Beef markets and premiums, low stress and food morality.

This isn't the makings of a tough riddle. It's a sampling of the featured topics at the fifth annual Feeding Quality Forums set for Nov. 9 in Grand Island, Neb., and Nov. 11 in Amarillo, Texas.

“We really try to deliver presentations applicable to the day-to-day concerns of feeders and then some bigger-picture discussions to help address industry-wide challenges,” says Mark McCully, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) assistant vice president.

Registration by Oct. 25 is $50 and includes a Certified Angus Beef® brand steak lunch. Late registrations will be accepted as space permits for $75.

Check-in and refreshments begin at 9:30 a.m., with a welcome at 10:00. The schedule includes Dan Basse, AgResource Company; Tom Brink, J & F Oklahoma Holdings; Tim Schiefelbein, American Foods Group and Schiefelbein Farms; and Tom Noffsinger, DVM.

They will cover everything from hedging and getting paid for quality cattle to the impact caregivers have on quality and performance.

At lunch Paul Engler, Cactus Feeders, will receive the inaugural Feeding Quality Forum Industry Achievement Award. He'll make comments at the Amarillo location.

“Paul recognizes that to have beef demand, you have to have a quality product in front of the consuming public,” says Larry Corah, CAB vice president. “He literally evolved with the cattle feeding industry in the United States. He is a very worthy recipient of the first award.”

Kevin Murphy, owner of Food-Chain Communications LLC, will close out the program with his 3:15 p.m. talk, “The Food Morality Movement.”

“There are people out there today who are indicting agriculture on the terms of religion, ethics and morality,” Murphy says. “You're finding a lot of people starting to question things at levels that they haven't before. This poses a big problem for agriculture, which always wants to answer through the scientific perspective.”

Murphy, who worked for 14 years in publishing in all segments of the food business, hopes attendees will be “awakened to the threat” and be more prepared to defend their livelihood.

“You need to be able to explain what you do and why you do it,” he says.

Gary Sides, Pfizer cattle nutritionist, says the forum is an opportunity to both learn and network.

“We're such a small part of the U.S. population that it's helpful to get together at these meetings that educate us on the use of our resources, better use of our cattle and how to make us more profitable,” he says. “Murphy's talk should deputize us to be ambassadors for the industry. Anybody who has anything to do with the cattle feeding business and is concerned about quality programs would be a good candidate for this event.”

The meetings are sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, Land O' Lakes Purina Mills, Feedlot magazine and CAB.

To download a brochure, visit www.cabpartners.com/events. For more information or to register call Marilyn Conley, 800-225-2333, ext. 298, or email mconley@certifiedangusbeef.com.

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