COLUMBIA, Mo. – Women in agriculture will learn by lectures and hands-on training during “Pearls of Production” at the University of Missouri, Nov. 6-7.

It’s one thing to study slides of cows for body condition scores (BCS). Planners say it’s quite another to score a pen of moving cows, wearing their winter coats. BSC scores guide winter feeding.

Women from beef farms get that chance at breakout sessions on the MU Beef Research and Teaching Center south of Columbia, Nov. 7.

Other on-farm sessions are calving assistance, collecting DNA for genetic testing, reading genetic results and bull selection based on EPDs (expected progeny difference). That’s in the morning.

That afternoon, women learn vaccine handling, calf processing, feeder-calf grading and marketing.

MU Extension regional livestock specialists Wendy Flatt, Fayette, and Kendra Graham, Farmington, lined up speakers and work sessions. Both have done this before as part of the Pearls program organized by Marcia Shannon, MU Extension livestock specialist, Columbia.

Meanwhile, other women in agriculture will work in sessions on swine, small ruminant animals, and forage and pasture management.

Friday, Nov. 6, provides lessons on leadership plus programs on farm equipment, meat, food quality, health and safety, business, and government programs.

Dinner speaker will be Lorenza Pasetti, CEO of Volpi Foods on the Italian Hill in St. Louis.

In addition to planning, Flatt will teach cow body condition scores and hay testing. Graham leads on sire selection.

Assisting are MU Extension livestock specialists Erin Larimore, Cape Girardeau, and Reagan Blue, Cassville.

Work sessions are given by professionals in their fields: Dana Gillig, Sedalia Veterinary Center, on calving; Tracey Thompson, Missouri Department of Agriculture, on calf grading; Kevin Yeager, Zoetis Animal Health, on genetics; and Brian Vander Ley, MU veterinarian, and Bruce Addison of Addison Labs, Fayette, on vaccines.

While women producers do hands-on training, there may be limits. Kenneth Ladyman, MU beef farm manager, may not let them sell his calves. But Scott Brown, MU livestock economist, will tell about marketing the calves.

The hands-on scholars learn take-home tips to bring back to their family farms.

The meetings start at the MU Animal Sciences Research Center. Work sessions are on farms of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

For registration and additional information, go to, or call 573-882-4349 or 1-866-682-6663. Fee is $150.

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