Cattle producers wanting to improve their stock through artificial insemination will have the opportunity to take part in a comprehensive, hands-on training program April 25-26 and June 27-28.


Charles Looney, professor and extension cattle improvement specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is hosting the training courses, according to a news release.


Sessions will be held at the division’s Southwest Research and Extension Center near Hope. The center is part of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.


“For each one of these courses, we include speakers from industry in herd health and nutrition,” Looney said. “We cover good management practices and record keeping. It’s two full days of practicing artificial insemination technique with live cows and tracts. We even use an artificial cow to give the participants as much practice as possible.”


The two-day programs run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the first day and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second day, and include: Basic reproductive anatomy and physiology, estrous synchronization, semen handling, pregnancy determination methods, reproductive health and training in artificial insemination on live cattle.


Looney said these training courses are a foundation for a program to help Arkansas, and eventually all U.S. ranchers, improve the overall quality of their herds.


“My goal is to construct an educational center whereby cattle and people can be safely managed in an advanced training program,” he said. “I want it to become nationwide program.”


The program is being offered in partnership with SelectSires Southeast Division.


“Our program will focus on these training programs. We will include pregnancy determination using ultrasound at least twice per year. We also will include embryo transfer,” Looney said.


“We are using these technologies here at Hope in our demonstration herd to develop the best commercial beef cattle in Arkansas,” he said. Eventually, Looney plans to hold a sale at the station, “whereby ranchers can come and share our genetics.”


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.


“If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact the SW Research and Extension Center at 870-777-9702, or clooney@uaex.edu as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay,” according to the release.


The cost to attend the training is $400 and participants may register online for the April 25-26 program at https://uaex.formstack.com/forms/swrec_ai_april. Lunch will be provided both days. Details for registration for the June program are forthcoming.


For details, contact a county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.