Beef, ag meetings in town this week

By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS

If any Quay County folk ask “Where’s the beef?” they need only look to the Southwest Beef Symposium going on Wednesday and Thursday at the Tucumcari Convention Center. The symposium runs in conjunction with Thursday’s annual Quay County extension service’s annual Agriculture and Home Economics Seminar.

Coordinated by New Mexico State University and Texas A&M University, a release from NMSU said the beef symposium will bring together prime information and some of the top names in the beef world.

“There are niche markets here for organic, natural and grass-fed beef,” said Clay Mathis, a livestock specialist with NMSU’s cooperative extension service. “But to qualify for some of these markets, New Mexico producers must follow a specific set of required production criteria.”

He said the symposium will serve not only to clear up these criteria, but will feature speakers targeted toward the Southwestern beef trade. Quay’s own Pete Walden, agricultural agent with NMSU extension, said the program will highlight Asian markets, which are expected to open again after Japan barred beef from the U.S. and Canada in 2003 after an infiltration of mad cow disease.

Other speakers will include Ted McCollum, an extension beef cattle specialist at the Texas A&M University Science Center in Amarillo, who will talk on animal identification guidelines and NMSU livestock specialist Manny Encinias, who will discuss animal tracking technology.

And that’s just day one.

Thursday is expected to hold discussions on health and management, as well as the annual Ag and Home Ec Seminar in the convention center’s Nara Visa room.

A release from Quay’s extension service said the ag seminar will also be featuring Encinias as a speaker at 8:30 a.m., along with Jay Nemrow, a computer specialist who will discuss protecting the home computer, at 9:45 a.m.

Roosevelt County Extension Home Economist Connie Moyers will be on hand at 11 a.m. to whip up some recipes from her book “Remember When We Cooked?”

Bioterrorism will be the topic after lunch, headed by speaker Bill Dictson from the state’s Department of Agriculture.

A lunch catered by Caprock Creek will be open to beef symposium and seminar participants, the release said.

While the Ag and Home Ec Seminar is free with registration at 8 a.m. on Thursday, the Southwest Beef Symposium costs $50 with registration at noon on Wednesday.

What: Southwest Beef Symposium
When: Wednesday and Thursday
Where: Tucumcari Convention Center, main area
Registration: Noon on Wednesday at 1500 W. Route 66, program starts at 1 p.m.
Cost: $50

What: Annual Agriculture and Home Economics Seminar
When: Thursday
Where: Tucumcari Convention Center, Nara Visa room
Registration: 8 a.m. Thursday at 1500 W. Route 66, program starts at 8:30 a.m.
Cost: Free