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Record Cattle Prices Create Opportunities to Increase Profit

July 30, 2014
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Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course to outline strategies and management for producers.
By: Blair Fannin, Texas A&M University

Record cattle prices are creating opportunities for producers to increase revenue and several of these strategies will be discussed at the 60th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course scheduled Aug. 4-6 on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

"No doubt, these are good times when it comes to calf prices, and what we want to teach cattle producers is the value of good production management practices," said Jason Cleere, conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, College Station.

"By adding more pounds to your calf, this leads to more total dollars for the ranch. I think everyone wants to add more profit to their operations and our goal at the short course is to provide information that participants can take home and generate another dollar or save one."

During the general session Aug. 4, Sara Place, assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, will discuss sustainability in the beef industry and its implications to future beef production.

Also speaking during the general session will be R.C. Slocum, former Texas A&M head football coach and Central Texas rancher. Slocum will discuss winning and losing in the cattle business, giving first-hand perspectives on the challenges of ranching in today’s economic climate.

Brian Bledsoe, meteorologist with Southern Livestock Standard, will provide a long-term weather outlook. Gary Smith, visiting professor in the Texas A&M department of animal science, College Station, will provide an overview of how the cattle business has changed in the past 25 years, while Bill Mies, visiting professor in the Texas A&M department of animal science, will discuss future opportunities for beef producers through 2025.

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. Topics include introductory cattle production, retiring to the ranch, forage management practices, nutrition and reproduction, record keeping, genetics, purebred cattle and landowner issues.

"The goal of the short course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information needed by beef cattle producers. We think we have information for everyone to take home and apply to their operations."

Participants can also receive the Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide applicator’s license training during the short course and can earn 9 pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed, Cleere added.

An industry trade show will be held during the event, featuring more than 130 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 schedule can be found on the short course website at http://beefcattleshortcourse.com. Producers can also register by contacting Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931.

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