The 2024 Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course reaches a milestone

Martha A. Hollida, Southern Livestock Standard

July 8, 2024

Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on Wednesday, Aug 02, 2023 in College Station, Texas. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications)

The upcoming Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course (TAMBSCS) will once again offer three days of comprehensive education, practical insights and management tools, plus cutting-edge industry knowledge. This year’s event will mark the 70th time for the conference and will continue to equip beef cattle producers with the latest information and tools to enhance their operations and stay ahead in the industry.

The event, which will be the 70th annual, will be held Aug. 5-7th on the campus of Texas A&M University, Bryan-College Station, Texas. It will follow the very successful format of years past, with over 20 concurrent sessions on all aspects of beef cattle production, a general session that addresses industry-wide topics and interactive demonstrations and hands-on experiences. The TAMBCSC is recognized as the largest beef cattle conference in the nation and one of the best in terms of quality of education and presenters. In addition, the long-standing conference is acclaimed internationally.

“We are once again looking forward to holding the event in person and are also offering a virtual option for those who would like to attend that way,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension statewide beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station. This marks Cleere’s 20th year to oversee the TAMBCSC.

The general session, which is held the afternoon of the first day, will once again focus on industry-wide issues and concerns. Randy Blach with Cattle Fax will provide insight into the market trends for cattle and discuss the window for producers to capitalize on the record prices currently being experienced.

“The market is great right now, but as we rebuild our herds, the biggest question is: ‘Will the prices fall off as fast as they did after 2014?” Cleere explained.

Brian Bledsoe, an agricultural weather expert and columnist for Southern Livestock Standard will return to discuss the long-term weather trends and provide context for decision making in months ahead.

     Dr. David Anderson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Livestock Economist, will wrap up the general session on the true costs of replacement females and rebuilding the cow herd.  

As we think about rebuilding the cow herd this time, ranchers vividly remember how quickly the market dropped after the rapid herd rebuilding beginning in 2012, “Cleere said, adding that in addition to the economics of raising replacement females, there will be a practical management component on the subject, also.

The concurrent educational classroom style programs will cover various production practices, including nutrition, reproduction, animal health, research, landowner issues and forage management. In addition, there are two sessions that cover ranching basics which are designed for new ranchers, while there are other sessions geared to cow-calf and stocker operators, as well as the seedstock producer. 

 One of the classroom sessions will focus on the latest beef cattle technologies and how to incorporate and embrace these advances to improve ranch profitability.

Back by popular demand is a session geared for potential and/or new landowners. This session provides basic information about land uses, sources of information such as Extension offices, a guide to ranching terminology, and an overview of considerations and decisions for the new landowner.  Another session, Introduction to Cattle Production II, will provide a 365-day look at a yearly production cycle on a ranch and will address topics regarding when to vaccinate, fertilize, begin feeding and the like.

The extent of the knowledge offered is one of the main draws of the TAMBCSC, but the schedule and program lineup also allows producers to select the sessions most important or needed for their personal operation.

“The short course places strong emphasis on providing sessions that fit across the beef cattle production spectrum and to the level of experience of our attendees. This panel will emphasize our efforts to be helpful to all, regardless of their cow numbers,” described Cleere.

The final day of the three-day event will include several interactive demonstrations and hands-on experiences in the areas of fence building, managing brush, cattle handling, working cattle chute side, and a number of reproductive management practices.

Several pesticide and veterinarian CEU’s are available to attendees, also.

There is a session on Sunday, prior to the kickoff of TAMBCSC on Monday a.m., for horse owners. This will be held at the Thomas G. Hilderbrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex and will address a wide range of topics to help ranchers keep their horses healthy and available for ranch work. This session is part of the TAMBSCS registration, or it can be attended as a stand-alone session for $60.

Up to 32 hours of continuing education credits will be offered during the Bovine Reproduction Veterinary Continuing Education Program on Aug. 3, the Veterinarian Continuing Education Program on Aug. 4 and the Beef Cattle Short Course Veterinary Continuing Education sessions Aug. 5-7.

The short course continues to grow in popularity and acclaim, as it provides an avenue for networking. Ranchers will once again be able to visit over 120 booths in the trade show and visit with representatives from breed associations, the animal health segment, reproductive services, feed and mineral companies, marketing companies and ranch equipment dealers. 

Other networking avenues include a breakfast for beef producers who are veterans. The famous Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner will highlight the end of the first day’s program and is always one of the most anticipated features of each year’s event. Cleere shared that the dinner showcases the culinary skills of the Texas A&M Meats Department and features Nolan Ryan Beef.

Registration information, details and an in-depth schedule can be found online at www.beefcattleshortcourse.com. The cost is $300 in-person attendance and $160 for online. Prices increase after July 27. Registration can be completed online or by calling 979/845-6931 for more information. The youth track for high school students will return this year for the first time since 2019 for which information can also be found on the website.

Attendees are encouraged to come on Sunday and participate in two fun events that fund scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at Texas A&M. The annual Carl Rugg Golf tournament will be held during the afternoon Sunday, Aug. 4th and then the Brazos Valley Cattlewomen will host a steak dinner and dance Sunday evening at the hotel on campus. Information about those two events and how to participate are part of the online registration site.

Southern Livestock

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