A Change in Pace

Thompson Research Center field day moves to evening format

With a change in field day format, the Thompson Research Center brought the same informative presentations at a different time on Thursday, Sept. 21.

In the past, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Thompson Research Center field day has been held in the morning hours with a free lunch. This year’s event was moved to the evening, with a free dinner and a farm tour before the presentations began.

“We felt like the change in time went really well,” Farm Manager Jon Schreffler said. “It was great to have individuals out at the farm for our tour and our presentations were as good as ever.”

Jared Decker talks with guests of the Thompson Research Center field day on Thursday, Sept. 21. Decker was one of several presenters who talked about the research taking place at Thompson.Jared Decker talks with guests of the Thompson Research Center field day on Thursday, Sept. 21. Decker was one of several presenters who talked about the research taking place at Thompson.

Bill Lamberson, interim director for the Division of Animal Sciences welcomed guests to the field day. David Patterson, professor of reproductive physiology at MU, discussed the various research projects taking place at Thompson as well. Patterson has led the charge in terms of reproductive work at the Center.

Jordan Thomas, a research specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences, kicked off the evening with a discussion on developing breeding strategies to expand use of sex-sorted semen in the United States beef industry. Eric Bailey followed Thomas with a talk on winter nutrition for beef cows. Bailey was hired in June as an MU Extension assistant state beef specialist.

“Jordan’s research is incredibly important here at Thompson,” Schreffler said. “It’s also great to have Eric on board, and we’re excited to work with him.”

Harly Durbin, Jared Decker and Scott Brown finished the evening with presentations after the free dinner.

Durbin, a Division of Animal Sciences graduate student, talked about hair shredding scores and the role those scores play in selecting heat-tolerant cattle. Decker, an assistant professor and state beef extension specialist, discussed the most important trait for beef cattle selection.

Brown ended the night with a presentation on how the quality premiums have changed with lower cattle prices. Brown is an assistant extension professor in the Division of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

“Jared has done genetic testing on the entire herd at Thompson, and his work is critical for what we do – not only here but across the United States,” Schreffler said. “Harly has been working with Jared during her graduate program and did a great job of breaking down hair shredding.

“Scott is an old friend of the farm and his understanding of the economic side of beef cattle really ties everything together.”

Christopher Daubert, CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean, was in attendance at the field day as well. He spoke before the presentations began. Daubert began his duties on Aug. 1.

“We were really happy to have Dean Daubert out at our farm,” Schreffler said. “We were able to show off the farm and introduce him to our advisory board. We had some great discussions together.”

The farm tour included a discussion of timber practices by Wurdack Research Center Superintendent Dusty Walter and a drone demonstration by Hundley-Whaley Research Center Superintendent Bruce Burdick.

For a closer look at the Thompson Research Center field day, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157686459371500.