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Fitzsimmons Land & Cattle To Host KLA/K-State Ranch Field Day
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Challenges facing ranchers and feeders in the nation’s capital will be highlighted during the Aug. 21 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day at Fitzsimmons Land & Cattle near Cunningham. The Dean and Jerree Fitzsimmons and Gary and Mary Fitzsimmons families own and operate this diversified beef cattle and crop farm in eastern Pratt County. The Fitzsimmons have a commercial spring-calving cowherd and background their calves prior to selling them in the spring. In addition, they raise wheat, milo, alfalfa and silage to complement the beef cattle enterprise.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts has battled a long list of animal agriculture issues in Washington, D.C. She will provide a timely report on how NCBA is addressing a variety of issues on behalf of cattle producers, including food safety, nutrition, a new Farm Bill, animal welfare and animal health.
Dusty Tacha, a range management specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will talk about the critical grazing and stocking decisions ranchers should consider during extended dry periods. He will address options for grazing land managers and explain why appropriate stocking rates and the length of the grazing season have long-term implications.
Another topic on the agenda will focus on the benefits of weaning calves early during a drought. In recent years, cowherd owners have faced deteriorating grass conditions in the latter part of the growing season due to drought. One strategy to reduce a beef cow’s nutritional needs and forage intake when grazing resources become less available or of poorer quality is to wean calves earlier than the conventional fall time period. K-State Extension Beef Veterinarian Larry Hollis will summarize research conducted over the past several years on the performance of early-weaned beef calves and how this management practice may fit into many cow-calf operations.
Justin Smith, deputy animal health commissioner for the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health, will give an overview of the recently proposed trichomoniasis regulation. The regulation would require testing of bulls changing ownership within the borders of Kansas and new restrictions for importing open cows into the state. He also will update attendees on prevalence of the disease in Kansas.
The Cunningham field day will begin with registration at 3:30 p.m. and conclude with a free beef dinner at 6:30 p.m. All livestock producers and others involved in the business are invited to attend.
Fitzsimmons Land & Cattle is located in eastern Pratt County. From Cairo, a town on the north side of Highway 54-400 between Cunningham and Pratt, go north 4/10 mile on NE 100th Avenue to NE 5th Street (gravel road). Go east on NE 5th Street 2 miles to NE 120th Avenue. Go north 2/10 mile on NE 120th Street. Take the curve east and go 7/10 mile to the Dean and Jerree Fitzsimmons residence. Directional field day signs will be posted.
Oak Springs Ranch at Onaga will serve as the host operation for the final 2013 field day, August 22. Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsoring all three field days. For more information, go to or call the KLA office at (785) 273-5115.
KLA is a trade organization representing the business interests of independent beef producers at the state and national levels. Members of the association are involved in all segments of the livestock industry, including cow-calf production, backgrounding, cattle feeding, swine, dairy and sheep.