North Dakota State University will host a calving workshop in Minot, ND in late February to prepare new and experienced cattlemen for the upcoming calving season, given the challenges posed by the drought. of 2021.
“It’s a good refresher for all ages, so if you’ve been doing this for 40 years and you have a son who’s going to start helping you with that, or a high school kid who’s helping you, just coming up with them is a good thing to do,” said Rachel Wald. “I would even push my husband who’s been doing it for a few years to come over and learn from other producers.”
Wald is an extension agent for the University of North Dakota in McHenry County. She is working closely with Paige Brummund, an NDSU extension officer in Ward County, to deliver this workshop Feb. 28 to cattle producers.
Dr. Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension Veterinarian and Livestock Stewardship Specialist, will be a guest speaker at the workshop and will address several important topics in calving, with a strong focus on calving and calf health. Another major topic will be nutrition, including nutritional needs before and after calving.
The 2021 drought in the region could also impact the upcoming calving season, making the workshop a valuable resource for producers.
“We’ll be asking Dr. Stokka to talk about some of the issues that might arise after a drought, such as deficiencies,” Wald said.
Jo Ashley is a cattle rancher near Minot, North Dakota. She is a well-versed breeder and has had her fair share of hardships, but according to her, the year 2021 takes the cake.
“I was a producer in 1988, but this year was much worse due to widespread drought. You couldn’t go anywhere for fodder,” Ashley said.
Ashley runs a commercial crossbred herd based on Red Angus. Her operation was down a bit due to flooding years ago, and she predicts that if the forage doesn’t grow well this spring, she’ll be faced with a host of tough decisions. As the season approaches, she makes sure the operation has the necessary supplies. Like many people, Ashley is currently facing a supply chain issue for much-needed ranch supplies for calving season.
“I ordered labels in November and still haven’t received them. So we may have to end up switching to another brand,” Ashley said.
She expects her calving season to begin at the end of February.
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