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The Golden Plains Area Extension Program is a joint effort of the counties in Colorado's Northeastern Plains.

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Livestock Production

Welcome to the Golden Plains Area, Livestock Production page, your resource for information, research and news for your livestock operation.

GPA Livestock Facebook Page

August 19th and 20th 2022 – Kit Carson County Fair Grounds – Burlington, Colorado

Online Registration Here or for Mail In Registration Here

Join Colorado State University Extension, CSU Animal Sciences and Colorado BQA in Burlington, CO for a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity featuring Stockmanship, Stewardship and Sustainability. Spend a day and a half learning from beef industry experts, like Dr. Temple Grandin, and nationally renowned Stockmanship Clinician, Dr. Dean Fish, on how implementing sound beef production practices on your operation will add value to your bottom line. This event welcomes cattle producers operating in all industry segments from ranchers to stockers and cattle feeders!

The program will not only provide opportunities to interact one-on-one with experts including Dr. Temple Grandin, it will also include live cattle handling demonstrations on-foot and horseback, hands-on training sessions, and insight from speakers representing many facets of the beef industry supply chain – from animal health companies to cattle marketing specialists. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to earn or renew your Beef Quality Assurance certification. 

For more information on BQA Training and the High Plains Pasture to Profit schedule, click HERE.

Dr. Temple Grandin

Dr. Dean Fish

Dr. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling.
She obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College and her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University. Dr. Grandin received her PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Today she teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling, and animal welfare.

In her keynote address, Dr. Grandin will discuss the impacts of how animal welfare improvements have altered the cattle and livestock industries throughout the world, and will provide her perspective on how the industry can continue to improve in the 21st century.
Born and raised in southern Arizona, Dean Fish has been nothing but a positive attribute and resource for Arizona agriculture. Dean has a rich history in ranching the border of Mexico and has been a major figure in advancing his ranching and club calf operations to follow suit with the ever-advancing agricultural industry. Dean’s love for youth organizations, animal research, and all organizations that he is involved in is contagious.

In his live cattle handling demonstration, he will teach techniques surrounding how to read cattle behavior, how to teach cattle to respond to different types of pressure and will provide tips and tools surrounding “Low Stress Handling,” better known as effective stockmanship. Whether you work cattle on foot or horseback, if you have state of the art facilities or a basic wooden system, this session is sure to spark ideas to take home and practice on your operation.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY – If you would like to be a sponsor of the High Plains Pasture to Profit program, there are several opportunities available. Click HERE for more information.

New Rangeland Carrying Capacity App Now Available

Estimating stocking rate is one of the most important aspects of sustainable rangeland management. The new Rangelands Carrying Capacity App streamlines this process. This app draws on publicly available data sources for precipitation, drought, and forage production. The user can then get an estimate of the number of grazing animals, use days, or Animal Unit Months (AUMs)

To go to the Rangeland Carry Capacity App click HERE

Current Topics, News, Information and Resources


Nutrition and Feeds



Drought, Plan Your Response (7/15/2020)

Mouthing Cows for Culling (9/29/2020)

Cattle Processing in an Unusual Year

Spring Processing & Turn Out

Beef Quality Assurance

Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers on how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. Click on the logo for information and upcoming programs.


Drought Mgmt Tools

Drought Advisors: Make a Plan for Drought in 2021

With a second year of drought looming in 2021, Colorado agricultural producers face production and financial risks, as well as uncertainty for their agricultural livelihood.  This year, farmers and ranchers around Colorado can call/text (970) 988-0043 or email to be connected to resources and address the impacts of drought on their operation.

In a new partnership among Colorado State University Extension, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union,  Colorado Ag Water Alliance, CSU’s Agricultural Experiment Station, and Colorado Department of Agriculture, farmers and ranchers can access a new service called ‘Drought Advisors’ to create a drought contingency plan, and be connected with resources to increase drought resilience in the long and short term. “While many experts and services already exist, the goal of this partnership is to reduce the burden for producers of sifting through legal, agronomic, hydrological, and other types of expertise relevant to minimizing risk in drought,” says CSU Extension’s Retta Bruegger, one of the co-organizers. “For those worried about drought in 2021, we hope to streamline connections to topical experts who can be sounding boards for taking action this year and beyond.”

The partnership hopes to reduce the stress of responding to drought by thinking through contingencies in advance, and prompt producers to take action that reduces potential financial losses and ecological consequences. Producers can get connected with a “Drought Advisor” by calling or texting (970) 988-0043 or emailing

What You Need to Know About Climate Change and Beef Cattle

CSU and CCA host an informational webinar that will help producers better understand and be prepared to engage in the climate change/Green House Gas discussion around livestock. CSU’s own Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson as well as other industry leaders will, in a panel format, discuss issues and answer questions on the Climate Change issues pointed at beef and livestock production in Colorado and the nation. 

To view the recorded webinar, click HERE.

Drought 2021

It is no secret that 2020 was dry, and 2021 isn’t starting off well.  It is past time to be thinking about drought and its effects on Eastern Colorado. Colorado State University Golden Plains Area Extension, with support of the Yuma and Yuma County Conservation Districts is presenting a virtual education informational video opportunity for producers.  Drought 2021, “Ideas around the Table” discusses important topics related to drought.  It includes a long range weather outlook, grassland management information, alternative forages for grazing options, and information on tools and decision aids for finalizing drought plans.

To view the videos, click HERE

Drought and Beef Marketing Discussion

Extension specialists, USDA ARS scientists and ranchers from Colorado and Wyoming recently discussed long-term and short-term forecast tools for predicting range land forage production, and beef market outlook during this ongoing 2020 drought. This video discussion features: Annie Overlin – CSU Extension Range Mgmt Specialist, Kevin Jablonski- CSU Range Extension, Justin Derner- USDA-ARS, David Augustine-USDA-ARS, Dannele Peck-USDA-ARS, John Ritten- UW Dept. of Ag and Resource Economics, Associate Professor, Steve Oswald and Kenny Burk- southern CO ranchers.

The planning and measurement tools available to producers presented in this session are helpful to land managers to navigate the current drought environment and plan for future recovery efforts.

Click HERE to see the video presentation.

Better with Beef

Better with Beef Happy Hour

Join us for these informative conversations regarding your beef herd management. To view the 2022 recorded sessions, Click Here

Better with Beef Happy Hour

Join us for these informative conversations regarding your beef herd management. To view the 2021 recorded sessions, click HERE

Livestock Handling and Management with

COVID-19 in Mind

Colorado Beef Research Report

Want to know what CSU beef researchers have been doing? In the Colorado Beef Research Report you can find out about the highlights of beef research going on at CSU.

Small Flock Sheep Producer’s Resource

A new resource has been created by CSU Extension. Raising a Small Flock of Sheep is an informative resource whether you are raising 4-H sheep projects or wanting to diversify and add sheep to your operation.