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Reprinted from Missouri Farmer Today.

By Benjamin Herrold, Missouri Farmer Today

The annual Missouri Livestock Symposium offers a wide range of subjects for producers and those in the agriculture industry to learn about, but it also offers a variety of perspectives for looking at the animal-ag business.

The symposium, scheduled for Dec. 7-8 at the Kirksville Middle School, features nationally renowned experts from throughout the country speaking on horses, beef cattle, sheep, stock dogs, meat goats, forages, small poultry, energy and “around-the-home” topics.

The Kirksville Middle School is at 1515 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Kirksville.

The symposium kicks off Dec. 7 with a free beef dinner at 6 p.m. and then a presentation by Tony Clayton with Clayton Agri-Marketing Inc.

Clayton will speak about livestock exports and how global livestock markets affect U.S. prices.

In addition to this global perspective, symposium committee chairman Garry Mathes says Clayton will talk about what producers can do at the local level to make the best market decisions.

“I’m sure (Clayton) is going to talk on the big picture but also talk down on our (local) level and the possibility of (local producers) to be involved as well,” he says.

The broad range of topics makes sure all types of livestock producers are represented, and everyone who comes to the livestock symposium can get something out of it, Mathes says.

“That’s the way we set it up. We’ve got (speakers) coming from Kansas State, Nevada, Texas A&M, Iowa State. We’ve got quite a lineup.”

The trade show doors open at 4 p.m. on Dec. 7. The beef dinner begins at 6, and then the evening program begins at 7.

The evening program includes a welcome, patriotic tribute, recognition of special guests and sponsors, announcement of the classic tractor contest winners, musical entertainment by Sydney Lambert, the presentation of awards for Agriculture Educators Lifetime Achievement and the Northeast Missouri Livestock Person of the Year and Clayton’s address to cap the evening.

This year’s Livestock Person of the Year is Harold Trump, a lifelong Clark County livestock producer. He began his career years ago with four free pet lambs. He has raised Angus cattle since 1950.

The symposium continues with a full schedule of speakers and social events on Dec. 8.

The trade show also is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 8. Throughout the day, experts from across the country will be speaking on a variety of livestock-related topics, including beef cattle, forages, horses, sheep, meat goats, stock dogs and farm and home life.

A full schedule of the speakers and topics is available online at

Many of these speakers are from Missouri, Iowa and Kansas, including experts from the University of Missouri, Iowa State University and Kansas State University. But, scheduled speakers also hail from as far away as Nevada, California, Maryland and Texas A&M University.

There is also a governor’s style luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 8, hosted by commodity groups and co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Mathes says whether people are coming for the first time or they attend every year, the Missouri Livestock Symposium seeks to provide them with information and ideas that can help better their operations.

“We put this on for people who are out here in the community,” Mathes says. “We would like for them to be able to pick up something that could improve or add to their program.”
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