A few hundred ranchers are in Yakima this weekend to talk about beef.

The Beef Production Conference hosted by Washington State University kicked off on the Yakima Fairgrounds Friday. A major topic of conversation at the conference is the growing field of genomics, mapping out cow genomes.

Organizers say this conference and trade show is all about communication between ranchers.

"We haven't done this in over 10 years," conference director Curtis Beus said. "And we really felt there was a need because of these rapid changes in economics, and in genomics, and disease prevention. We needed to have more direct connection to the industry."

The trade show included more than 30 companies showing off their products. The university hopes to host the new conference annually.

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