The beef industry is always changing, sometimes very rapidly with regard to weather, market prices, fuel and other input costs.

Add in external forces such as national and world politics, economics, animal rights and consumer perceptions, and beef producers have many situations to manage and overcome to be profitable.

The 2012 Mid-South Stocker Conference aims to help stocker operators turn these challenges into opportunities to produce and market feeder cattle as efficiently as possible.

Beef specialists from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will join professionals from other universities to offer the conference Feb. 21-22 at Paris Landing State Park and Conference Center in Buchanan, Tenn.

“The stocker phase of beef production fits the landscape for Tennessee and Kentucky as well as other areas throughout the Mid-South due to abundant supplies of forages providing efficient gains,” said Jeff Lehmkuhler, Extension beef specialist for the UK College of Agriculture.

“A readily available supply of quality calves provides additional support for this segment of the industry.”

On-site registration for the conference will begin at 10 a.m. CST on Tuesday, Feb. 21, before the opening session at 1 p.m.

Participants will have a virtual tour of local stocker operations and an opportunity to ask questions in a producer panel. The remainder of the afternoon program will focus on industry legal issues, local regulations and policies facing stocker operators.

Participants can take part in a reception and trade show before the 7 p.m. session focused around how El Niño affects the weather and the cattle industry.

The program continues with a continental breakfast at 7 a.m. CST Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The formal program will get under way at 9 a.m. covering stocker feeder dynamics, managing risk and the mineral requirements and deficiencies of stocker cattle.

The afternoon program will offer updates on beef research at UK and the University of Tennessee as well as a discussion on the role and purpose of FACCTs.

Additional details and the conference program are available online at http://www.midsouthstocker.org.

Registration for the conference is $95 per person or $150 per couple if completed before Feb. 14. After that date, registration is $125.00 per person.

Register online at the above website or make checks payable to Mid-South Beef Stocker Association and send by Feb. 14 to Mid-South Beef Stocker Association, Attn: John Bartee, 1030A Cumberland Heights Road, Clarksville, Tenn. 37040-6901.