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60th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course

15:37PM Jul 07, 2014

Fence building and cattle working demonstrations to be featured at Beef Cattle Short Course.

Cattle operations require good fences, and learning how to build and carry out their maintenance will be one of several featured demonstrations at the 60th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, held Aug. 4-6 on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

The fencing demonstration will be one of five demonstrations scheduled Aug. 6, said Dr. Jason Cleere, conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist.

"Building new fence for a cattle operation is a time-consuming investment," Cleere said. "This year’s short course will show attendees the different types of materials used in building a fence, how to get longevity out of a fence, and tips on stretching and tightening different types of wire."

Also scheduled are cattle working demonstrations, which will focus on gathering cow-calf pairs, sorting calves and processing according to Beef Quality Assurance principles. The session will demonstrate proper cattle handling practices, vaccination procedures, castration, dehorning and parasite control.

"Beef cattle producers can add even more profits on top of receiving current premium market prices by adopting simple things such as castration and vaccinating calves," Cleere said. "This adds value to your investment, and you will be rewarded when you go to market these calves."

Other sessions scheduled Aug. 6 include a Brush Busters demonstration, a beef carcass quality demonstration and beef cattle business management workshop. A private pesticide applicators training session is also scheduled.

The Aug. 6 session will wrap up a busy schedule of short course presentations during this year’s event, Cleere said.

"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.

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

"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.

"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 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 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 tentative schedule was mailed to previous participants in May, but also can be found on the short course website at

Producers can also register by contacting Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931.

Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service