North Dakota State University Extension to hold calving workshop

The 2021 drought could cause problems for 2022 calving. NDSU Extension has a workshop planned to address those issues.

North Dakota State University will put on a calving workshop where producers will learn how to navigate potential calving problems brought on by last year's drought. Photo taken June 2021 in Sheyenne, North Dakota.
Emily Beal / Agweek

North Dakota State University will host a calving workshop in Minot, North Dakota, at the end of February with the goal of preparing new and experienced cattle producers for the upcoming calving season, given the challenges brought on by the 2021 drought.

“It’s a good refresher for any age, so if you have been doing this for 40 years, and you have a son that’s going to start helping you out with this, or a high school kid helping you, just coming in with them is a good thing to do,” Rachel Wald said. “I would even push my husband who has been doing it for quite a few years to come on in and learn from other producers.”

Wald is a North Dakota University Extension agent in McHenry County. She works closely with Paige Brummund, an NDSU Extension agent in Ward County, to offer this workshop on Feb. 28 to cattle producers.

Dr. Gerald Stokka, a North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist, will be a speaker during the workshop and hit several important topics in the area of calving, heavily focusing on the health side of calving and calves. Another major topic will be about nutrition, including pre-calving and post-calving nutrition needs.

The 2021 drought in the region could also have an impact on the upcoming calving season, making the workshop a valuable resource for producers.


“We will have Dr. Stokka talk about some of the issues that could arise after a drought, such as deficiencies,” Wald said.

Jo Ashleyis a cattle producer near Minot, North Dakota. She is a well-versed cattlewoman and has seen her fair share of hardships, but according to her, the year of 2021 takes the cake.

“I was a producer in ‘88, but this year was way worse due to the widespread drought. You could not go to any place for forage,” Ashley said.

Ashley runs a commercial crossbred herd that is Red Angus based. Her operation has dwindled a bit due to flooding years back and she predicts if the forage does not grow well this spring, she will be faced with a slew of difficult decisions. As the season approaches she has been making sure the operation has the proper supplies. Like many individuals, Ashley is currently facing a supply chain issue for a much needed ranch supplies for calving season.

“I ordered tags in November and I still haven’t gotten them. So we may have to end up switching to another brand,” Ashley said.

She anticipates her calving season will begin in late February.

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Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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