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A black baldy calf standing beside its hereford mother.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — Cattle and forage producers can beef up their herd and pasture management through the 2024 Beef and Forage Field Days. Brought to you by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s animal science and forages team, these fields days give producers inside access to some of the latest industry research and information.

“Producers will have the opportunity to get in the field to view current research and demonstrations on timely beef cattle and forage management issues,” said Kim Mullenix, an Alabama Extension beef systems specialist. “They will also get to interact with our Extension team, beef and forage researchers and students working on solutions to farm management issues.”

Dates and Locations

This year, producers have four opportunities to attend a beef and forage field day: March 15, April 23, May 3 and Oct. 18. Each field day is hosted at a research and Extension center in Alabama. Each event is free to attend, but registration is required.

March 15 — Wiregrass Research and Extension Center

April 23 — Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center

May 3 — E.V. Smith Research Center

Oct. 18 — Blackbelt Research and Extension Center

The research and Extension centers are a part of Auburn University’s Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station system. Mullenix said having the field days at the centers gives the team the opportunity to update producers on the research they have been working on.

“Producers may see ongoing research projects each year that they attend a field day, but we always share new findings,” Mullenix said. “We also bring in demonstration projects and topic discussions that are relevant to the production year, which changes year to year.”

A Producer Turned Extension Agent

Ali Gotcher is the Alabama Extension regional agent that is leading the field day at the Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center. While she recently joined Extension on the animal science and forages team, Extension events are nothing new to her.

“Before I started working for Extension, I came to events like these field days to learn information that would improve my family’s operation and our management skills,” Gotcher said. “I think these events are important. The hands-on aspects of the field days and the ability to hold discussions with forage and beef specialists enhances the learning opportunities that livestock producers can’t get from a YouTube video or a publication.”

From her producer mindset, Gotcher knows what an invaluable resource these field days are, and she is looking forward to hosting her first field day. While the animal management aspects of the industry are important, she feels that producers can sometimes lose focus on the pasture and forage management side of things.

“I want livestock producers to view themselves as pasture stewards or grass farmers,” Gotcher said. “It is vitally important that they manage this aspect of their farm so it can last generations. I am excited to bring forage experts to north Alabama for producers in the area to learn from.”

More Information

For more information, visit the 2024 Alabama Extension Statewide Beef and Forage Field Days web page at www.aces.edu. You can also contact the regional Extension agent listed for the location that you are interested in attending.