JACKSON COUNTY Cattlemen from around the region spent Thursday learning the latest cattle producing practices. They attended the Jackson County Cattlemen's Association's Annual Cattle Tour today. Many of them say it's a good time to be in the beef business.
The climbing price of beef is not likely to drop anytime soon.
"In the cattle business, things are going well, especially for people who are selling local calves,” said Jackson County Extension Director Doug Mayo. “There's a great market."
Farmers and ranchers have to work smarter to do well.
"We have to better manage the herds that are left and to breed and to feed cattle for better meat production," said Cattlemen Scott Yant.
The Jackson County Cattlemen's Association's Annual Cattle Tour can help them reach those goals.
"It's a great way to get from farm to farm, get ideas, share and see what other people are doing, and maybe highlight some unique things that each farm is doing," explained Mayo.
The group traveled from Jackson County to Donalsonville, Georgia, Thursday to visit 4 different farms.
Besides new cattle techniques, they discussed controlling briars in pastures, producing cattle feed from peanut and cotton by-products, and met others in the industry.
"I really hope that they make some contacts with other producers, businesses, and federal and state agencies that are here,” said Mayo. “Make connections with people that they can use as resources to improve their business."
Many of the cattlemen on today's tour say networking is a major part of it, but even more so is learning of healthier safer options to feed their cattle.
"Learning about the new pesticides and chemicals that are out there to control weeds and insect problems that we we have in our pastures. We have to be able to feed our cattle more than just grain. We have to feed them grass, and to do that we have to learn more about managing pastures better," explained Yant.
This year's tour group was one of the largest, with more than 70 participants.