Farm and Ranch
Latest technological demonstration make Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course unique
By Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M
Aug 1, 2021
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New chute-side pregnancy test to be among demonstrations during Aug. 2-4 event

Educational lectures and live demonstrations await cattle industry members who attend the 67th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on Aug. 2-4, whether that is in person or virtually.

“One of the demonstrations we’re excited to offer this year is a new chute-side pregnancy test that gives a result within minutes and is similar to a human pregnancy test except that it uses blood,” said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science and conference coordinator.

The short course will include more than 20 sessions covering basic practices, new technologies and hot topics. There also will be six live demonstrations and a trade show featuring an estimated 140 exhibitors. The complete schedule and other information is available at https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/.

Ron Gill, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef specialist and program leader for animal science, demonstrates cattle handling at a previous Beef Cattle Short Course. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Blair Fannin)

Cleere said this year they are happy to offer the in-person and a virtual option of the short course hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University.

The cost is $210 for in-person attendance and $160 for online. The prices go up to $250 and $200, respectively, after July 27. To register, go to http://tx.ag/BCSC2021 or call 979-845-6931 for more information.

Special event: 2021 TAMU Ranch Horse Program

Participants can come early to the event and participate in the 2021 TAMU Ranch Horse Program on Aug. 1 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex.

The program will provide insights into common plant toxicities, veterinary care on the ranch, and sound breeding selection decisions. Participants will also hear about the history of the King Ranch horse program and spend the afternoon at the arena with professional horseman Punk Carter, past president of the National Cutting Horse Association and member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and NCHA Hall of Fame.

This event is free to all Beef Cattle Short Course participants or $50 at the door for nonparticipants. To register for it, email Jennifer Zoller, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horse specialist, or Hanna Galloway, with the Texas A&M Equine Initiative at tamuequine@tamu.edu.

Beef cattle live demonstrations, workshops

One of the big draws to the event is the ability for participants to see the live demonstrations, Cleere said, and that will continue this year. On the schedule are the following:

— A Fence-Building Demonstration will be in the O.D. Butler Complex/Beef Cattle Center and cover different types of fencing materials and designs.

Fence building demonstration during a previous Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Blair Fannin)

Participants can learn how to build pipe and wood stretch sections and string multiple types of wire during this demonstration.

— A Brush Busters Demonstration, which will provide three general Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units, will be in the Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex Arena. Participants will learn about integrated brush control using Brush Busters protocols and equipment and cut-stump treatments. This session will also cover how to manage and control mesquite, huisache, prickly pear and others.

— A Beef Cattle Business Management Workshop in the Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex. Participants will learn about ranch record keeping, technology innovations such as blockchains, and tax and management accounting.

— A Beef Carcass Value Determination Workshop is scheduled in the Rosenthal Meat Lab. Presenters will discuss feeder calf to carcass grid, carcass grading, live cattle evaluation and grid marketing. They will review live video of finished cattle and view carcasses from the four steers, and finish up with the lecture “Carcass to Boxed Beef Cuts: Where is the Value?”

— Cattle Handling Demonstrations will be hosted in the Freeman Arena and focus on developing the handler’s sense about when to apply pressure and how much pressure to apply to get cattle to work smoother and with less stress. Proper cattle trailer loading techniques will also be demonstrated.

— Beef Cattle Chute-Side Demonstrations will be presented in the Louis Pearce Pavilion. The live animal demonstrations will cover basic cowherd management practices, emphasizing Beef Quality Assurance, proper vaccination, castration, dehorning, branding, tagging and blood/tissue collection for testing. This is where the new, practical chute-side pregnancy test hitting the market this fall will be demonstrated.