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Community Interest
CommunityInterestACBeyondGAINESVILLE, Fla. --- North Florida ranchers are invited to learn about the latest research-based cattle production methods from University of Florida experts at the 2011 Department of Animal Sciences Beef/Forage Research Day.


The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at UF's Boston Farm-Santa Fe River Ranch Beef Unit, 14202 N.W. 294th Ave. in Alachua. Admission is free and includes a catered barbecue lunch; participants can register on-site beginning at 8 a.m.


It's the first such event in the Gainesville area, said lead organizer Matt Hersom, a beef extension specialist with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The department hopes to continue it annually.


"We offer similar events in other parts of the state but we wanted to do something for beef cattle producers in our area, to get them new information to improve their production," said Hersom, an animal sciences associate professor.


At the research day, Hersom and other UF faculty members will give presentations on topics including preconditioning of weaned calves, heifer development systems, winter grazing and supplementation, water quality protection, pasture weed control and on-farm best management practices. Some of the presentations will enable participants to earn continuing education units, or CEUs.


Though the event doesn't specifically involve a tour, presentations will be given at several locations around the beef unit, enabling participants to get a good look at the property and cattle, Hersom said.


Located northwest of Gainesville, Boston Farm-Santa Fe River Ranch contains about 1,600 acres of land bordering the Santa Fe River and supports 300 head of Angus-Brangus cattle, used for teaching and research.


For a map and driving directions to Boston Farm-Santa Fe River Ranch Beef Unit, visit http://www.animal.ufl.edu/facilities/sbru/documents/SFBUmap.pdf


The complete agenda for Beef/Forage Research Day events is available online at http://www.animal.ifas.ufl.edu/conferences/documents/2011_ans_beef_forage.pdf