Improving Beef Cattle Production

Thompson Research Center field day set for Sept. 21

The Thompson Research Center has revamped its field day schedule for 2017, moving to an evening program and including a farm tour before the presentations begin.

Registration and a wagon tour of the Center will begin at 3:30 p.m., with presentations beginning at 6:15 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 21 at the farm near Spickard. There will be a free dinner at 7:15 p.m.

“The tour will give individuals an opportunity to grab a cup of coffee, hop on a wagon and see the farm,” said Farm Manager Jon Schreffler. “The tour is an opportunity to get more familiar with the Thompson Research Center.”

Jared Decker will be one of the featured speakers during the annual Thompson Research Center field day.Jared Decker will be one of the featured speakers during the annual Thompson Research Center field day.

The focus of the field day is on improving beef cattle production, with Thompson Research Center Superintendent Rodney Geisert welcoming guests before the presentations at 6 p.m. Geisert and his team conduct reproductive and genomic work at the Center to improve beef cattle production. David Patterson, professor of reproductive physiology in the Division of Animal Sciences, has led the charge in terms of reproductive work at Thompson. Jared Decker, a state beef extension specialist, has led the genomic work.

In the past, the Thompson Research Center has held its annual field day during the morning, with a free lunch following the presentations. The schedule was switched up this year to incorporate a tour of the Center. Attendees will have an opportunity to get a closer look at Thompson’s layout and its cattle herds.

“We’re here to help producers and livestock owners with any questions that they have,” Schreffler said. “The farm tour will give us an opportunity to dive deeper into our research.”

There will be a strong University of Missouri Division of Animal Sciences presence at the field day. Decker and Eric Bailey, both state beef extension specialists, will discuss trait selection for beef cattle and winter nutrition, respectively. Jordan Thomas, a senior research analyst, will present on developing breeding strategies. MU graduate student Harly Durbin will talk about hair shredding scores.

Rounding out the presentations will be Scott Brown with the MU Division of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Brown will discuss how quality premiums have changed with lower cattle prices.

“We’re a family up here,” Schreffler said. “All of these speakers are individuals who we know personally, who have done great work at the Thompson Research Center. We view our field day as a big family reunion.”

The Thompson Research Center is located at 668 Northwest Highway C near Spickard, Mo., and is one of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers. For more information about the field day, call 660-485-6576 or email Geisert at For more information about the Thompson Research Center, visit