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International Symposium on Beef Cattle WelfareAmid consumers' growing interest in how their food is produced, Kansas State University's Beef Cattle Institute is hosting the 2010 International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare today through Friday on the K-State campus.

"This symposium will provide everyone who is involved in the beef cattle industry -- from producer to veterinarian to feedyard manager and transport specialist to processor -- the opportunity to have constructive discussion on well-being issues facing our industry," said Dan Thomson, K-State associate professor and director of the Beef Cattle Institute. "The speakers we have lined up for this are the leading experts in the field. Their depth, range and unique focus will provide all attendees with networking and problem solving opportunities."

Conference presentations will include the following topics:

  • Answering public questions about beef production.
  • How to set up and implement an auditing system in beef cattle operations.
  • How can the beef industry better communicate to governmental entities.
  • Teaching beef cattle welfare in the field.
  • Analgesic pharmacology and management of pain associated with dehorning, castration and lameness.
  • Management of culled dairy cows.
  • Animal welfare at the beef packing level.
  • How to benchmark animal welfare progress in our industries.
  • The economics associated with welfare.

For those who are unable to attend in person, a live webcast option is available again this year.

The registration fee of $150 includes the half-day Emergency Preparedness Session and the on-site symposium. Registration for the live webcast at an individual's location is $150 and $500 for a live webcast group. The fee covers participation in all symposium sessions, one lunch, refreshment breaks and symposium proceedings.

More information, including online registration, is available at

The Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University was founded Aug. 1, 2007, with initial funding from K-State's Targeted Excellence Initiative. Today, the institute is funded by outside sources and its mission is to provide educational tools and outreach opportunities through online resources and annual issues meetings to address current topics to engage and support a welfare-centered, economically sustainable, and environmentally responsible beef industry in its mission to produce safe and wholesome beef products.


The "Traveling Safely" PowerPoint presentation from the IT security roundtable May 7 is available online at

Harvard Townsend, K-State's chief information security officer, offers information that's also good for those staying home -- such as the latest security risks and safety guidelines for using:

  • ATMs
  • Public kiosks and computers
  • USB flash drives
  • Laptops
  • Internet cafes
  • Airports
  • WiFi hot spots


The transition from spring to summer can be a welcome one, but can also bring with it severe weather. Below is a reminder about the tornado sirens.

Tornado sirens are used for tornado warnings and other emergency alerts by a single tone, usually three to five minutes in duration.

The Salina campus is serviced by two tornado sirens -- one just west of campus at 2300 Hein Avenue and the other approximately one mile southeast of campus at Schilling Road.

In Manhattan, there are three tornado sirens on or near the campus. Manhattan campus sirens also have voice capability. The voice is loud enough to be heard by those who are outdoors, warning them to seek shelter immediately. Although it can be heard indoors, it is not intended to be loud enough for all to hear indoors.

Sirens are sounded for tornado warnings not only when conditions are favorable to tornadoes, but when one has actually been sighted nearby. Even if the weather looks perfect, tornado sirens should always be taken seriously because the alert tone can also indicate the presence of other dangers. Events such as large chemical spills or other threats will trigger the tornado siren. Upon hearing an alert tone, immediately seek shelter and turn on the radio, television or computer for further information on the type of emergency and action that should be taken.

Tests of the sirens occur around 10:30 a.m. the first Monday of every month for Riley County and 4:30 p.m. for Saline County. Not only do the tests ensure that the outdoor warning sirens are still operating properly, but they also teach us to recognize the sound of the tornado siren.

Be informed about weather related and other emergencies. Sign up for K-State Alerts at