OSU Animal Science Department Ranch Tour a Success, Ranchers Enjoy Lively Exchange of IdeasMon, 24 Jul 2017 16:32:22 CDT
Earlier this summer, the faculty of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ Animal Science Department at Oklahoma State University, invited members of the Oklahoma ranching community to join them on a bus tour of several ranches around the Lawton area, to meet with fellow cattlemen and open a dialogue share insights on the advantages or disadvantages of certain management practices. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Gant Mourer, an organizer of the event within the Animal Science Department, during the 65th Annual Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association State Convention and Trade Show, to find out how the trip went. You can listen in as Mourer debriefs Horn on the Animal Science ranch tour from earlier this summer, during the OCA State Convention this past week, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“It seemed to work really well,” Mourer said. “We had hoped for 30 participants and we got 30 or just a few more and really, that worked out great for us because we were able to visit with producers on the tour, everyone could get one on one time and ask questions and it really flowed well.”
This tour was a first for the Department. Mourer says the idea to conduct a tour came about, when the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association shifted its local ranch tour format to an international experience. Mourer explained that the Department felt there was still a need for such a tour that could allow ranchers in the state to connect and learn from each other. The concept, though, was to keep the group small and the stops close, which Mourer believes maximized interaction.
“We wanted to spend some quality time with other producers from different parts of the state to be able to interact and really gain knowledge and spread ideas of what works and what doesn’t work from ranch to ranch,” he said. “We didn’t waste time on a bus - we wanted to see ranches and I think we accomplished that.”
Animal health, Beef Quality Assurance practices and herd genetics, were all topics that Mourer says the members of the tour organically brought up in discussion as they met with ranchers around the Southwestern Oklahoma, including the Ballou Cattle Company, in Fletcher; MCS Cattle Company, in Elgin; Coyote Hills Ranch, in Chattanooga; and Collins Cattle, near Frederick.
"Some great discussion over genetics and how do we improve them; maybe where do we need to concentrate? Some new ideas of our herd genetics and genomics," he said, "that's been a real hot topic."
If you are interested in joining the tour next year, Mourer says the Department is considering the schedule for 2018 already, this time considering a look at Southeast Oklahoma. He says stay tuned until next Spring for more details.
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