Cattle producers can learn how to improve profits by using natural shade in their operations during an Oct. 10 tour of the Mingo cow-calf operation in St. James.

The tour shows how producer Brian Tomazi uses shade to improve cow comfort and profits. His integrated system uses timber, forages and livestock. The event will also feature displays of equipment and a portable breeding barn.

Tomazi thinned hardwood trees at the edge of grazing paddocks and moved fences to add additional grazing area. This provides more shaded areas for cattle during hot weather and offers protection during cold weather.

University of Missouri Extension specialists will discuss why cow comfort matters. Their research shows that cattle with access to shade and less heat stress show improved weight gain and pregnancy rates. They will talk about rotational grazing systems, forage quality, water placement and how to improve timber stands. Speakers include Harley Naumann, assistant professor of forage physiology; Eric Bailey, beef specialist; Ben Knapp, assistant professor of silviculture; and Ted Cunningham of New Day Genetics.

The event runs 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Mingo Farm, 25385 County Road 1000, St. James. Crawford County Cattlemen’s Association provides a hot meal. MU Extension; MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and MU Center for Agroforestry sponsor the event.

To register, call MU Extension in Crawford County at 573-775-2135. For more information, contact Gregory Ormsby Mori at or 573-882-9866.