by Audrey Hambright
Those who have an active part in representing and educating on practices in the beef industry know well enough that opportunities are vast and can lead you about anywhere.
This summer Dr. Steve Bartle, research director, and Dr. Dave Rethorst, outreach director for the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University, both found this to be true. Each was invited to present at the First Chinese National Beef Cattle Nutrition, Feeding and Industry Economics Symposium held in Beijing.
Representatives from all over the world joined Bartle and Rethorst at the end of June to address a wide range of industry topics ranging from sustainability, feeding, and animal health. The focus of the symposium was to emphasize more efficient practices in the Chinese beef industry and encourage higher protein diets. And in its’ inaugural year, the symposium brought in 600 attendees from China made up of mostly producers, students and government officials.
According to Bartle, the chance to be a part of this international event offered many opportunities for both the BCI and his role as research director.
“It was an honor to be invited to a world-level event,” he said. “It was also important to understand the Chinese beef industry more as a growing market, plus establish relationships with their center and other international speakers.”
His presentation, “Feed Processing and Utilization in Beef Cattle Feeding,” addressed the advantages and disadvantages of feed processing along with cost comparison of the different methods.
Rethorst presented “Effective Prevention of Common Diseases in Feedyard Cattle,” which centered on pre-conditioning of weaned calves and how respiratory disease accounts for a vast majority of illness in feedyards. Some of the most common questions, he said, were in regard to access of vaccinations for animal health.
“I hope this gives us a chance to consult with the Chinese as they expand to help with their animal health issues and increase efficiency of beef production,” Rethorst said.
Aside from the symposium, they visited two beef cattle operations plus a confinement sheep operation.
You can find more photos from their trip abroad posted on the BCI Facebook page.