Opportunities and challenges ahead in the cattle business

Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Today

July 27, 2023

beef cattle short course

Looking back at 40 years of advances in the beef industry and toward the next 40 years of opportunities and challenges will be the highlight of the general session during the 69th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in Bryan-College Station set for Aug. 7-9.

two young boys with their cowboy hats sit on both sides of their father during the 2022 Beef Cattle Short Course

The largest event of its kind, with more than 1,900 cattle producers expected to attend, the short course will address challenges and opportunities faced by the industry today and into the future. The event is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science

Both in-person and online attendance is offered. The cost is $260 for in-person attendance and $160 for online if registered by Aug. 2. The price will increase to $300 after that date. 

detailed agenda of topics and speakers is now available.


To register, go to https://tx.ag/BCSC23Reg or call 979-845-6931 for more information.

General session focusing on cattle business’ past and future

“Looking Toward the Future in the Cattle Business” is the topic of the general session, scheduled from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Aug. 7 on the Texas A&M University campus.

Jason Cleere, Ph.D., conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station, said he picked 40 years forward and back when determining the topics of the general session because of his own involvement in the beef industry.

“I am about to be 50, and I can remember being involved in cattle production when I was about 10 years old, helping my dad with our cattle,” Cleere said. “I look back at how much the beef industry has improved over the last 40 years, and it really amazes me — from genetics to nutrition, to how we market cattle and ultimately how much progress has been made with the meat quality in the last 40 years.”

Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences and a meat science professor in the Department of Animal Science for more than 40 years, will present “A Look into the Past and a Glimpse into the Future: 40 Years of Progress in Beef Cattle Production and Marketing.” Savell is a University Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor and E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chairholder.

“The Next 40 Years Beef Industry Q&A Panel” will follow Savell and feature Donnell Brown, R.A. Brown Ranch, Throckmorton; Austin Brown III, Brown Ranches, Beeville; Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., registered dietitian and executive director of nutrition science, health and wellness for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and Rick Machen, Ph.D., Paul Genho Endowed Chair in Ranch Management, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

“Although we are celebrating and honoring the past 40 years of innovation and advancement within the beef industry, we have many challenges and opportunities that lay ahead,” Cleere said. “We need to continue innovating and improving the efficiency of production and ultimately the sustainability of cattle production during the next 40 years.”

Other keynote speakers at the general session will be: David Anderson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Bryan-College Station, discussing “2023 Market Outlook: Cattle Prices and Input Costs,” and Matt Makens, meteorologist and atmospheric scientist at Makens Weather, Castle Rock, Colorado, speaking on “El Niño: What Does the Long-Range Weather Outlook Look Like?”

Cattleman’s College, Trade Show, Ranch Horse Program and more

Before the three days of activities surrounding beef cattle, the annual Ranch Horse Program will be Aug. 6 in the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex. Registration is included within the full Beef Cattle Short Course registration, or individuals can attend just this event for $60.

More than 50 hours of training will be offered in the Cattleman’s College, featuring 20 concurrent sessions, with topics including animal health, nutrition, reproduction, breeding, genetics, selection, research, marketing and handling. The management sessions will cover business, forage, range and purebred cattle, landowner issues and fence building.

The course will also offer attendees 10 Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units and 15 veterinarian continuing education credits. The Bovine Reproduction Veterinary CE Program will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5, and the Veterinary CE Program will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 6.

For more information on the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course and the associated programming, visit https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/.

Southern Livestock

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