location: North Central Kansas Technical College Student Union Conference Room, 3033 U.S. Hwy 24, Beloit, KS
  • Neil Cates, Post Rock District, 785-738-3597
  • Anthony Ruiz, Central Kansas Extension District, 785-392-2147
  • John Forshee, River Valley Extension District, 785-632-5335
  • Dusti Betts, Midway District, 785-483-3157



  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 27, late morning
  • Location: Herington Community Building, 810 South Broadway, Herington, KS
  • Lori Bammerlin, Flint Hills Extension District, 620-767-5136
  • Laura Marks, Dickinson County, 785-263-2001
  • Rickey Roberts, Marion County, 620-382-2325


  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 27, evening
  • Location: Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 17535 Say Road, Wamego, KS
  • Austin Sexten, Pottawatomie County, 785-457-3319
  • Kara Mayer, Wabaunsee County, 785-765-3821


  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 29, evening
  • Location: Grace Community Church, 310 E 8th Street, Overbrook, KS
  • Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District, 785-828-4438

Meeting times may vary by location but all will include either a lunch or dinner meal. Participants are asked to RSVP for a selected location by the close of business the Friday before the event. Registration fees, which cover a meal, vary by location. Interested participants should reach out to their local host contact for registration and RSVP details.

More information about the K-State Winter Ranch Management series is available at Upcoming Beef Events.