Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course set for Aug. 7-9

Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Today

July 7, 2023


The Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 7-9 is expected to bring almost 2,000 cattle producers to the Texas A&M University campus. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)

The 69th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, the largest event of its kind in the nation, dates are set for Aug. 7-9 and registration is open. More than 1,900 cattle producers are expected to come to the Texas A&M University campus. The event is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M. 

“This year’s Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course will once again be covering basic beef cattle production information as well as new advanced technologies that are on the horizon,” said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station.

The general session, which is held the afternoon of the first day, is national in scope and is titled “Looking Towards the Future in the Cattle Business”. Dr. Jeff Savell, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences, will look back at the past 40 years and provide insight into what the next 40 years could hold for beef producers. Following his presentation, a panel consisting of Austin Brown III, Donnell Brown and Dr. Shalene McNeill will discuss their opinions on what’s ahead in the beef industry. This will be followed by presentations on the two hottest topics every year—weather and cattle prices. Information on coming weather patterns and insight into what cattlemen can expect in terms of calf prices will close out the first day’s session.

Both in-person and online attendance is being offered. The cost is $260 for in-person attendance and $160 for online if registered by Aug. 2nd. A $40 late registration fee will be charged after that date. To register, go to https://tx.ag/BCSC23Reg or call 979-845-6931 for more information.

Recovering after the drought

The program is expected to offer management expertise for everyone, from the novice livestock operator to the seasoned professional, on coping with and surviving the drought and market fluctuations, Cleere said.

“We just went through a very severe drought, and the western side of Texas is still struggling,” Cleere said. “We are seeing very solid calf prices now, and ranchers want to begin rebuilding their cow herds as they come out of the drought but are faced with high replacement female prices.”

He said some of the questions ranchers must ask themselves are:

  • What can I afford to pay for a cow?
  • What does the market look like 3-5 years from now?
  • Will we rebuild the cow herd as fast as we did after the 2011 drought?
  • With higher feed, fertilizer and hay prices, can I afford to stock as high as I have in the past?

More features of three-day event

The annual Ranch Horse Program will be Aug. 6 in the Hildebrand Equine Complex. Registration is included within the full Beef Cattle Short Course registration, or individuals can attend just this event for $60.

The Cattleman’s College will feature more than 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. Speakers will also address landowner issues and fence building.

At least nine pesticide continuing education units and 14 veterinarian continuing education credits are available to attendees.

Additionally, over 150 agriculture-related businesses and trade show exhibitors are expected to attend the course. 

Southern Livestock

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