Responses will assist in planning future research and educational programming for Texas stocker cattle producers.
By: Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
A survey distributed to the Texas stocker cattle industry by Texas A&M University System agricultural agencies will help collect vital trend data to assist in meeting future research and educational initiatives, according to officials.
The mailed survey will help specialists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the department of animal science and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M gather information to evaluate field research efforts and educational programs relating to the beef industry.
"We are committed to serving the Texas beef industry, and the stocker segment is a vital part of beef production in the Lone Star state," said Bill Dugas, acting vice chancellor and dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for the system.
Survey responses are anonymous and will provide an assessment of the stocker industry, said Russell Cross, head of the department of animal science at Texas A&M.
"It is vital that we understand the stocker segment’s needs in order to plan and develop practical applied research protocols and meaningful educational programs to assist in these changing times," he said.
"All of us in the Texas A&M System would like to do more to serve the stocker segment of the beef cattle industry," said Allen J. Roussel, DVM and department head for large animal clinical science in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M. "Health management is a key to profit for this segment, so it is critical that we learn more about the challenges faced by these producers to better serve the industry."
Cross said the stocker segment has a unique task of taking cattle from diverse cow-calf operations and preparing them for the structured feeder phase.
"The stocker industry also faces some unique challenges," he said. "Cattle originate from varied climates and nutritional regimens, herd health programs are comingled and subjected to social and shipping stresses. And still stocker cattle are expected to remain healthy and gain weight.
"The cattle industry is scrutinized more today by consumers who are generations removed from agriculture. Animal welfare, antibiotic resistance and environmental sustainability are buzzwords in the popular press daily, oftentimes without full understanding of these terms, forcing the cattle industry to deal with the repercussions."
For more information, call the department of animal science at 979-845-1543.