A look at the past and future aspects of beef cattle production in Texas will be one of the highlights at the 60th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course scheduled Aug. 4-6 at Texas A&M University in College Station.
“Cattle production in Texas has certainly been a sea of change over the past five years,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in College Station and conference coordinator. “We think beef short course attendees will want to learn more about what is ahead of us in terms of cattle inventories and how quickly we might rebuild cow herds. And, of course, we certainly are keeping a close eye on the cost of production and how we can fine tune our operations to improve the bottom line.”
The short course has become one of the largest and most comprehensive beef cattle educational programs in the U.S., Cleere noted.
R.C. Slocum, former Texas A&M head football coach and Central Texas rancher, will be one of the featured speakers during the general session on Aug. 4. Slocum will discuss winning and losing in the cattle business, giving first-hand perspectives on the challenges of ranching in today’s economic climate.
The cattleman’s college portion of the short course provides participants with an opportunity to choose workshops based on their level of production experience and the needs of their ranch, Cleere said.
“These concurrent workshops will feature information on introductory cattle production, retiring to ranching, forage management practices, nutrition and reproduction, record keeping, genetics, purebred cattle, landowner issues and much more,” he said.
In addition to classroom instruction, participants can attend one of the popular demonstrations on the morning of Aug. 6.
“There will be demonstrations on fence building, chute-side calf working, cattle behavior, penning and Brush Busters,” Cleere said. “These provide an opportunity for ranchers to see beef cattle production practices put to use.
“The goal of the short course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information that is needed by beef cattle producers. We think we have information for everyone to take home and apply to their operations.”
Participants can receive the Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide applicator’s license training during the short course and can earn at least seven pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed, Cleere added.
An industry trade show will be held during the event, featuring more than 120 agricultural businesses and service exhibits.
Registration is $180 per person and includes educational materials, a copy of the 600-page Beef Cattle Short Course proceedings, trade show admittance, admission to the prime rib dinner, lunches, breakfasts and daily refreshments.
Registration information and a tentative schedule will be mailed to previous participants in May, but also can be found on the short course website at http://beef.tamu.edu.
Producers can also register by contacting Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931.