Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference

The Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference is one of the longest running and most successful conferences of its kind in the Midwest. For over 40 years, the conference has provided an opportunity for producers, researchers, and over 100 industry representatives to come together to explore current topics and issues. This concentrated one-day conference focuses on management and production practices that contribute to making the cow-calf business profitable and competitive on a long-term basis.

The conference opens Friday Jan. 24 at the Bridgeview Center in Ottumwa with a cover crops forum hosted by the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network at 4 p.m. The conference has a full day on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Featured speakers begin at 9 a.m.

Speakers include:

Taylor Grussing is a Special Projects Manager for Vytelle, a livestock IVF company headquartered in Hermiston, Ore., with a corporate laboratory in Ames. Vytelle provides revolutionary reproductive technology to cattlemen through the use of hormone-free in vitro fertilization (IVF) and proprietary processes advancing the field.

Grussing grew up on a commercial cow/calf operation in South Dakota and earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in animal science from South Dakota State University and Masters of Science from Iowa State University with emphasis on Reproductive Physiology and nutritional interactions on cattle reproductive performance.

AMANDA RADKE Ag Advocacy – The Open Letter to Ellen Degeneres.

Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural communications, education and leadership, Radke served internships with USDA’s Ag Marketing Service in Washington, D.C. and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Denver. Her 2008 summer internship with BEEF magazine led to an ongoing blogger position for the BEEF Daily blog, where she provides timely industry news each week, Monday through Thursday. She’s the 2006 National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking champion and the 2006 National Beef Ambassador.

TOM MASTROBUONI Exploring Plant-based Protein Sources.

Mastrobuoni is the Chief Financial Officer of Tyson Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Tyson Foods. He has nearly 15 years of experience in alternative asset management and prior to joining Tyson, held a number of CFO positions at New York investment firms.

TOBY JORDAN A 365-day Approach to Managing Toxic Tall Fescue.

Jordan co-owns and operates Waukaru Farms with his wife Jodi their four children and brother Mark, which has farmed since 1895 and registered purebred Shorthorn cattle since 1902 in Rensselaer, Ind. Jordan received a BS degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University where he was a member of the 1996 Livestock Judging Team, which was named National Team of the Year. After college he was hired as the Show and Sale Cattle Manager at Pollard Farms LLC in Enid, Okla., where he was responsible for all production sales, registrations, performance records, and the breeding, buying, and selling decisions at that Angus operation. At Pollard Farms, Toby continued to develop the commercial bull market and designed a “buy-back” program for commercial cattle sired by Pollard Farms bulls in order to collect carcass and performance values on sold progeny and increase demand in future bull sales. He currently is a director of the American Shorthorn Association, and president of the Indiana Shorthorn Association. He has judged many state, county and regional cattle shows for several breeds, as well as the Royal National Show in Brisbane, Australia.

CODY NELSON Building Soil Health with Cows

Nelson is owner of Soil RX Inc. He also owns and operates Bar N Cattle Company with his family where they run 70 cow calf pairs. On their operation they have incorporated a fall and winter grazing of cover crops as well as weaning on cover crops. Nelson has been working with cover crops for over 10 years on his farm and has found numerous ways to incorporate them on his west central Minnesota farm.

AARON STEELE Meat Goats for Pasture, Profit, and Personal Growth.

Steele is the founder and co-owner of Goats On The Go®, a targeted grazing service that uses meat goats to control weeds and brush on customers’ properties. Lacking land and capital to move beyond hobby-scale livestock production, Steele, his wife Nicole, and partners Chad and Wendy Steenhoek launched Goats On The Go® in 2012 as a supporting


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structure for farm growth. The resulting land-light, dual-revenue goat production system is now being duplicatedby a growing network of Goats On The Go® affiliates throughout the United States. Steele holds a Bachelor’s degree and MBA from Iowa State University.


Pruisner was appointed the State Entomologist and Bureau Chief of Entomology and Plant Science at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in 2003. Pruisner wears numerous hats in the department including Ag Security Coordinator, State Seed Control Official, and the newest hat, Iowa Hemp Administrator.

Pruisner is managing the implementation of the Iowa Hemp Act, signed by Governor Reynolds on May 13, 2019. This includes developing a hemp licensing program; establishing hemp sampling and testing protocols; and developing the administrative rules to carry out the provisions of the State Statute and 2018 Farm Bill. Pruisner is intimately familiar with the highs and lows, risks, and nuances of hemp farming in Iowa, 2020.

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