For the first time in the Sunbelt Expo’s 35-year history, beef producers from the Southeast will play a prominent role in the Expo’s popular beef cattle demonstrations.

The beef demos this year will also have an official beef breed association sponsor for the first time. The Santa Gertrudis Breeders International will be sponsoring the Expo beef presentations.

The beef presentations will take place in the Bill Patten Livestock Pavilion, located at block E-8 of the exhibit grounds. Patten was a longtime Expo exhibitor and currently serves as president of Expo’s Executive Board.

The beef cattle management and herd health presentations are a longtime tradition at the Sunbelt Expo, dating back to the second Expo held in 1979.

The beef producers will be making their presentations at 2:30 p.m. each day of the show, and will address topics raised in previous presentations of the day while focusing on their own operations and the overall topic of where the beef industry is headed from a producer’s perspective. The beef producers making these presentations include Kevin Yon on Tuesday, Oct. 16, Jonny Harris on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Andrew Conley on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Yon and his wife Lydia own and operate Yon Family Farms in Ridge Spring, S.C. They run over 500 Angus brood cows and 200 commercial cows on 1,500 acres. As first generation cattle producers, the Yons take part in the Certified Angus Beef marketing program.

Harris of Greenview Farms in Screven, Ga., runs a 2,800-acre farm that has been in his family since 1860. He rotates cattle to maintain soil and water quality, and provides high quality forages for his Polled Hereford and Braford cattle.

Conley is general manager of Blackwater Cattle Company in Lake Park, Ga., where he oversees 1,200 head of commercial and registered Brangus cattle.

Here’s a preview of the other beef-related presentations that will take place in the Bill Patten Livestock Pavilion.

At 9:30 a.m. each day, Georgia Extension livestock economist Curt Lacy will cover the topic of market outlook. He’ll be sharing his perspective on where beef cattle prices are likely to be heading in the months ahead.

This will be followed at 10:30 a.m. each day by a forage presentation on round bale silage and utilizing annual forages. These presentations will be given by University of Georgia Extension forage specialist Dennis Hancock on Tuesday and Wednesday, and by University of Florida Extension specialist and forage breeder Ann Blount on Thursday.

At 11:30 a.m. each day, you can hear experts address the topic of beef cattle care and well-being. University of Georgia veterinarian Dr. Lee Jones and by Frank Owsley, Alabama Extension animal scientist, will be making these presentations.

At 12:30 p.m. each day, the presentations will cover the topic of matching the right genetics with your cattle environment. These presentations will be made by Matt Hersom, Florida Extension beef cattle specialist, and by Lawton Stewart, University of Georgia beef Extension specialist.

Forage management sessions

Then, at 1:30 p.m. each day, forages will once again be featured in the presentations, with vital information on stand losses, grazing and baling management. These forage presentations will be given by University of Florida Extension forage specialist Yoana Newman on Tuesday, by Cheryl Mackowiak, University of Florida associate professor of nutrient management and water quality, on Wednesday, and by Clemson University Extension forage specialist John Andrae on Thursday.

The Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Association is based in Kingsville, Tex. The breed organization’s board of directors will be meeting in South Georgia just prior to the Expo. During the Expo, the board members will staff the Santa Gertrudis Breeders International exhibit at the farm show. They’ll be telling visitors how Santa Gertrudis cattle can adapt and perform in a wide range of environments. The organization is also targeting beef farms in the Southeast with a promotional campaign “Rebuild with Reds” aimed at expanding the breed’s footprint in warm humid areas such as the Southeast.

The Santa Gertrudis breed was developed starting in 1910 at the King Ranch in south Texas. The breed was developed by crossing Brahman and Shorthorn cattle. Santa Gertrudis cattle today consist of 3/8th Brahman blood and 5/8th Shorthorn. The breed’s foundation sire was red in color and named Monkey. In 1940, the Santa Gertrudis received official recognition from the USDA as a separate breed, the first beef breed developed in the U.S.

In previous years, the Expo beef presentations have introduced cattle producers to important management concepts such as Beef Quality Assurance, country-of-origin labeling along with weaning and health management practices.

Companies and organizations planning to exhibit in the Bill Patten Pavilion include the following: Accelerated Genetics, Allflex USA, Inc., American Angus Association, American Belgian Blue Breeders Inc., Blackwater Cattle Company, Callicrate Banders/No Bull Enterprises, Cattle Guard Forms, Cattle South, F-R-M Feeds/Flint River Mills Inc., Georgia Hereford Association, Georgia Simmental-Simbrah Association, Gibbs Farms, Merck Animal Health, Mid-America Feed Yard, Mix 30 by Agridyne, LLC, Prime Tech USA, Ritchey Livestock ID, Ridley Block Operations, Romagnola & Romangus Cattle Association, Ragan and Massey, Southeast Brangus Breeders Association, The Oaks Farms, USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services/Georgia Department of Agriculture, United Braford Breeders, Van Beek Natural Science, Westway Feed Products, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association/Georgia Beef Board, Santa Gertrudis Breeders International, Agri-Pro Enterprises, Bayer Animal Health, Boehringer Ingleheim Vetmedica, Inc., Pennington Seed, Inc., Central Life Sciences, and Animal Health International, Inc.