Tips on rebuilding Texas cattle herds as well as an update on livestock traceability are featured topics at the 51st Blackland Income Growth Conference in Waco scheduled Feb. 4-6 at the Extraco Events Center.

The Extraco Events Center is located at 4601 Bosque Boulevard in Waco.

“We think we have something for everyone, and producers will take home plenty of strategies they can incorporate into their operations,” said Ron Woolley, conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Regional Program Director at Stephenville.

The annual conference is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Waco Chamber of Commerce.

The Dinner Tonight cooking school is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 4, featuring recipe demonstrations that promote Texas agriculture. Cost is $15 with preregistration and $20 onsite. To register, visit https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu.

Registration for the main Blackland Income Growth Conference on Feb. 5 is $20 per person and includes lunch.  Several sessions will award continuing education units. Producers are encouraged to download the brochure at http://stephenville.tamu.edu/blackland-income-growth/conference-information/ to see specific continuing education credit allocations, sessions and speakers.

Dr. James Kroll (a.k.a. Dr. Deer), Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Forest Wildlife and director of the Institute for White-tailed Deer Management and Research at Stephen F. Austin, will be the keynote luncheon speaker Feb. 5.  

Kroll is a nationally-known resource for excellence in research in deer biology,  management and economics, Woolley said. Most recently, Kroll was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker as the nation’s first deer trustee for Wisconsin, and given the authority to investigate and develop solutions to long-standing public issues related to the management of white-tailed deer in the state.

The following is a list of concurrent sessions scheduled Feb. 5-6:

Feb. 5 sessions:

• 9 a.m.  Beef commodity session will feature presentations on fly control, restoration of pastures, rebuilding the cow herd, livestock traceability and beef checkoff program.

• 9 a.m.  Grain commodity session topics include nutrient management, weed resistance management, management in wheat, Farm Bill update.

• 9 a.m.  Horticulture commodity sessions will feature presentation on causes of tree death in Texas.

• 9 a.m.  Rural Land Management sessions topics include what constitutes ag evaluation, custom farm rates/needs for small scale operators, update on new Texas agriculture/timber registration number.

• Noon – Blackland Income Growth Conference luncheon.

• 2 p.m.  Cotton commodity session will feature Farm Bill update, boll weevil eradication update, cotton root rot management update, variety and technology update, Cotton Inc. research and program update.

• 2 p.m.  Forage commodity session topics include drought management strategies, forage options (native versus improved grasses), weed/brush control management.

• 2 p.m. Wildlife commodity session will feature white-tailed deer management in 21st century.

• 2 p.m.  Horse commodity session topics include form to function, manure management, taxation issues on horses, pasture management, conditioning and exercising the equine athlete.

Feb. 6 sessions:

• 8:30 a.m.  Blackland Income Growth recertification program feature topics and presentations on environmental risk management, agricultural emergency management, and laws and regulations.

• Noon – MidTex Luncheon

• 1 p.m.  Agricultural water conservation program and insect management for forages, pecan and small fruit tree

For additional information, contact Mark Arnold, County Extension Agent- Agriculture/Natural Resources, 701 South I-35 E, Suite 3, Waxahachie, or call  972-825-5175 or email: wmarnold@ag.tamu.edu. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.  The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.